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Spandex Considered for Exemption from Textile Standard Testing

Friday, April 26, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is requesting by June 24 information on the possible addition of spandex to the list of fabrics exempt from testing under the standard for the flammability of clothing textiles. The CPSC is also seeking information about the equipment and procedures specified in this standard and possible ways to update those provisions to reduce the burdens associated with the testing requirements.

 

The standard for the flammability of clothing textiles (which applies to clothing and textiles intended to be used for clothing) provides testing requirements, establishes three classes of flammability, sets out the criteria for classifying textiles, and prohibits the use of textiles that exhibit rapid and intense burning.

However, the following fabrics are currently exempted from the testing requirements because they have been shown to consistently yield acceptable results when tested: (1) plain surface fabrics, regardless of fiber content, weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard or more;, and (2) all fabrics, both plain surface and raised-fiber surface textiles, regardless of weight, made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from a combination of the following fibers: acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, wool.

In response to an industry suggestion to add spandex to the list of exempted fabrics, the CPSC is seeking relevant information and data about spandex fibers that would help it determine whether spandex also consistently yields acceptable results when tested. The CPSC is particularly interested in data from testing a range of fabric constructions, fabric weights, and fiber blends that include spandex as well as information about the general burden and costs associated with testing fabric containing spandex fibers.

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