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SOURCE Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety
Label gives consumers information to make healthier choices
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety: California became first in the nation this week to pass legislation requiring furniture labels to declare whether or not the product contains toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Senator Mark Leno authored the bill and California Professional Firefighters (CPF), Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are co-sponsors. The chemical industry launched a strong campaign to defeat the bill, but with bipartisan support, both sides of the aisle agree-more transparency in the marketplace is good for consumers and business.
The AmericanHome Furnishings Alliance, a trade group for furniture manufacturers, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA), Environmental Working Group (EWG), Consumer Federation of California (CFC)and Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety reflect the broad array of supporters. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
"Nobody knows better than firefighters about health effects of environmental toxins; every year, firefighters are diagnosed with job-related cancer linked to exposure to these chemicals," said Lou Paulson, with CPF. "SB 1019 ensures that every Californian knows whether toxic chemicals are being used in upholstered furniture, with the option to make a safer choice."
"As a scientist working to protect the public from hazardous chemicals in products, it's exciting that the legislature agrees that consumers should have the information they need to say 'no' to toxics in their homes," says Veena Singla, Ph.D., with NRDC. "Flame retardants migrate, collect in dust, and enter our bodies. They are associated with a variety of serious health risks, including cancer, hyperactivity and reduced IQ."
Judy Levin, MSW, with CEH adds, "Our testing found that much of the furniture we buy is doused with high levels of toxic flame retardant chemicals. Many studies find toxic flame retardants in our bodies, including in pregnant women and children. Parents and other consumers have a right to know when they are used in furniture. We expect Governor Brown to sign this bill into law."
Consumer Federation of California's Richard Holober adds, "Disclosure of whether or not a product contains flame retardant chemicals serves the public's interest, builds consumer confidence, and creates greater transparency in the marketplace."
"California holds the unfortunate distinction of having some of the highest levels of flame retardants ever measured, in our homes, wildlife and people, including children. Much of this stems from using flame retardant chemicals in our furniture and it's harming our health," says Sarah Janssen, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., a practicing physician, reproductive health researcher at UCSF, and mother.
Martha Dina Arguello from PSR-LA says, "Labels are important because the toxic legacy of a flame retardant couch gets passed on for decades-people often buy or are gifted second hand furniture. Now, since these labels will stick with furniture, these consumers can also make informed decisions."
"Our recent study found that young children carry on average 5 times higher levels of flame retardants than their mothers." Bill Allayaud, with EWG says, "Labeling gives parents a visible choice so they don't bring a toxic couch or chair into their family's home."
Kathleen A. Curtis, L.P.N., of Clean and Healthy New York and Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety adds, "This has nationwide implications. Parents and consumers are working in other states to curb exposure to toxic flame retardants. All shoppers nationwide need to know if flame retardants remain in the furniture they wish to purchase. This bill is a great step in the right direction for safer furniture nationwide."
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