Ana | May 23, 2012
For decades, chemicals marketed as flame retardants have been added into our furniture and baby products. An obscure 1970s California regulation is ineffective at stopping fires, and encourages the use of toxic and untested chemicals that threaten our health.
The Chicago Tribune recently published a searing four-part series on flame retardants, illustrating the deceptive tactics industry uses to keep their toxic products on the market, and their close ties to the tobacco industry. The series describes a well-resourced campaign of dishonesty, manipulated scientific findings, and a phony watchdog group that misrepresented itself.
A unique coalition of health advocates, firefighters, scientists, businesses and manufacturers, environmentalists, and fire safety experts have come together in support of updating this regulation, to protect our health, environment, and encourage health products and business in California.
Serious health and environmental harm is associated with these chemicals. A landmark scientific consensus statement, signed by more than 200 scientists in over 30 countries, highlights their health and environmental harm. Flame retardants continuously migrate out of furniture into dust, and are ingested by humans, pets, and wildlife. Levels of these chemicals have increased 40-fold in human breast milk since the 1970s and California children have among the highest levels recorded. They are also increasing in our food supply, and contaminate soil, wastewater, rivers, the ocean, fish, and marine mammals and our food supply. These chemicals do not belong in our bodies.
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