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MomsRising members are petitioning California leaders to pass AB 706 in order to ban toxic flame retardants in furniture. Sign the no toxic couches petition now by clicking here!

With all the recent press about toxic lead paint on our children's toys, and the lack of press about toxic flame retardants in our furniture, I'm becoming convinced that our government has utterly lost the ability to protect us, and our children, from dangerous products. In fact, in California the government is responsible for requiring toxic flame retardants in my furniture! (Your furniture too, this is a national issue, CA is such a big market that most furniture makers produce products so they can sell in CA and don't do anything different for the rest of the states.)

To top it all off, there isn't conclusive data that flame retardant in foam has in fact reduced furniture fires, but there's compelling evidence that such chemicals are harmful to people and animals. Little furry lab animals have shown these chemicals to be dangerous in more ways than I want to think about. My family is being exposed to chemicals that I had no idea existed until a year ago. Fortunately there is now a bill in California introduced to ban brominated and chlorinated flame retardants in favor of less toxic alternatives.

Assemblymember Mark Leno explains that the flame retardants AB 706 bans, " have been shown to cause cancer, reproductive problems, learning disabilities, and thyroid disease in laboratory animals and house cats. At the same time, these chemicals are climbing the food chain in increasing concentrations and are found in fish, harbor seals in San Francisco Bay, polar bears, bird eggs, and the animal at the very top of the food chain - breast-fed human babies."

We need to make it crystal clear that we immediately want furniture that is free of toxic chemicals. And we need this to be a massive outcry because the chemical industry has vast funding and huge motivation. Selling hundreds of millions of pounds of flame retardants each year to put into foam is hugely profitable for the chemical producers. Since few of us have even considered that our furniture is loaded with toxic chemicals their opposition has been comparatively small. MomsRising members helped get AB 706 through the Assembly, now the sleeping giant is awake. It’s time to prove that actual citizens can prevail over corporate money.

Please join us in ensuring that we stop infusing homes across the nation with unnecessary chemicals by signing our petition. To do so, just go to:

Our thanks to Friends of the Earth and Making Our Milk Safe (MOMS) for their leadership in working to get AB 706 passed.

* The chemical Chlorinated Tris was removed from children's sleepwear 30 years ago after it was determined to be a mutagen.
* Today, chlorinated tris is the second most-used fire retardant in furniture, and was recently deemed by the consumer product safety commission to be "a probable human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence in animals."
* Since the 1970s, PBDEs (brominated fire retardants) have increased 40-fold in human breast milk. PBDEs have the potential to disrupt thyroid hormone balance and contribute to a variety of neurological and developmental deficits, including low intelligence and learning disabilities. Women in North America have, on average, ten times to forty times the levels PBDEs in their breast milk as do women in Europe or Asia.
* We can prevent fires without poisoning our families. Equally effective and affordable methods are available right now. Alternatives include naturally flame resistant materials like wool, metals, and woods, inherently flame resistant barriers, and alternatives including silicon, boric acid, and phosphates.

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