21 July 2024, 10:25
By Furniture News Aug 05, 2021

Association publishes new upholstery and mattress guidance

The latest project from the Furniture Industry Research Association aims to help those involved in the supply chains of upholstered furniture and mattresses understand how to comply with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation.

REACH sets out the comprehensive rules for the management of chemical exposure across the whole supply chain. Items of furniture, such as upholstered furniture and mattresses, are considered to be articles under the regulation, and so must comply with the specific restrictions on substances present in materials placed on the market.

Annex XVII of REACH contains 69 separate entries for substances or groups of substances, states the association, but these are often specific to materials or applications. As such, this new project encompasses two matrices (one focused on upholstered furniture, one on mattresses). Each matrix addresses the substance, restriction, test method(s) and materials for different components of each product.

The matrices were designed by John Hubbard, technical consultant at FIRA International (the service provider to the research association). He says: “Many research association members have an interest in upholstery and mattresses, and it’s imperative they are supported in complying with REACH. The regulation can be tricky to navigate, hence why these matrices were designed to break down the requirements to focus on materials relevant to our industry as a resource to cross reference against, either when checking compliance against current products on sale, or bringing new products to the market.

“We still may see changes to UK REACH post-Brexit, but at the moment I advise all to work to limits set out in the EU Regulation, but a watch needs to be kept on new restrictions added under REACH. Another matrix will be published over the next few weeks, with a focus on specific additional requirements for children’s furniture as we look to broaden our support to the wider membership.”

The matrixes are available to association members here, while non-members can purchase a copy for £50, with details available from [email protected].

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