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CPSC Chairman Calls for Continued Cooperation with Bedding Industry

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Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Ann Brown, in her first address to the bedding industry, stressed the need for continued cooperation between the industry and the CPSC, which administers the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Speaking at the International Sleep Products Association's Leadership Forum on Oct. 31 in Palm Beach, Fla., Brown emphasized that the CPSC and the bedding industry have two goals in common: a commitment to safe products, and a desire to reduce fire-related injuries and deaths. Brown observed that positive results of CPSC/ industry cooperation can be seen in the decrease in deaths from cigarette-ignited fires; down 61 percent from 1980 to 1994. However, she added, no significant decrease in deaths due to open-flame ignition has been noted over the same period. "This is clearly a concern to CPSC and to your industry," she stated. ISPA President Tony Wolf, president of Wolf Corp., noted the mutual respect that exists between the CPSC and the bedding industry. "We are impressed with the chairman's approach and level of understanding of the issue, as well as the fact that she seems very appreciative of what the industry has done over the years." The CPSC currently is reviewing the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard, which was established over 20 years ago, to determine if the standard should be amended. The mattress industry, in partnership with the National Association of State Fire Marshalls, has conducted a study of open-flame ignition mattress fires, the results of which will be shared with the CPSC to assure that the open-flame hazard is properly identified and that the CPSC has most complete and accurate data possible. During her tenure as CPSC chairman, Brown consistently has emphasized voluntary cooperation with industry as the fastest and most effective means of addressing safety concerns. "CPSC is ready to work cooperatively with you to accomplish this goal," Brown said. "We can accomplish a record of safety-preventing countless burn injuries and deaths-working as a team." Established in 1915, ISPA is the international trade organization for mattress manufacturers and their suppliers around the world. ISPA hosts the biennial International Bedding Exposition (ISPA Expo '98 will be held in San Antonio March 11-14 and publishes BedTimes magazine.

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