The California Building Standards Commission updated state building codes to allow for the use of flame retardant-free foam building insulation in below-grade applications.
The change will permit foam insulation containing no flame retardants when installed below a minimum 3.5-inch thick concrete slab on grade. Labeling requirements apply for such products to prevent misuse in vertical or above-grade applications. Above-grade applications must continue to meet prescribed surface burning characteristics.
California has also repealed a flammability standard for upholstered seating used in public spaces. This will enable seating manufacturers to more easily meet state requirements without using chemical flame retardants.
State officials said that the use of organohalogen flame retardants typically used to meet a standard dating back to 1991 presents significant health risks to consumers, as established by “overwhelming scientific research.”