Vermont state senators have voted unanimously in support of legislation (S. 81) that would ban the use of certain purportedly toxic flame-retardant chemicals, including the one commonly known as chlorinated Tris, in household and children’s products. The bill was read for the first time in the House on April 3, 2013, and referred to the Committee on Human Services.

According to the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), chlorinated Tris was banned from use in children’s pajamas in the 1970s after reports that it causes cancer, neurotoxicity and reproductive harm, but it is now evidently found often in other children’s products, such as car seats and high chairs. VPIRG maintains that the chemicals, which apparently “migrate out of these products and into air and dust in our homes and into our bodies,” are ineffective against slowing the spread of fire and “actually make fires more dangerous for firefighters by releasing toxic gases when ignited.”

The bill outlines a phased-in approach that would (i) as of July 1, 2013, prohibit manufacturers from making, selling or distributing children’s products or residential upholstered furniture that contains chlorinated Tris “in any product component in an amount greater than 1,000 parts per million, and (ii) as of July 1, 2014, prohibit retailers from selling children’s products or residential upholstered furniture containing chlorinated Tris in any product component in an amount greater than 1,000 parts per million. See PIRG News Release, March 29, 2013.