Improvements Needed in Administering the Flammable Fabrics Act

HRD-78-88: Published: Apr 10, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1978.

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The Flammable Fabrics Act prohibits the introduction or movement in interstate commerce of wearing apparel and interior furnishings which are so highly flammable as to be dangerous to individuals. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for administration of the act.

The Commission has not been timely in developing flammability standards for wearing apparel and upholstered furniture. Time was lost when administration of the act was transferred to the Commission and the Commission failed to set project priorities and to guide staff personnel. Other factors delaying development of flammability standards were uncertainties about the adequacy of fire-related injury data and the development of remedial strategies. Although the Commission recently established project priorities and is taking steps to improve its sources of fire-related information, the Commission needs to implement procedures which assure that standards are developed systematically.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Commission should establish procedures for systematically developing flammability standards which: define the various steps in the development process, call for timely guidance for the staff, and allow for a dialogue with the National Advisory Committee for the Flammable Fabrics Act. The Commission should terminate, suspend, or amend flammability proceedings that remain outstanding for long periods of time.

    Agency Affected:


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