Consumer safety groups want federal regulators to ban products made with the flame retardant chemicals known as organohalogens.
Groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Consumers Union are petitioning the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban consumer products containing the chemical in four categories — children’s products, furniture, mattresses and the casings around electronics.
Firefighters, concerned for their health, are hoping to find another fire safety solution that’s non-toxic.
“When toxic flame retardants burn — and they do burn — it creates a serious health risk for fire fighters,” Harold Schaitberger, the International Association of Fire’s general president, said in a statement. “There is significant scientific data that shows the association between firefighting, exposure to deadly toxins and cancer.”
Though there is no law pushing manufacturers to use this chemical flame retardant in products, consumer groups argue there is no law prohibiting the use of these toxic chemicals either.
Lawmakers have been working to reform the nation’s toxic chemical laws for decades, but the effort has repeatedly stalled with Republicans and Democrats failing to reach a consensus on how it should be done.
Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerAnother day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs Carly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report MORE (D-Calif.) with co-sponsor Sen. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallDems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Tech: FCC chief says media isn't 'the enemy of the people' | Fallout from Comey's testimony | Google apologizes for ads near extremist content | US preps electronics ban on some flights MORE (D-N.M.) with co-sponsor Sen. David VitterDavid VitterFormer GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel Lobbying World Mercury brings on former Sen. Vitter, two others MORE (R-La.) introduced competing bills last month, reigniting the chemical reform fight on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics are calling on the federal agency — the CPSC — to help protect one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations from what they say are some of the nation's most dangerous chemicals.
“Children’s natural behaviors –—playing on the floor, exploring different surfaces, putting things in their mouths — make them uniquely vulnerable to flame retardants and the harmful fumes and dust they emit,” Academy President Sandra Hassink said in a statement.
“These products must be made safer if we are to make children’s environments safer and secure the foundations of health for every child.”