Attack of the Killer Couches - Keep Toxins Out of Our Furniture!
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY? Frogs are a semi-aquatic variety of the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Frogs are visibly sensitive to pollutants in their environment. Hermaphrodite frogs, five legged frogs and dwarfed frogs are being correlated with man made chemicals that are polluting in our waterways. As our homes accumulate different kinds of chemical pollutants our children are most vulnerable. Their small bodies take in more air and more food per body weight, they crawl they put their hands in their mouths and when we measure fire retardant chemicals in their bodies the concentration is higher while their developing bodies are more at risk.
FIRE RETARDANT BACKGROUND: MomsRising.org, MOMS (Making Our Milk Safe), and Friends of the Earth have been working together to pass AB706, a ban on the most toxic types of chemicals currently used extensively in CA furniture and baby products. AB706 has now been renamed the Crystal Golden Jefferson Furniture Safety and Fire Prevention Act for the 2008 session.
This bill passed in the CA Assembly in 2007, but it hasn't made it through the CA Senate yet. Let's use the momentum from last year to ensure that the Crystal Golden Jefferson Furniture Safety and Fire Prevention Act is passed by the CA Senate and signed by the Governor into law this year.
THE FIRE RETARDANT TOXICS LOWDOWN:
Recent tests have found that highly toxic fire retardant chemicals are present not only in furniture throughout California, but in baby products such as portable cribs, strollers, playpens, swings, nursing pillows, high chairs and changing table pads—items that infants and young children come into repeated intimate contact with on a daily basis. These products are required to meet California’s flammability standard, Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117).
This standard, which regulates all furniture products (including children’s products), has led to the annual use of tens of millions of pounds of brominated and chlorinated fire retardants (BFRs and CFRs) in California since 1975.
Brominated and chlorinated fire retardants have been linked to endocrine disruption, neurological and developmental impairments, cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities such as attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, and a host of other health disorders.1,2
Today, virtually every Californian tested has been found to have these fire retardants stored in their bodies, with babies showing the highest levels. High levels have also been found throughout the food chain, including breast milk, dairy products, meat, poultry, and fish. 3,4 AB706 seeks to modernize TB 117 through the use of safer chemicals and fire safety methods that not only protect human and environmental health from fire, but hazardous chemicals as well.