Schumer Proposes Federal Flame Retardants Ban

Yesterday I attended a historic event: New York Senator Charles E. Schumer announced he is introducing the first-ever federal legislation to ban dangerous flame retardant chemicals from furniture and products for infants and children. I was pleased to speak in support of this important legislation at the Senator’s press event in New York yesterday, joined by my CEH colleague Tenya Steele, who also brought her children to the briefing.

In reaction to the announcement, CEH Executive Director Michael Green said, “The science is clear: flame retardant chemicals can cause serious health problems for our children and families, and they don’t make us any safer in fires from furniture or children’s products. We strongly support Senator Schumer in this bill that will make our homes, schools and offices healthier places for all Americans.”

Dr. Phil Landrigan, the Director of Mt. Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center, spoke in support of the bill and described the health risks of flame retardants, including cancer, brain damage, and disrupting the bodies’ natural hormones. Others at the event included representatives of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association and several concerned mothers with their children (including Tenya!).

Given California’s recent adoption of labeling for furniture containing flame retardants, this federal proposal provides companies who are moving away from these toxic chemicals another reason to move quickly to provide safer products.

CEH testing of children’s furniture, nap mats, and other products has shown that dangerous flame retardant chemicals are all around us, unnecessarily exposing our kids and families, and demonstrating the need for this important legislation. We look forward to working with Senator Schumer in pushing for adoption of this vital legislation.