We Don’t Have to Live with Toxic Threats

July 20, 2016
Woman and baby snuggling on couch

An eye-opening new study from EWG and Duke University researchers shows that Californians, including mothers and babies, are exposed to more than double the amount of toxic flame retardant chemicals than those who live in New Jersey.

Why is this? Connect the dots, and you’ll see that a flawed California state policy is to blame. The California policy was supposed to keep people safe from fire. Instead, it led to the widespread practice of using cancer-causing, hormone-disrupting, toxic flame retardant chemicals in furniture.

Californians may bear the worst of the burden. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. California has now reformed its standards so that safe furniture can be made without added flame retardant chemicals. And if state policy can make a toxic problem, state policy can also be part of the solution. A number of states, including California, banned some of the worst toxic PBDE chemicals (also flame retardants) about ten years ago. And today, studies show lower levels of these chemicals in human breast milk and pregnant mothers, in house cats, and in waterways from the San Francisco Bay to Puget Sound.

What will it take to bring an end to the toxic threat of flame retardant chemicals nationwide? What will it take to get them out of our wildlife, our air and water, our homes, our bodies? It will take a change in federal policy. You can help bring an end to toxic flame retardants. Add your signature to EWG’s petition to tell the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission it’s time for a nationwide change. Knowledge is power. Don’t forget to also read the full report, learn more about flame retardant history and risks, and understand how to avoid flame retardants.

Together we can make a difference!

Sarah Doll
Bright Choices Program Director
Healthy Babies Bright Futures