California bans toxic flame retardant chemicals in furniture

A decade long campaign to protect consumers and the environment from toxic and ineffective flame retardant chemicals in household furnishings ended in victory when Governor Brown signed into law AB 2998 authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

Over the past ten years, the Consumer Federation of California joined numerous allies that included firefighters, public health officials and environment advocates in supporting several pieces of legislation and amendments to state regulations that had led manufacturers to saturate household furniture, mattresses and children’s products with toxic halogenated chemicals that leached from the furniture into the home, where they were ingested by occupants. Babies and young children were especially exposed to these chemicals which are linked to impaired neurological development and other harm to health. Firefighters also had high exposures to carcinogenic furan and dioxin which are released when these chemicals smoldered in a fire. The signing of AB 2998 ends a lengthy resistance campaign by chemical companies that had imposed these chemicals into our homes. At one point, chemical manufacturer and trade associations spent over $20 million to defeat one bill designed to provide a non-toxic fire safety alternative.

Read Assemblymember Bloom’s press release here