Technical Bulletin 117

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Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) is "a unique California flammability standard that requires polyurethane foam to withstand exposure to a small open flame for twelve seconds."[1] It was first implemented in 1975. Until 2004, manufacturers met this requirement with, penta-brominated diphenyl ether (pentaBDE), a PBDE. In 1999, North America accounted for 98% of global pentaBDE usage, largely because of TB117. California banned PentaBDE in 2003, but toxic flame retardants continue to be used.


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  1. Arlene Blum and Linda Birnbaum, "Halogenated Flame Retardants in Consumer Products: Do the Fire Safety Benefits Justify the Health and Environmental Risks?," 5th International Symposium on Brominated Flame Retardants, April 2010

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