Jan 10 2014

After Decades, California Rolls Back Regulation Treating Furniture with Toxic Chemicals

A new state regulation that took effect with little fan fare in the New Year may have a profound impact on long term public health. After many years of campaigning, furniture sold in California will no longer be required to be treated with flame retardant chemicals.

The chemicals injected into our sofas, children’s car seats, and even kids’ pajamas, are part of class of toxic compounds that do not effectively protect against fire, and worse, are linked to cancer, and reproductive and neurological disorders.

A controversial law in the 1970s required all furniture in California containing foam in to be treated with these chemicals. California was the only state requiring this, but because the state is so populous, most manufacturers applied those standards to furniture sold nationwide.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Because of the widespread use of flame retardant chemicals, Americans carry much higher levels of these chemicals in their bodies than anyone else in the world and California children contain some of the highest levels ever measured.”

GUEST: Judy Levin, Pollution Prevention Co-Director, Center for Environmental Health

Click here to read the groundbreaking and award-winning series of investigative reports by the Chicago Tribune on flame retards called “Playing with Fire”

Visit the Center for Environmental Health at www.ceh.org.

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