According to the attached document from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UK furniture foam can be up to 30% Flame Retardants.
July 27, 2012 – Guidance Document Submission: Flexible Polyurethane Foam Waste Management & Recycling
Polyurethane Foam Association
Robert J. Luedeka, Executive Director
“The United Kingdom established the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations in 1988 that set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery fillings. Statutory Instrument 1324:1988 and its subsequent amendments in 1989, 1993, 2002 and 2010 set out flammability performance requirements for all types of furniture and furniture components intended for residential use. This includes children’s furniture, upholstered headboards, convertible sofa sleepers, futons and motion furniture; baby furniture,
patio furniture that also could be used indoors; loose cushions, seat pads and pillows, and mattress filling materials. The UK regulations rely on British Standard 5852 (BS 5852) test methods for determining the ignition propensity of regulated items and components. For testing the flammability characteristics of cover fabrics (“tickings”) for mattresses, a different UK standard, BS 7177, is applied under General Product Safety Regulations.
Filling materials (foam and non-foam) used in product applications covered by the UK regulations must be tested for compliance with the standard methods included in BS 5852. A small wooden crib (BS 5852 Source 5) ignition source is mandated for foam component testing. This heat source generates significantly more energy than the CA TB 117 small open flame. To achieve compliance with the UK regulations, foam components must be combustion modified using significant amounts of FR additives. Compliance is achieved using various combinations of conventional halogenated and non-halogenated FR products such as melamine powder or expandable graphite (exfoliated graphite). The required FR addition depends on the foam type and density.
In the most challenging formulations, total addition rate can be 20 – 30% by weight. Trim foam scrap is often exported for use in the production of U.S. bonded carpet cushion. The UK foam industry reports that only in rare situations involving the production of foam products for niche applications have PBDEs ever been used in foam production, and there has been no use of PBDEs in the UK since 2000. In fact, there is very little use of brominated flame retardants of any description in UK foam production. UK foam producing companies do not rely on any flame retardants that
contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) or substances of very high concern (SVHCs).”