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Albemarle Welcomes Recent Regulatory Efforts To Improve Fire Safety

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.

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