May 18, 2016
League of Women Voters of Massachusetts


Please contact your State Senator and ask him/her to vote in favor of S.2293, An Act to protect children and families from harmful flame retardants. Contact information is here. The bill is scheduled to come up for a vote in the Senate. That vote could happen as early as Thursday, May 19, so please contact your Senator today.
This bill phases out toxic flame retardant chemicals in household furniture and children's products in Massachusetts. Flame retardants are a group of highly toxic chemicals used in couches and upholstered furniture, high chairs, car seats and electronic toys. They are some of the same chemicals (TRIS) already banned in children's pajamas by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For our testimony on the earlier version of this bill, click here.
The chemical industry is working to stop or weaken this bill so it's very important that State Senators hear from constituents in support of this bill.  
The Firefighters' union has been a strong voice lobbying to phase out these chemicals in Massachusetts because its members suffer higher rates of cancer from these chemicals. These chemicals migrate out of the treated products into our homes and bodies. They have been linked to cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues and other significant health problems, with infants and children particularly vulnerable.

And we can have fire safety without these flame retardants. There are safe, non-toxic methods of making furniture that use less flammable materials and construction. In addition, sprinkler systems and smoke alarms can make more of a difference than how furniture is made in preventing fire deaths.

Thirteen states have already passed laws banning one or more flame retardants for use in children's products and/or residential furniture. Now is the time for Massachusetts to join them and pass common sense policies that will protect our families and firefighters from these toxins!

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