In response to increased requests for more environmentally-friendly products, Spradling International Inc.® announces initiatives to remove flame-retardant additives and biocides from product lines within our Contract Upholstery portfolio. This will require a transition period as we work through current inventory and the new vinyl formulations are introduced. The reformulated product will be identified by adding the word NEO to the pattern description, adding a green sticker to the packaging and changing the identifying back print on the material. In addition, there will be notification via order acknowledgement and invoice copy. Our goal is to be transparent throughout this process, and we will communicate our progress as we proceed.
Why are we doing this?
Flame Retardant Additives (FR): After years of advocacy by public health groups, TB-117 was revised at the direction of California Governor Jerry Brown to allow manufacturers to phase out certain flame retardants without compromising fire safety. The policy was renamed TB117-2013 and became mandatory as of January 1, 2015 and is recognized by all 50 states. The State of California even rescinded Cal 133 as of January 22, 2019 indicating a more relaxed regulatory stance in light of the desire to eliminate FR additives. In addition California (AB 2998) prohibits the sale and distribution of juvenile products, upholstered furniture, replacement components of reupholstered furniture, and the foam in mattresses (collectively referred to as “covered products”) that contain covered flame-retardant (FR) chemicals at levels above 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in California on and after January 1, 2020. (Click here for more information on AB 2998)
Furthermore, a dozen states have passed over two dozen policies banning flame retardants. Maine’s new law phases out all flame-retardant chemicals in residential upholstered furniture. Rhode Island and Maine are halting the sale of new upholstered furniture containing flame retardants, and San Francisco may follow suit.
Several of the nation’s largest retailers have eliminated or begun phasing out furniture with chemicals known as flame retardants. The nation’s largest furniture retailer and manufacturer, Ashley® Furniture Industries, Inc. has announced it will be eliminating some flame-retardant chemicals.
The good news is that our products still pass Cal 117, UFAC Class 1 and NFPA 260.
Biocides/Anti-Microbials (AM): In addition to the trend to remove flame retardants, there is also a move to eliminate the use of certain biocides in consumer products. Kaiser Permanente® has banned the use of 13 antimicrobial chemicals and elements added to fabrics, furniture and finishes. The decision follows a commitment Kaiser made to remove furniture containing flame-retardant chemicals from its facilities. The list of products can be found in the below chart.
Phthalates: Starting with the very first vinyl-coated fabric, certain members of this family of plasticizers have been recognized for superior performance, processability, durability, versatility and affordability while few alternatives have been able to satisfactorily match all of their unique characteristics. But with concerns of potential health and regulatory issues, Spradling International has developed the non-phthalate EcoSense brand utilizing non-controversial plasticizers with properties that match those of phthalate-based coated fabrics and will now be California Proposition 65 compliant.
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. As we explained in the Technical Bulletin that we provided to you, we chose to remove chemical FR and
antimicrobial/biocide additives on 20 contract patterns in response to market demands for more
Q. When will this happen?
A. It is in a transition process now. Products with the “NEO” designation will be manufactured without FR
and antimicrobial/biocides additives, but will continue to meet CAL 117, UFAC, and NFPA 260.
Q. Will these products still pass California Technical Bulletin (TB) 133?
A. The State of California recently announced that Technical Bulletin (TB) 133 has been repealed effective
January 22, 2019. TB 133 was an open flame test for upholstered seating, which generally required the use
of flame-retardant chemicals and additional barrier fabric. All “NEO” products comply with CAL 117,
UFAC, and NFPA 260.
Q. Will these products still pass FAR 25. 853 and IMO FTP 2010?
A. As currently formulated, they will not. There are aftermarket treatment options available. We can also
produce custom products that will pass with normal minimum order quantity requirements.
Q. Do you still have inventory of the material that meets the other flame specs?
A. During the transition to the “NEO” product line, we will use up our existing inventory of products that
were produced with FR and antimicrobial/biocide additives. We anticipate that this transition period
will take months.
Q. What does NEO mean?
A. NEO = New. It simply means a change to the formulation. We removed FR additives and antimicrobial/
biocides from most contract products with the exception of four patterns where we removed only FR
Q. Do you plan on carrying inventory of both constructions with full flame and without?
A. No, it is our plan to convert these 20 product lines to non-FR and non-antimicrobial/biocide products.
However, we will also offer products that include FR and antimicrobial/biocide additives if required to
meet a customer’s specific needs.
Q. Will the change effect the color of the product?
A. No changes in color.
Q. Will the change effect product performance?
A. No changes in product performance.
Q. Are you sending out new sampling?
A. Yes, it will be a transition process as well. As we run out of our existing sample elements, new samples will
be distributed with the updated flame-resistance and antimicrobial/biocide specifications.
Q. Will you be sending new specification?
A. Yes, we will update each of the specification sheets on these products.
Q. What are the 20 patterns that are being transitioned to non-FR additives and non-
A. List will be provided.
Q. What is EcoSense?
A. EcoSense is a product manufactured phthalate, FR, and antimicrobial/biocide free. It is also a corporate
strategy that outlines how we process (manufacture) and how we treat our people and communities. The
EcoSense patterns are Maglia, Edgeline, Genero, Guradian, and Savoy.
List of Formulation change by Product:
|CHAMBRAY NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|FLORIDIAN NEO||FR FREE|
|HITCH NEO||FR FREE|
|INCLINATION NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|INTERLACE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|INVISION NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|KALEIDOSCOPE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|KILKENNY TWEED NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|PATRIOT NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|PRELUDE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|REFLEX NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|RENAISSANCE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|SCRIBE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|SEQUINS NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|SILVERTEX NEO||FR FREE|
|STRATOSPHERE NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|TREXX MET MQ NEO||FR FREE|
|WHISPER NEO||FR & AM FREE|
|EDGELINE ECO||PHTHALATE, FR AND AM FREE|
|MAGLIA ECO||PHTHALATE, FR AND AM FREE|
|GENERO ECO- (COMING SOON)||PHTHALATE, FR AND AM FREE|
|GUARDIAN ECO||PHTHALATE AND FR FREE|
|SAVOY ECO||PHTHALATE, FR AND AM FREE|