The Specialty Sleep Association Introduces Its Environmental and Safety Program

The Specialty Sleep Association Introduces Its Environmental and Safety Program

Specialty Sleep Association —, January, 2011

SSA Environmental & Safety Program is an outgrowth of the initial SSA “Green Initiative”. It has three levels of compliance and will promote consumer education on environmental attributes of mattresses and awareness of compliance with federal flame resistance and children’s safety issues.

The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) “THE FUTURE OF SLEEP™ is dedicated to providing consumers with pertinent information to help them make the best mattress and bedding decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

The SSA Environmental & Safety Program for consumer education, retailer training and truth in “green” marketing is the SSA’s most recent consumer outreach.

In its January 2010 Environmental Claims Report, the SSA’s consumer research study found that 41% of consumers worry about the safety of mattresses in their homes and 15% of consumers want “emissions-free” mattresses. These two issues were consumers’ top two concerns.

79% of consumers surveyed stated they would choose a mattress with an environmentally friendly claim that they could understand and trust to be complete and truthful. In response to this study and several other worldwide indicators, the SSA is developing this Environmental & Safety Program to address environmental truth in marketing. On this website consumers can see the industry’s top manufacturers and follow links right into the manufacturer website, for up-to-date information on a diverse spectrum of sleep products and the newest innovations in sleep technology.

SSA Environmental & Safety Program. Introduction.
The SSA Environmental & Safety Program provides a three-step seal and consumer disclosure label (CDL) program that will help consumers to understand the environmental and safety attributes of participating manufacturers’ products. The seals and labels appear on mattresses from manufacturers who join the program and serve to inform the consumer about the minimum environmental and safety compliance levels the particular product adheres to, along with a CDL that lists material content by percentage for components in the mattress.

To display the Level I seal, a manufacturer must:
– Disclose materials used in construction and percentages of natural/biobased and/or recycled content if applicable
– Achieve a minimum of 20% of natural/biobased or pre-consumer recycled content in component categories of fabric and quilt
– Participate in an annual survey to identify carbon footprint issues and commit to continuous improvement
– Meet all federal safety flammability requirements
– Meet all safety requirements for children’s products if applicable
– Provide a warranty for the product

For the Level II seal, a manufacturer must meet all the requirements of the first threshold and in addition, the products must:
– Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 20% of natural/biobased and/or recycled content material in each component category: fabric, quilt, and core
– Certify that the top fabric (closest to consumer during sleep) contains no harmful substances through either Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard
– Polyurethane foam products much achieve CertiPUR®-US certification
– Latex foam products must achieve Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certification.

The Level III seal is the highest that can be achieved. To meet the Level III requirements, a manufacturer must comply with the previous two levels’ requirements and:
– Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 70% of natural/biobased material in component categories of fabric and quilt
– Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 50% natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled and/or recycled steel for core
– Certify that the final mattress contains no harmful substances as certified by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard
– Test the mattress for VOCs emissions

The Specialty Sleep Association Environmental & Safety Program Board of Governors includes:
– CHAIRMAN: Ralph Rossdeutscher, President and CEO
– Denny Boyd, President, Boyd Specialty Sleep
– Barry Cik, President, Naturepedic
– Roger Coffey, President, Latexco West/Sleep Comp West
– Bart DeHaerne, President, Deslee Textiles, USA & Chair, Specialty Sleep Association
– Jack Eppolito, Manager, Reverie
– Scott Frisch, Sales/Merchandising Manager of Specialty Fabrics Division, Springs Creative
– Anne Kozel, Specialty Sleep Brand Director, Simmons
– Mark Larusso, Vice President, Jeffco Fibres
– Kenny Oliver, President, Jones Fiber Company
– Michael Nermon, President, Ergo Customized Comfort
– Mark Quinn, Director of Marketing for the Residential Furnishings Segment, Leggett & Platt
– Dale Read, Ex-official member, President, Specialty Sleep Association
– Michael Rothboard, President and CEO, Sleep Studio
– Kevin Stein, Vice President Marketing/R&D, Latex International
– Umberto Torresan, North American Marketing Manager for Furniture and Bedding, Dow Polyurethanes

SSA is also pleased to recognize the following individuals and organizations that supported the development of the Environmental & Safety Program through information sharing, reviews/critiques, and by providing additional resources. Special thanks for the strong support from Dow in support of consumer education.

Randy Carter, Steelcase; Greg Crawford, Steel Recycling Institute; Michael Deese, Howe & Hutton, Ltd.; Susan Ebaugh, Lilly Management Group; David Farley & Jeff Scorziell, Anatomic Global; Al Hodgson & Raja Tannous, Berkeley Analytical; Josh Jacobs, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute; Bob Luedeka, Polyurethane Foam Association; Joanne Mattiase, Law Office of Joanne E. Mattiase; Susan Inglis, Sustainable Furnishings Council; Kate Lewis & Ron Buckhalt, USDA’s BioPreferred Program; Sam Moore & Dana Dunn, Hohenstein Institutes; Reinhard Oppl, Eurofins; Ryan Trainer, President, International Sleep Products Association; Dwayne Welch, Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co.; Don Wright, Wright Labels.

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