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Standard for the Flammability of Children's Sleepwear: Sizes 0 Through 6X; Standard for the Flammability of Children's Sleepwear: Sizes 7 Through 14

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Final amendments.

SUMMARY:

The Commission is amending the flammability standards for children's sleepwear in sizes 0 through 6X and sizes 7 through 14 by revising the laundering procedure specified in those standards. These laundering procedures help assure that any chemical flame retardants are not removed or degraded with repeated washing and drying, thereby creating a flammability hazard. The Commission is issuing these amendments because the detergent specified by the existing laundering procedure is no longer available and the operating characteristics of the washing and drying machines required by that procedure are no longer representative of machines now used for home laundering.

DATES:

The rule will become effective on April 10, 2000 and will apply to products manufactured or imported after that date. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 10, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marilyn Borsari, Office of Compliance, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207; telephone (301) 504-0400, extension 1370.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

The Flammable Fabrics Act (“FFA”) (15 U.S.C. 1191 et seq.) authorizes the Commission to issue and amend flammability standards and regulations to protect the public from unreasonable risks of death, injury, and property damage from fire associated with products of wearing apparel made from fabric and related materials.

In 1971, the Secretary of Commerce issued a flammability standard for children's sleepwear in sizes 0 through 6X to protect young children from death and serious burn injuries which had been associated with ignition of sleepwear garments such as nightgowns and pajamas, by small open-flame sources. That standard became effective in 1972, and is codified at 16 CFR Part 1615.

In 1973, authority to issue flammability standards under the FFA was transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Consumer Product Safety Commission by section 30(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2079(b)). In 1974, the Commission issued a flammability standard for children's sleepwear in sizes 7 through 14. That standard became effective in 1975 and is codified at 16 CFR part 1616.

B. Amending the Flammability Standards

As discussed below, laundering procedures are prescribed by the standards to help assure that any flame retardant treatment used in the production of children's sleepwear does not deteriorate over time and thereby create a flammability hazard. However, the current procedures are out of date in several respects.

1. Current Laundering Procedures

Each of the children's sleepwear standards describes the apparatus and procedure used to test items for compliance with the standard. See 16 CFR 1615.4 and 1616.5. Section 1615.4(g)(4) of the standard for sizes 0 through 6X and section 1616.5(c)(4) of the standard for sizes 7 through 14 require that testing shall be performed on finished items, as produced (or after one washing and drying in the case of garments labeled with instructions to wash before wearing) and after they have been washed and dried 50 times in accordance with a specified laundering procedure. That laundering procedure is AATCC Test Method 124-69, published by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (“AATCC”).(1) [1] Each standard incorporates specific aspects of that laundering procedure by reference.

The AATCC Test Method was developed in 1967 and revised in 1969. AATCC Test Method 124-69 specifies operating characteristics of the washing machine and dryer to be used, wash water and rinse water temperatures, exhaust temperature of the dryer, and a particular detergent, AATCC Standard Detergent 124. These specifications are representative of the equipment, wash, rinse, and drying temperatures, and detergent used for home laundering in the 1960s. For example, AATCC Start Printed Page 12925Standard Detergent 124 is a high-phosphate powder with optical brightener, similar to the phosphate-based detergents sold to consumers between 1950 and 1970.(3)

Since 1970, environmental concerns about water pollution have resulted in the elimination of phosphate-based detergents for home laundering. Today, all laundry detergents sold to consumers are nonphosphate-based. Additionally, energy-efficient washing machines and dryers currently sold for consumer use have operating characteristics and temperature settings which differ from those specified by AATCC Test Method 124-69.(3)

2. Revised Laundering Test Method

In 1996, AATCC revised AATCC Test Method 124, “Appearance of Fabrics After Repeated Home Laundering.”(2) The 1996 AATCC test method more closely resembles the equipment and practices currently used for household laundering of fabrics. The revised test method differs from AATCC Test Method 124-69 by specifying the use of a nonphosphate-based detergent. The 1996 test method also specifies use of a washing machine with different operating characteristics than those specified by AATCC Test Method 124-69, and rinse water temperatures which differ from those in the older test method.(3) Table 1, below, provides a summary comparison of the two test methods.

Table 1.—AATCC TEST METHOD 124

Wash/dry ConditionsVersion 1969Version 1996
Washing Machine;
CycleNormalNormal/Cotton Sturdy.
Wash Water Temp.60±3°C60 ± 3°C.
Rinse Water Temp.41±3°CLess Than 29°C.
Water LevelFull18 ±1 gal.
Agitator Speed70 ± 5 spm179±2spm.
Wash Time12 minutes12 minutes.
Spin Speed500-510 rpm630-660 rpm.
Final Spin Cycle4 minutes6 minutes.
Dryer:
CycleNormalCotton SturdyDurable Press
Exhaust Temp.140-160°F140-160°F140-160°F.
Cool Down Cycle5 minutes5 minutes10 minutes.
spm: strokes (or cycles) per minute: rpm = revolutions per minute

In 1996, AATCC also announced that when that organization's supply of Standard Detergent 124 is depleted, that detergent will no longer be available. AATCC is the only source for Standard Detergent 124. Additionally, washing machines now offered for sale do not have the settings and operating characteristics of the washing machine specified by AATCC Test Method 124-69.(3)

3. Review of Existing Standards

As explained in the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Commission staff reviewed and analyzed twelve other international and technical association standards or test methods to determine if any were appropriate for consideration in this proceeding. All of the identified standards for fabric laundering have significant deficiencies. They are either based on earlier versions of AATCC Test Method 124 (with obsolete detergent and equipment), require equipment not available in the U.S., use only water in the laundering procedure, or specify significantly lower wash and rinse water temperatures than those still available for consumers.

4. Comparability of Test Results

In order to compare the results of laundering using AATCC Test Method 124-69 with those of the new AATCC Test Method 124-96 the Commission performed some tests of fabrics using each method. The laundering tests indicated that changes in washing machine and dryer operating conditions between the old and new versions of AATCC Test Method 124 did not make a difference in the flammability performance of the fabrics tested. However, the cotton sleepwear that was treated with the phosphorous-based Pyrovatex CP-new did not perform well in flammability testing after laundering with the new AATCC detergent or after laundering with common powder detergents. Liquid detergents did not seem to adversely affect flammability performance. Fabrics treated with the antimony-based FR showed some random failures that, according to laboratory chemical analyses, apparently were unrelated to the detergent and laundering conditions. The new AATCC detergent did not affect the flammability of the untreated polyester fabrics. However, one polyester fabric did show reduced flame resistance when a liquid fabric softener was used. Labels on both liquid and sheet fabric softener packages state that they should not be used on garments labeled as flame resistant.

After CPSC informed the manufacturer of Pyrovatex of the results the manufacturer conducted additional studies and determined that such factors as the fabric, the application process, storage conditions, and consumer care practices can affect the flame resistance of the light weight fabrics used for children's sleepwear. Because the manufacturer has little control over these factors, the company decided, with one exception, to withdraw Pyrovatex from sale to the sleepwear industry.

With the withdrawal of Pyrovatex for treating children's sleepwear, the change in detergent and laundering equipment from AATCC 124-69 to AATCC 124-96 will not have any effect on the flammability performance of children's sleepwear on the market.

5. Proposed Amendment of Standards

On March 17, 1999, the Commission proposed to revise the laundering procedures specified in 16 CFR 1632.5(b) to those of AATCC Test Method 124-1996. 64 FR 13132. As explained in the preamble to the proposed rule, the Commission determined that an advance notice of proposed rulemaking was not necessary to begin this proceeding. Id. at 13128. The amendments preserve the original intent and effect of the existing test method, modifying that method only as necessary to reflect the existence of modern equipment and detergent. Start Printed Page 12926Moreover, the existing regulations permit the Commission to employ a laundering test method different from AATCC Test Method 124 if it concludes that the test method is substantively as protective.

The Commission received comments on the proposed rule from the Soap and Detergent Association (“SDA”), American Textile Manufacturers Institute (“ATMI”), and the National Cotton Council (“NCC”). ATMI and NCC both expressed their support for the proposed revision. SDA's comments are discussed below.

Wash and Rinse Water Temperatures

SDA suggested that the Commission consider a laundering protocol different than AATCC Test Method 124. SDA's suggested protocol calls for cooler wash and rinse temperatures, stating that they are more representative of today's laundering conditions.

The Commission declines to make this change. Many water heaters in use today are set at 60C/140F. Thus, consumers have hotter wash water available to them than the 32C/90F that SDA recommends. It is appropriate that the laundering requirements reflect not necessarily the average conditions, but the most rigorous that a consumer is likely to use. By specifying a hot water wash and a cold water rinse, the revised CPSC standard represents the most rigorous real, although not necessarily average, wash conditions.

Water Hardness

SDA also suggested that the revised standard should specify water hardness criteria. While water hardness is one factor that may affect the flammability performance of some fabrics, the Commission has no evidence that water hardness is a significant problem for flame retardant treated products currently marketed. At this time, the Commission is only correcting the outdated detergent and laundering conditions in the current FFA standards. It is not within the scope of this proceeding to consider additional criteria.

Ballast Load Weight

The SDA suggested changing the ballast load weight to 2.7±0.1 kg (6±0.2 lb). CPSC's current standard specifies 3.64 kg (8 lb) while the AATCC Test Method 124 only requires 1.8kg (4 lb). SDA may not have realized that CPSC is retaining the larger load requirement. As explained above, the Commission is only correcting the outdated aspects of the laundering standard. It is not altering other criteria.

Omit Reference to a Specific Date

Finally, SDA suggested that the Commission not refer to the specific year of the AATCC standard but simply refer to the most current method. This would alleviate the need to revise the standard every time the AATCC standard is revised.

The Commission cannot accept this suggestion. For any change by AATCC to have the force and effect of a Commission rule, the Commission must formally adopt it through notice and comment rulemaking.

6. Final Rule

The amendments require specimens to be tested as produced (or after one washing and drying) and after washing and drying 50 times using the procedure specified in AATCC Test Method 124-1996. The amendments incorporate that test method into the sleepwear standard by reference.

The amendments also include minor changes to the enforcement regulations at 16 CFR 1615.32 and 1616.32 prescribing the procedure for seeking approval from the Commission for use of alternate laundering procedures. The amendments of those sections:

(i) Update the laundering procedure prescribed by the sleepwear standards to AATCC Test Method 124-1996; and

(ii) Substitute the words “Assistant Executive Director for Compliance” for “Associate Executive Director for Compliance and Enforcement” to reflect the current title for that position.

The amendments of the enforcement rules implementing the standard for sizes 7 through 14 also include a revision of § 1616.32(g), Commission testing for compliance. The amendment corrects an erroneous citation in the regulations to the laundering provisions of the standard. The correct citation in the amendment is to § 1616.5(c)(4)(ii) of the standard rather than § 1616.5(c)(4)(iii) in the existing text. No similar error exists in the enforcement rules implementing the standard for sizes 0 through 6X.

7. Effective Date

The Commission proposed that the amendments become effective 30 days after publication of a final rule. 64 FR 13128. As discussed in the preamble to the proposed rule, the standard detergent specified by the existing laundering method in the standard is no longer available. Thus the Commission believes that an effective date 30 days after publication of final amendments will be in the public interest. The Commission is not withdrawing or limiting the exemption for products in inventory or with the trade as provided by section 4(b) of the FFA.

The Commission received no comments on the proposed effective date. The Commission continues to believe that an effective date of thirty days allows adequate notice to all interested persons of the change in laundering procedure, and at the same time assures that the Commission will be able to test for compliance with the standards without interruption. Those manufacturers who perform prototype testing in accordance with the laundering procedure specified in the standard will also benefit from a relatively short effective date.

C. Other Issues

1. Impact on Small Businesses

In accordance with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Commission certified that the proposed amendments to the children's sleepwear standards and enforcement rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, including small businesses. 64 FR 13129. Because the amendment codifies existing industry testing practices (and reflects current consumer practices), it is not expected to have an effect on small entities.

2. Environmental Considerations

The amendments fall within the categories of Commission actions described at 16 CFR 1021.5(c) that have little or no potential for affecting the human environment. As discussed in the proposed rule, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

3. Executive Orders

Executive Order 12988 (February 5, 1996), requires agencies to state in clear language the preemptive effect, if any, to be given to a new regulation. The amendments modify two flammability standards issued under the FFA. With certain exceptions which are not applicable in this instance, no state or political subdivision of a state may enact or continue in effect “a flammability standard or other regulation” applicable to the same fabric or product covered by an FFA standard if the state or local flammability standard or other regulations is “designed to protect against the same risk of the occurrence fire” unless the state or local flammability standard or regulation “is identical” to the FFA standard. See section 16 of the FFA (15 U.S.C. 1203). Consequently, the Start Printed Page 12927amendments will preempt nonidentical state or local flammability standards or regulations that are intended to address the unreasonable risk of fire associated with ignition of children's sleepwear in sizes 0 through 14.

The Commission has also evaluated this rule in light of the principles stated in Executive Order 13132 concerning federalism, even though that Order does not apply to independent regulatory agencies such as CPSC. The Commission does not expect that the rule will have any substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government.

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List of Subjects in 16 CFR Parts 1615 and 1616

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Conclusion

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Therefore, pursuant to the authority of section 30(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (

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PART 1615—STANDARD FOR THE FLAMMABILITY OF CHILDREN'S SLEEPWEAR: SIZES 0 THROUGH 6X

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority for subpart A of part 1615 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 4, 67 Stat. 112, as amended, 81 Stat. 569-570; 15 U.S.C. 1193.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Section 1615.4 is amended by revising paragraphs (g)(4)(i) and (g)(4)(ii) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Test procedure.

(g) Testing * * *

(4) Laundering. (i) The procedures described in sections 1615.4(b) through (g) shall be carried out on finished items (as produced or after one washing and drying) and after they have been washed and dried 50 times in accordance with sections 8.2.2, 8.2.3, and 8.3.1(A) of AATCC Test Method 124-1996 “Appearance of Fabrics after Repeated Home Laundering,” Technical Manual of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, vol. 73, 1997, which is incorporated by reference. Copies of this document are available from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, P.O. Box 12215, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709. This document is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Items which do not withstand 50 launderings shall be tested at the end of their useful service life.

(ii) Washing shall be performed in accordance with sections 8.2.2 and 8.2.3 of AATCC Test Method 124-1996, using wash temperature V (60°±3°C, 140°±5°F) specified in Table II of that method, and the water level, agitator speed, washing time, spin speed and final spin cycle specified for “Normal/Cotton Sturdy” in Table III. A maximum washer load shall be 3.64 Kg (8 pounds) and may consist of any combination of test samples and dummy pieces. Drying shall be performed in accordance with section 8.3.1(A) of that test method, Tumble Dry, using the exhaust temperature (66°±5°C, 150°±10°F) and cool down time of 10 minutes specified in the “Durable Press” conditions of Table IV. Alternatively, a different number of times under another washing and drying procedure may be specified and used, if that procedure has previously been found to be equivalent by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Such laundering is not required of items which are not intended to be laundered, as determined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

3. The authority for subpart B of part 1615 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 5, 67 Stat. 112-113, as amended, 81 Stat. 570; 15 U.S.C. 1194.

End Authority

4. Section 1615.32 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), introductory text and (b)(2), the first 3 sentences of (c)(1), (c)(2), the first sentence of (d)(3), the first sentence of (e)(1), the first sentence of (e)(2), and (f) to read as follows:

Method for establishment and use of alternate laundering procedures under section 4(g)(4)(ii) of the standard.

(a) Scope. (1) Section 1615.4(g)(4)(ii) of the Standard for the Flammability of Children's Sleepwear in sizes 0-6X (16 CFR 1615.4(g)(4)(ii)) requires that all fabrics and certain garments subject to the standard be tested for flammability as produced (or after one washing and drying) and after the items have been washed and dried 50 times in machines, using the procedure specified in AATCC Test Method 124-1986.[6] This section also provides that items may be laundered a different number of times under another washing and drying procedure if the Commission finds that such an alternate laundering procedure is equivalent to the procedure specified in the standard.

* * * * *

(b) Application procedure. (1) Applicants seeking approval for use of an alternate laundering procedure under § 1615.4(g)(4)(ii) of the standard must submit the following information in writing to the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207:

* * * * *

(2) Applications shall be certified by the chief executive officer of the applicant or the official to whom the duty to certify has been delegated in writing. The Commission's Assistant Executive Director for Compliance must be notified in writing of any such delegation.

(c) Use of alternate laundering procedure. (1) The applicant may begin to use the alternate laundering procedure 30 days after the application is received by the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance unless notified to the contrary. The Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will normally furnish an applicant with written notice of approval within 30 days. The applicant may be notified that a longer time is needed for evaluation of the application, and in the discretion of the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance, may be authorized to use the alternate laundering procedure pending the final decision. * * *

(2) As provided in detail in § 1615.32(e), applicants must immediately discontinue use of an alternate procedure, and must immediately notify the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance if there are test failures during revalidation testing.

(d) Revalidation testing. * * *

(3) Records of revalidation testing need not be submitted to the Assistant Start Printed Page 12928Executive Director for Compliance. * * *

(e) Revalidation testing failures. (1) If revalidation testing for any fabric or garment does not meet the criteria of § 1615.32(f), the applicant must immediately discontinue use of the alternate laundering procedure for the fabric or garment and must immediately notify the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance in writing of the failure to meet the criteria. * * *

(2) When use of an alternate laundering procedure for a particular fabric or garment has been discontinued because of a failure to meet the criteria of § 1615.32(f), the alternate laundering procedure shall not be used again unless a new application for approval is submitted to the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance and that officer approves the application in writing. * * *

(f) Commission criteria for evaluating applications. (1) The Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will approve the alternate laundering procedure as equivalent to the laundering procedure specified in § 1615.4(g)(4)(ii) of the standard if testing from 20 specimens laundered by the proposed alternate procedure yields as many or more char lengths in excess of five inches as does testing from the twenty specimens laundered by the 50-laundering cycle method prescribed in the standard.

(2) If the alternate laundering procedure yields fewer char lengths in excess of five inches than does the 50-wash and dry cycle, then the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will not consider the alternate procedure to be equivalent, with the following exception: If the number of five-inch chars from the alternate procedure is within one of the number of five-inch chars obtained from the 50-cycle procedure, the applicant may repeat the original test with new specimens and if the combined results of both tests show the count of chars exceeding five inches from the alternate is equal to, or greater than, the count from the 50-wash cycle procedure, the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will approve the alternate laundering procedure.

* * * * *
Start Part

PART 1616—STANDARD FOR THE FLAMMABILITY OF CHILDREN'S SLEEPWEAR: SIZES 7 THROUGH 14

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority for subpart A of part 1616 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 4, 67 Stat. 112, as amended, 81 Stat. 569-570; 15 U.S.C. 1193.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Section 1616.5 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(4)(i) and (c)(4)(ii) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Test procedure.

(c) Testing * * *

(4) Laundering. (i) The procedures described under §§ 1616.4 Sampling and acceptance procedures, 1616.5(b) Conditioning and mounting of specimens, and 1616.5(c) Testing shall be carried out on finished items (as produced or after one washing and drying) and after they have been washed and dried 50 times in accordance with sections 8.2.2, 8.2.3, and 8.3.1(A) of AATCC Test Method 124-1996 “Appearance of Fabrics after Repeated Home Laundering,” Technical Manual of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, vol. 73, 1997, which is incorporated by reference. Copies of this document are available from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, P.O. Box 12215, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709. This document is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Items which do not withstand 50 launderings shall be tested at the end of their useful service life with prior approval of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(ii) Washing shall be performed in accordance with sections 8.2.2 and 8.2.3 of AATCC Test Method 124-1996, using wash temperature V (60°±3°C, 140°±5°F) specified in Table II of that method, and the water level, agitator speed, washing time, spin speed and final spin cycle specified for “Normal/Cotton Sturdy” in Table III. A maximum washer load shall be 3.64 Kg (8 pounds) and may consist of any combination of test samples and dummy pieces. Drying shall be performed in accordance with section 8.3.1(A) of that test method, Tumble Dry, using the exhaust temperature (66°±5°C, 150°±10°F) and cool down time of 10 minutes specified in the “Durable Press” conditions of Table IV. Alternatively, a different number of times under another washing and drying procedure may be specified and used, if that procedure has previously been found to be equivalent by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Such laundering is not required of items which are not intended to be laundered, as determined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

3. The authority for subpart B of part 1616 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 5, 67 Stat. 112-113, as amended, 81 Stat. 570; 15 U.S.C. 1194.

End Authority

4. Section 1616.32 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), introductory text and (b)(2), the first 3 sentences of (c)(1), (c)(2), the first sentence of (d)(3), the first sentence of (e)(1), the first sentence of (e)(2), (f), and (g)(1) to read as follows:

Method for establishment and use of alternate laundering procedures under section 5(c)(4)(ii) of the standard.

(a) Scope. (1) Section 1616.5(c)(4)(ii) of the Standard for the Flammability of Children's Sleepwear in sizes 7-14 (16 CFR 1616.5(c)(4)(ii)) requires that all fabrics and certain garments subject to the standard be tested for flammability as produced (or after one washing and drying) and after the items have been washed and dried 50 times in machines, using the procedure specified in AATCC Test Method 124-1996.[7] This section also provides that items may be laundered a different number of times under another washing and drying procedure if the Commission finds that such an alternate laundering procedure is equivalent to the procedure specified in the standard.

* * * * *

(b) Application procedure. (1) Applicants seeking approval for use of an alternate laundering procedure under § 1616.5(c)(4)(ii) of the standard must submit the following information in writing to the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207:

* * * * *

(2) Applications shall be certified by the chief executive officer of the applicant or the official to whom the duty to certify has been delegated in writing. The Commission's Assistant Executive Director for Compliance must be notified in writing of any such delegation.

(c) Use of alternate laundering procedure. (1) The applicant may begin to use the alternate laundering procedure 30 days after the application is received by the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance unless notified Start Printed Page 12929to the contrary. The Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will normally furnish an applicant with written notice of approval within 30 days. The applicant may be notified that a longer time is needed for evaluation of the application, and in the discretion of the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance, may be authorized to use the alternate laundering procedure pending the final decision. * * *

(2) As provided in detail in § 1616.32(e), applicants must immediately discontinue use of an alternate procedure, and must immediately notify the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance if there are test failures during revalidation testing.

(d) Revalidation testing. * * *

(3) Records of revalidation testing need not be submitted to the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance. * * *

(e) Revalidation testing failures. (1) If revalidation testing for any fabric or garment does not meet the criteria of § 1616.32(f), the applicant must immediately discontinue use of the alternate laundering procedure for the fabric or garment and must immediately notify the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance in writing of the failure to meet the criteria. * * *

(2) When use of an alternate laundering procedure for a particular fabric or garment has been discontinued because of a failure to meet the criteria of § 1616.32(f), the alternate laundering procedure shall not be used again unless a new application for approval is submitted to the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance and that officer approves the application in writing. * * *

(f) Commission criteria for evaluating applications. (1) The Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will approve the alternate laundering procedure as equivalent to the laundering procedure specified in § 1616.5(c)(4)(ii) of the standard if testing from 20 specimens laundered by the proposed alternate procedure yields as many or more char lengths in excess of five inches as does testing from the twenty specimens laundered by the 50-laundering cycle method prescribed in the standard.

(2) If the alternate laundering procedure yields fewer char lengths in excess of five inches than does the 50-wash and dry cycle, then the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will not consider the alternate procedure to be equivalent, with the following exception: If the number of five-inch chars from the alternate procedure is within one of the number of five-inch chars obtained from the 50-cycle procedure, the applicant may repeat the original test with new specimens and if the combined results of both tests show the count of chars exceeding five inches from the alternate is equal to, or greater than, the count from the 50-wash cycle procedure, the Assistant Executive Director for Compliance will approve the alternate laundering procedure.

(g) Commission testing for compliance. (1) For the purpose of determining compliance with the standard, the Commission will rely on testing employing the laundering procedure now prescribed by § 1616.5(c)(4)(ii) of the standard. (15 U.S.C. 1193, 1194; 15 U.S.C. 2079(b))

* * * * *
Start Signature

Dated: March 2, 2000.

Sadye E. Dunn,

Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.

End Signature

List of Relevant Documents

1. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, “Appearance of Durable Press Fabrics After Repeated Home Launderings,” AATCC Test Method 124-1969. AATCC Technical Manual, Vol. 46, 1970.

2. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, “Appearance of Fabrics After Repeated Home Laundering,” AATCC Test Method 124-1996. AATCC Technical Manual, Vol. 73, 1997.

3. Briefing memorandum from Margaret Neily, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, to the Commission, “Proposed Amendments to Flammable Fabrics Act Standards to Replace Obsolete Standard Detergent and Update Laundering Procedures Required for Tests,” November 18, 1998.

4. Memorandum from Gail Stafford, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Amending the Laundering Provisions of the CPSC Flammability Regulations,” August 18, 1998.

5. Memorandum from Gail Stafford, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Textile Laundering Standards,” August 18, 1998.

6. Memorandum from Gail Stafford and Shing-Bong Chen, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Detergent Comparison Tests,” August 19, 1998.

7. Log of Meeting on January 21, 1998 concerning Flammability Test of Pyrovatex-treated Flame Resistant Fabrics.

8. Memorandum from Terrance R. Karels, Directorate for Economic Analysis, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Amendments to FFA Standards,” August 10, 1998.

9. Memorandum from Margaret Neily, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, to the Commission, “Briefing Package Supplement: Laundering/Detergent Update for Flammable Fabrics Act Standards—The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) Laundering Procedures,” January 11, 1999.

10. Memorandum from Gail Stafford, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Soap and Detergent Association Proposed Laundering Procedure,” December 23, 1998.

11. Letter from Jenan Al-Atrash, Director, Human Health & Safety, The Soap and Detergent Association, to Margaret Neily, Technical Program Coordinator, Office of the Executive Director, including SDA Recommended Wash Conditions for CFR 1615.4, September 15, 1998.

12. Letter from Jenan Al-Atrash, Director, Human Health & Safety, The Soap and Detergent Association, to Margaret Neily, Technical Program Coordinator, Office of the Executive Director, follow-up comments to September 15, 1998, letter, November 12, 1998.

13. Memorandum from Margaret L. Neily, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, to the Commission, “Laundering/Detergent Updates—FR notice supplements,” February 19, 1999.

14. Briefing Memorandum, from Ron Medford, AED, Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction and Margaret L. Neily, Project Manager, ESME, to the Commission, “Final Rule Updating Standard Detergent and Laundering Procedures for Flammable Fabrics Act Standards,” January 6, 2000.

15. Memorandum from Martha A. Kosh, OS, “Comments on Children's Sleepwear Laundering Procedures, Mattress Pads Laundering Procedures, Carpet and Rugs Laundering Procedures,” June 1, 1999.

16. Memorandum from Gail Stafford, Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, to Margaret Neily, Project Manager, “Response to Comments Received as a Result of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the Laundering/Detergent Update for the Flammable Fabrics Act Standards,” October 25, 1999.

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Numbers in parentheses identify reference documents in the List of Relevant Documents at the end of this notice. Requests for inspection of any of these documents should be made at the Office of the Secretary, 4330 East-West Highway, room 502, or by calling that office at (301) 504-0800.

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6.  AATCC Test Method 124-1996 “Appearance of Fabrics after Repeated Home Laundering,” Technical Manual of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, vol. 73, 1997, which is incorporated by reference. Copies of this document are available from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, P.O. Box 12215, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709. This document is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

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7.  AATCC Test Method 124-1996 “Appearance of Fabrics after Repeated Home Laundering,” Technical Manual of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, Vol. 73, 1997, which is incorporated by reference. Copies of this document are available from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, P.O. Box 12215, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709. This document is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

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[FR Doc. 00-5531 Filed 3-9-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6355-01-P