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Clothing: Fire Prevention

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to review the legislation governing the safety of children’s nightwear. (132117)

The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985, which govern the fire safety of children’s nightwear, are already the most stringent in Europe—most member states have no legislation in this area. There are no current plans, therefore, to review these regulations. In addition, manufacturers of clothing, including pyjamas, that do not meet the flammability standard of the regulations have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the cost of improving the safety of nightwear; and what assessment he has made of the affordability of such improvements. (132118)

My Department commissioned research into nightwear safety in 1994, which included looking at the costs of extending the scope of the Nightwear (Safety) Regulations to include cotton nightwear garments, e.g. pyjamas. It was found that, as well as the cost of testing a finished product adding up to £3 per garment, making it from chemically flame retardant cotton would add another £3-£4 per garment. The research did not assess affordability but any such assessment must also take into account that flame retardant chemicals can affect the feel and comfortability of cotton fabric, and could pose problems for allergy sufferers.