asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, following the successful production of a safer polyurethane foam by his Department, if he will now inform all consumer protection groups of its existence in order to encourage purchasers of furniture and bedding to demand the use of such safer polyurethane foam in the products.
This would be premature. The position reached is that field trials of this are still proceeding. The economics of mass production have also yet to be proven. We are keeping the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection and foam manufacturers fully informed of progress.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment having regard to the success of his Department in developing a new safe polyurethane foam, what action he proposes to ensure that only this safe foam is used in furnishings and bedding.
If this foam can be proven in performance at an acceptable cost it will be specified for Government use. Development information will continue to be provided to the furniture industry and other Government Departments, so that, if appropriate the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection can introduce legislation under the Consumer Protection Act of 1961.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the cost of developing a new generation of polyurethane foam; and what will be the comparable cost of mass producing this foam in place of the existing polyurethane foam.
The extra cost to date is estimated at £30,000. It is too early to make reliable estimates about mass production costs.