The Report Card
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Joe Tatulli   Part 2


Two Other Notes Of Interest

The Letter

We recently received a letter to the editor signed by three prominent importers. It follows here.

RE: It Takes all Kinds-A Reality Check

We are three wholesalers of long standing in the futon industry, and each of us manufactures in Indonesia. In May, after the Indonesian protests became a fixture on the evening news, we began to hear from futon customers, concerned about our ability to get product from our suppliers. Such concern might have been considered merely prudent, except that some of it was prompted not by media reports of demonstrations but rather by phone calls to the futon store owners.
In each case the futon retailer was given the same message in the same language: he should be careful about buying from At Home or Harlee or Bedroom Distributors (whichever of us was his supplier), because "their Indonesian factory has burned down", as if each were dependent on one manufacturer. In fact, each of us buys from multiple sources.
To set the record straight, each of us experienced between five and ten days of delay due to strikes and plant closings during the period of disruption. No factory was destroyed, and all are currently producing every day.
We cannot speak for the rumor mill, but we three expect to supply our futon buyers adequately over the next few months. Our warehouses are stocked, factories are operating, containers are arriving each week, and we look forward to filling your increasing need for our futon furniture.

Sig Gordon, At Home Furnishings
Don Bumgardener, Bedroom Distributors
Steve Leichter, Harlee International

After hearing many rumors about the situation in Indonesia we received this letter to the Editor. Other importing companies may be in the same boat and may want to add their names to this list. To the best of our knowledge product from Indonesia is still moving into the US market.-Editor

The Report

For years we have all heard about the fire safety benefits of the boric acid powder used in the cotton batting most futon mattresses are made of. It works. When applied properly, boric treated cotton (with 10 to 14 percent boric acid by weight) passes FR 1647, the Federal Flammability Standard also called the cigarette smolder test. But until recently there has been no definitive study or testing designed to discover whether or not boric acid was toxic to humans.
During the first day of this year's Futon Expo I was handed a copy of a study, commissioned by Incide Technologies Inc., of Phoenix, AZ by Greg Windsperger of Airtex. The study, done by Intertox, Inc. of Seattle, WA, presents conclusive proof that boric acid, under the specific trade name Boron#10TM, which is sodium polyborate, is not toxic.
The report states, "Four of the six studies reviewed indicate no observed adverse health effects from exposure of the test animals to the Boron#10TM added to cotton batting." Richard Pleus, the author of the report also stated that in an oral toxicity study a benchmark toxicity measure, LD50, for the product Boron#10TM was successfully established. The LD50, defined as the dose of a compound that would be lethal for 50% of a group of test animals, was extrapolated to be 3,339 mg/kg, a number similar to the toxicity of table salt.


This report, A Review of General Acute Toxicity Studies of Boron#10 in Cotton-Based Batting Product, is available by sending a letter of request and a 9" x 12" SASE to:
Mr. Jim Blasius, Incide Technologies, Inc.,
50 N 41st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009.-Editor


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