Albemarle welcomes recent regulatory efforts to improve fire safety

Jul 17, 2012, 16:35 ET from Albemarle Corporation

BATON ROUGE, La., July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), today offered its encouragement to recent efforts announced by California Governor Brown, the California Bureau of Home Furnishings and the Senate Appropriations Committee to assess the need for improvements in fire safety standards for home furnishings.

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"California should be congratulated for their pioneering standard-setting efforts of 1975, which focused on ignition of furniture foam by an open flame," said Dr. David Clary, Albemarle Chief Sustainability Officer. "We are encouraged that fire safety standards are being revisited after 35 years because fire remains a very real problem in the United States.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States alone, fires currently cause one civilian death every 2 hours 49 minutes, an injury every 30 minutes, and one building fire every 65 seconds."

California's fire safety standards for home furnishings are embedded in Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117.) California's TB117 recognized open flames as an important source of home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, during the period 2005 to 2009, open flames caused more than one in five of the upholstered furniture fires and 12% of the associated deaths in the United States. A recent study funded by the U.S. government shows fire safety standards that address open flames as a source of fires provide increased escape time and the highest level of safety.

Regulatory efforts since 1975 demonstrate that California TB117 can be improved. For example, in 1988, recognizing advances in science and technology in the interim decade, Great Britain published a stricter standard which considers different sources of ignition and both the fabric and the foam cushioning of the furniture under real world conditions. Research conducted in Great Britain demonstrates that by 2007, the new British standard resulted in 37% fewer furniture fires each year and a 64% reduction in deaths from furniture fires. 

Albemarle Corporation supports efforts to strengthen fire safety standards and is committed to delivering fire safety solutions based on sound science.

About Albemarle Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services. The Company is committed to global sustainability and is advancing its eco-practices and solutions in its three business segments, Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. Corporate Responsibility Magazine selected Albemarle to its prestigious "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for 2010 and 2011.  Albemarle employs approximately 4,000 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries. Albemarle regularly posts information to, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, Regulation G reconciliations, SEC filings, and other information regarding the Company, its businesses and the markets we serve.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.


SOURCE Albemarle Corporation