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Sleep Products Safety Council Voices Support for New Mattress Standard

Alexandria, VA – Today, the Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC) announced its support for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) unanimous decision to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to consider initiating development of an open-flame ignition standard for all mattresses.

"The CPSC's decision to consider development of a federal standard to address the open-flame ignition of mattresses is an important step toward improved consumer safety, and a decision the mattress industry firmly supports. A federal standard will create a level playing field for all mattress producers and is likely to achieve the highest compliance and the greatest impact on consumer safety," stated Patricia Martin, Executive Director of the Sleep Products Safety Council.

In working with this administrative process being initiated by the CPSC, the Sleep Products Safety Council has worked in close collaboration with the CPSC, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Currently, the mattress industry, through the Sleep Products Safety Council, is engaged in critical scientific research to determine the most effective open-flame test methodology, essential to a reasonable and effective federal standard. The CPSC acknowledged the importance of bedclothes, and the industry concurs, asserting that any performance standard that deters ignition of the mattress without considering the impact of bedclothes, as an ignition source, would be short sighted.

The SPSC will work to ensure that an open-flame standard will not involve excessive testing costs, nor unnecessarily limit mattress constructions, compromise comfort, or require the mattress manufacturer to incur undue production costs that must be passed on to the American consumer.

"We are very concerned about this issue, and are moving as fast as science allows us to find the best solution. The mattress industry has a strong commitment to product safety and an impressive record of compliance with state and federal regulations, so it should come as no surprise that we stand firmly behind the CPSC's decision today," concluded Martin.

Established in 1986 by the International Sleep Products Association, the Sleep Products Safety Council provides consumer safety information, supports research and promotes activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with sleep products. The mainstay of the SPSC's program is the safety hangtag. This voluntary program offers manufacturers easily attachable tags that warn consumers about potential fire and safety hazards that can result from improper use of residential bedding products. Proceeds from the sale of safety hangtags support the SPSC's public education, hazard analysis and information exchange programs.

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