Washington Bans Toxic Flame Retardants — And They're Not The Only Ones!

April 07, 2016

Deena Prichep

Why are all of these people smiling? Because they know that Washington State just got a little safer.

Last Friday, Governor Jay Inslee signed a law banning five toxic flame retardants from children’s products and furniture — and that’s not all. It also adds 6 other flame retardant chemicals to Washington’s list of chemicals of concern, which means manufacturers have to let us know if those chemicals are in kids’ products, and also starts a process to recommend restrictions and safer alternatives.

These newly banned toxic chemicals are found everywhere — kids’ pajamas, car seats, and the foam inside the couches we sit on every day. And studies have shown that not only do they not protect us from fire, but they can increase our risk of cancer, and harm brain development in children. And across the country, people are standing up to kick these dangerous chemicals out of our homes (and our bodies).

With strong leadership from local firefighters, Washington, D.C., adopted a bill banning two toxic flame retardants — TCDPP and TCEP — from kids’ products and residential furniture. These firefighters, whose high rates of cancer speak all too well the first-hand dangers of these toxic chemicals.

And it’s not just the two Washingtons! Bills addressing these toxic flame retardants are moving through the legislatures in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Alaska, and a similar bill just had a hearing in Tennessee. And in Boston, the city council voted to update old codes, and say that certain buildings can now meet fire safety standards while using furniture free of toxic flame retardants.

The move to get these toxic chemicals out of our lives is growing across the country — as concerned men and women, firefighters and parents, legislators and everyday people stand up in state legislatures and city councils to make it happen! More and more chemicals are coming under review — and we can't help thinking that it makes sense for retailers, for manufacturers, and for our health to make sure chemicals are safe before they come to market. That's why we need strong TSCA reform. We’re looking forward to seeing more smiling faces like these in the future, and a safer landscape for us all.

signing pic