Only YOU (Not Flame Retardants) Can Prevent FiresBy Ali Geering-Kline
We’re exposed to toxic flame retardants not just in our furniture, baby products, electronics and other everyday items, but also in our food, air, and water. Flame retardants have a nasty habit of migrating out of the products into which they are placed and finding their way into our bodies primarily through the ingestion of dust and to a lesser extent food. And once they get into the air they are often picked up by air currents and transported all over the world, even in remote areas like the Arctic and they have even been found 1 mile under the ocean.
In a recent peer-reviewed study, scientists found that California’s furniture flammability standard Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117), the regulation which has led to the unnecessary use of millions of pounds of toxic and untested flame retardants in furniture and baby products, does not provide measurable fire safety benefits. The study reported that TB 117 does not significantly reduce the severity of the fire and does not serve to prevent ignition form small flame sources (which is its reported purpose). So while this antiquated flammability standard has led to the unnecessary use of flame retardant chemicals at high levels in baby products and furniture we are not even reaping any fire safety benefits. Instead this outdate regulation is causing widespread human and animal exposure and the potential to harm human health and the environment.
So why are flame retardants still added to furniture, and baby products that will expose infants and young children to unnecessary amounts of retardant chemicals? It is simple; the companies that make these chemicals are making billions of dollars of profit on their use. And these companies think nothing of spending millions of dollars to lobby against any efforts to alter California’s ineffective flammability standard or efforts to restrict the use of their toxic chemicals in products, including in baby products. Right now, CEH is leading a campaign to ask 6 influential baby product companies manufacturers of baby products to advocate for safe fire standards that protect the health of families without the use of untested and risky chemicals.
If you want safer products for infants and babies, take action by sending a letter to baby product manufacturer’s today!Tags: baby products, fire safety, furniture, TB117, toxic flame retardants
Ali manages the website and coordinates the online communications of CEH. She works with the communications and development staff to create messaging strategies and public education content for CEH’s supporters and online audience. A Bay Area native, Ali attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Studies. This allowed her to live abroad in Argentina, where she studied Latin American history and learned valuable Spanish language skills. Ali is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities so effectively.