US Flammability Code References Current AATCC Laundering Procedure

US Flammability Code References Current AATCC Laundering Procedure

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, December 14, 2023—In October 2023, the United Stated Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) completed the rulemaking procedure to revise the Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles in 16 CFR part 1610. The new regulations will go into effect six months later, on April 22, 2024. For more than a year, commissioners have considered data and public comment on several clarifications and updates, including reference to AATCC LP 1 Laboratory Procedure for Home Laundering: Machine Washing.

“AATCC LP1-2021 is already familiar to many testing laboratories since it is used for other standards as well; as such, using this standard should be clear and low cost.”

The revisions address three main areas. First, they aim to clarify and streamline the provisions regarding test result codes (i.e., burn codes), which help determine the classification of a textile and whether it may be used for clothing. The amendments remove an unnecessary code and revise wording in the provisions to clarify the existing requirements. Second, the amendments revise the stop thread specification, which indicates the thread that must be used in flammability testing. The description has become unclear, as threads matching the description in the Standard are no longer readily available. Third, amendments revise the refurbishing requirements in the Standard, which address dry cleaning and laundering specimens during the testing process. In recent years, there have been increasing restrictions on the use of the drycleaning solvent specified in the Standard, and washing machines that meet the specifications required in the Standard are no longer made.

The new refurbishing specifications reference AATCC LP1-2021. The CPSC says, “Staff expects that this will reduce burdens on testing laboratories because it will eliminate the need to maintain and repair older machines and allow those testing laboratories that can no longer maintain or obtain washing machines that comply with the current Standard to continue to test to the Standard.” Existing machines meeting the older specifications in AATCC TM124-2006 may still be used.

“Use of a single standard that is widely familiar to industry members should reduce the risk of confusion or testing errors, which may have some safety benefits for consumers by yielding consistent and reliable test results and classifications.”

AATCC LP1 is available in the current AATCC Manual of International Test Methods and Procedures and as a downloadable PDF. Because it is incorporated in a federal regulation, the document is available at no cost. Specified detergent for flammability testing is also available directly from AATCC. The CPSC announcement explains that the reference to AATCC LP1 will reduce confusion and cost as well as testing errors.

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AATCC connects the global textile community to empower an innovative, informed, and sustainable future. Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, AATCC has provided standards development, testing materials, educational resources, and professional networking to the global textile industry for more than a century.

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