To start the new year, we have a victory to celebrate! On New Year's Day, Governor Baker signed the Children and Firefighters Protection Act into law.
At this point many people are aware of the dangers of the toxic flame-retardant chemicals that are applied to household products. Now, widespread concern is turning into real action. Motivated by consumer interest, many manufacturers and retailers have been phasing out these chemicals and using safer, fire resistant materials. Thirteen states have already restricted the use of one or more flame-retardant chemicals.
Yesterday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to pass H5082, which will phase out the use of organohalogens, a dangerous chemical used in flame retardants that is associated with cancer and respiratory ailments.
The Senate already unanimously passed this bill in the spring, but when the General Assembly adjourned suddenly in June, the House version was left in legislative limbo. Over the summer, we worked to make sure that a strong version of this bill would be on the agenda when the General Assembly reconvened in the fall to address its unfinished business.
For Valentine’s Day this year, I want a hot date. So back off winter storms, late nights at work, the flu, or anything else that might keep me from my mission.
Chemical industry, I’m talking to you too! Keep your Chlorinated Tris, PBDEs and Firemaster 550 away. I’m looking to fan the flames of love, and your fire-retardant chemicals have no part in my V-day plans.
On a hot and muggy morning in late June, a dynamic assembly of environmentalists, parents, firefighters, worker’s health advocates, and others piled into Hearing Room 222 of the Massachusetts State House. The issue that brought all these folks together: toxic flame retardants in kid’s products and household furniture.