Stopping Unneeded Exposure to Toxic Flame Retardants

U.S. government research has shown that flame retardants are not the most effective means of preventing fires in residential furniture. The state of Washington also concluded that safer alternatives are available to prevent furniture fires. Despite these findings, flame retardants used in polyurethane foam in furniture and children’s products represent a major source of exposure to toxic flame retardants in our homes.

To best ensure fire safety while reducing toxic exposures, the state of California updated its standard for residential furniture and children’s products in 2013 to one that can be met without the use of toxic flame retardants. This rule change may result in reduced use of these compounds, but does not ban their use.

tana-senn“When I saw the results from my indoor air study I was shocked – these toxic chemicals were present in my house. For the safety of our families and our first responders, we must take action. That’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the Toxic-Free Kids & Families Act.”

– Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), study participant

The Solution

To stop the use of toxic flame retardants in residential furniture and children’s products, Washington Toxics Coalition and its partners in the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition support legislation to do the following:

  • Ban the use of known toxic flame retardants in residential furniture and children’s product;
  • Provide rulemaking authority to the Washington State Department of Ecology to identify other harmful flame retardants to restrict in those product categories; and
  • Require manufacturers to report what flame retardants they are using.

The Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act

laughing-childThe Washington Toxics Coalition is working with thousands of parents, health advocates, scientists, firefighters, and others to get these toxic flame retardants out of our lives once and for all. That’s why we’re supporting the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act (HB 1174) in the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session. 

Read more about our campaign and how you can help.

NEXT: Study Methods