Gov. Jerry Brown made a bold move last month when he directed a state agency to update California's 40-year-old furniture flammability standards to improve fire safety and eliminate use of toxic and untested chemicals.
For decades, an ineffective California flammability standard, TB 117, has resulted in the foam inside our sofas, recliners and love seats being saturated with nearly 2 pounds of toxic flame retardants. Not surprisingly, this large volume of chemicals does not stay in the foam but slowly evaporates and attaches to dust particles that are ingested or inhaled by us, our children and pets. In fact, house dust in California homes and Californian children are the most polluted in the world with toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Exposure to toxic flame retardants has been linked to real and measurable health impacts. Women with higher levels of flame retardants in their blood take longer to get pregnant and have smaller babies. Children exposed in the womb have a lower IQ and attention problems. Other studies have linked flame retardants to male infertility, male birth defects and early puberty in girls. A recent study in animals has linked toxic flame retardants to autism.
We can't shop our way out of exposure to toxic chemicals. However, better regulation of chemicals can address and solve this concerning problem. What is important now is to keep the pressure on our public officials and state and federal agencies, to ensure the changes under way continue. Immediate and effective state and federal action to eliminate the use of toxic flame retardants goes hand-in-hand with ensuring Congress reforms chemical laws to protect our health.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/20/4643254/change-safety-standards-for-toxic.html#storylink=cpy
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