Excerpt: "The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously on June 21 to ban 11 toxic flame retardants from children's products, bedding and residential upholstered furniture sold or manufactured in the Commonwealth. Public health advocates hailed the vote as an important legislative victory and called upon the House to pass the bill before the end of the Massachusetts Legislative session.
Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton) and 32 co-sponsors filed S.2555 An act to protect children and firefighters from harmful flame retardants. A similar bill, H.1245, has been filed in the House by Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge).
Creem commented, "This is an important victory for the health of children, firefighters and all residents of Massachusetts. We have long been aware of the dangers of toxic flame retardants and it's high time that we protect our most vulnerable populations."
Since 1975, manufacturers have added chemical flame retardants to a wide array of household items. Flame retardants are commonly found in products with polyurethane foam, such as sofas, car seats, strollers, and nap mats. They are also incorporated into electronic products and building insulation. Research has shown that flame retardants migrate out of products into household air and dust and are found in the blood of almost every American tested.
The flame retardants banned by Creem's bill have been linked to increased risk of cancer, fertility problems, neurological disorders, and other serious health concerns.
Kathryn Rodgers of Silent Spring Institute says, "As scientists, we have been sounding the alarm for many years about the public's widespread exposure to dangerous flame retardant chemicals in consumer products."'