Thursday, March 14, 2013
We could have flame-retardant-free sofas in stores as soon as 2014 if a new proposed regulation goes through! Will you add your voice in support of fewer toxic chemicals in our homes?
Sofas, armchairs, children's nap mats, infant changing pads and many other foam-stuffed products contain toxic flame retardant chemicals as a result of an outdated and obscure California state rule called Technical Bulletin 117.
California isn't the only state affected. Most furniture throughout the United States adheres to California's laws because manufacturers don't want to make two versions of the same product.
Flame retardants have been linked to lowered IQ in children, reduced fertility and increased cancer risks; they show up in our homes, environment, workplaces and bodies.
Ironically, flame retardants added to furniture aren't preventing fires or fire deaths as promised. In fact, they can make fires more deadly by increasing smoke and toxic gases.
But there's great news. Under order from Gov. Brown, California just revised its flammability standard with a goal of reducing flame retardant use, and the draft is open for public comment through March 26. The proposed rule (TB117-2013) gives companies better ways to provide fire safety—without the use of harmful flame retardant chemicals.
I expect the flame retardant makers will do everything they can to fight this new rule. Let regulators know that the flame retardant industry doesn't represent the interests of American families.
Gretchen Lee Salter
Senior Policy Manager
Breast Cancer Fund
Remove Toxic Flame Retardants from Products for the Home
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