Le Lézard
Classified in: Environment, Health
Subjects: WOM, POL, ENP

Dramatic Shift in Federal Policy: Pregnant Women & Children Warned Against Products with Toxic Flame Retardants

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a landmark guidance in the Federal Register recommending that consumers, especially those who are pregnant or with young children, obtain assurances from retailers that children's products, furniture, mattresses, and electronics casings do not contain organohalogen flame retardants. The guidance further recommends that manufacturers of such products eliminate the use of these chemicals.

Today's Federal Register guidance follows the CPSC's precedent-setting September 20 decision (https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/FOIA/ReportList?field_nfr_date_value%5Bvalue%5D%5Bmonth%5D=&field_nfr_date_value%5Bvalue%5D%5Byear%5D=&field_nfr_type_value=records&title=) to grant a petition to ban products in these four categories that contain any member of the class of additive, organohalogen flame retardant chemicals. This is a dramatic shift from dealing with one chemical at a time, a practice which has resulted in a history of "regrettable substitutions." You can learn more about the class concept here (http://www.SixClasses.org/videos).

"As a policy maker, and more importantly, as a parent, I am horrified and outraged at how chemicals are addressed in this country," Commissioner Elliot Kaye wrote (https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Commissioner_Kaye_Statement_on_Organohaloen_Fire_Retardants_Petition_9.20.17.pdf?caGuQ1LWIZyZBwqIgZwED0EpFIDVtCjQ) about the decision. "Waiting to assess the safety of chemicals after they are already in consumers' homes and our children's bloodstreams is totally irrational public policy."

Toxic flame retardants are found in the bodies of 97% of Americans. They are associated with cancer, infertility, obesity, reduced IQ and neurological impairments in children, and hormone disruption. Toddlers have 3 to 10 times the flame retardant levels of adults, which can affect their developing brains and reproductive organs.

"The CPSC recommendation in the Federal Register should send a signal to manufacturers to limit use of all flame retardants in products where they do not provide a fire safety benefit," said Dr. Arlene Blum, Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute. "Data suggests that alternative flame retardants may pose similar health problems."

On March 31, 2015, a coalition including pediatricians, firefighters, consumer groups, and scientists represented by Earthjustice and the Consumer Federation of America, filed the petition (http://GreenSciencePolicy.org/BanToxicProducts/) to protect Americans from adverse effects of halogenated flame retardants. Petitioners include: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Women's Association, Consumers Union, Green Science Policy Institute, International Association of Fire Fighters, Kids in Danger, Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, League of United Latin American Citizens, Learning Disabilities Association of America, National Hispanic Medical Association, and Worksafe.


SOURCE Green Science Policy Institute

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