Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced his proposal for legislation to ban 10 chemical flame retardants from use in upholstered furniture and children’s products. Senator Schumer indicated that the chemicals sought to be banned have been linked to developmental delays in children and rare cancers in firefighters who respond to fires that encompass furniture treated by such chemicals. Senator Schumer also stated that studies have shown that the 10 retardants, which are added to the padding of furniture and children’s products like crib mattresses and changing table pads, are not effective in reducing fire risks. Children are at particular risk from the chemicals due to their closer contact with products containing such chemicals and their exposure to toxins found in dust particles emitted by those products.
If passed, the legislation would require the CPSC to ban the 10 chemicals, as well as review the safety of all other chemical flame retardants. The CPSC has not released a statement regarding the proposed legislation or any action the CPSC may take related to such chemical fire retardants should the legislation fail.
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