BIFMA (Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) has just announced that the Boston City Council has unanimously voted to amend the city’s fire code to permit the use of TB-117-2013 (smolder test method) instead of the currently mandated TB-133 (open flame test method). What does this mean for us at Arrowstreet and our clients? With the mayor’s approval, this means that Boston will join the rest of the Commonwealth and the majority of the US in removing carcinogenic flame retardants from furniture in homes and buildings. By removing these chemical flame retardants, indoor air quality is improved for the general public, as well as the health of fire fighters.
In 2013, California passed the new TB-117-2013, which revised testing standards and removed the mandate that put flame retardants in all furniture sold in the country. This is an issue our interior and architectural designers have been monitoring closely over the past few years, and will continue to watch as it develops in the coming months.