5 Reasons to care about flame retardants

We have an opportunity this year to fight against an invisible health threat that pervades our environment, our homes, and our bodies: flame retardant chemicals! For years, these toxins have been added to consumer items like upholstered furniture and children's products, based largely on misguided policy decisions from the 1970s. We now know that flame retardants are a threat to our health and do not provide a meaningful increase to fire safety. It is time for them to go!

Here are the 5 top reasons why flame retardants should be a thing of the past:

1) Flame retardants just don't stay put...

They migrate easily out of the products we use every day and into our homes and bodies, where they build up and persist for years!

2) Health impacts can be dangerous...

Far from saving lives, these toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues and a host of other significant health problems.

3) Our most vulnerable are most at risk...

Since flame-retardant chemicals bio accumulate (build up through the food chain), they are found in breast milk and easily enter the blood stream of infants during their most important phases of physical and mental development.

4) Firefighters are fighting more than just fires...

Firefighters are exposed to a toxic soup of flame retardants and other chemicals when they enter burning buildings. A study by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found higher rates of cancer in 30,000 U.S. firefighters than the general population.

5) We can have fire safety without flame retardants...

There are safe, non-toxic methods of making furniture that use less flammable materials and construction. In addition sprinkler systems and smoke alarms can make more of a difference than how furniture is made in preventing fire deaths. 

13 states across the country have already passed laws banning one or more flame retardants for use in kid’s products and/or residential furniture. NOW is the time for Massachusetts to join their ranks and pass common sense policies that will protect our families and firefighters from these unseen toxins!

Click here to learn more about flame retardants. To learn more about state priority bills read more here.

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