CFC Supports SB 1291 (Leno) – Review of Fire Retardant Chemicals

Bill Status: On May 28th, SB 1291 passed Senate Appropriations by a vote of 7 to 3, with 1 abstention. The bill now moves to the Senate floor.

CFC Position: Support

Bill Description: The Consumer Federation of California supports Senate Bill 1291 (Leno), which would clarify that fire retardant chemicals used in furniture and bedding products must be reviewed under the provisions of the Green Chemistry initiative and require the department to perform a comparative risk assessment of these chemicals.

Halogenated fire retardants are linked to numerous public health concerns, including cancer, neurological and reproductive impairments, birth defects, thyroid disruption, hearing deficits, and learning disorders such as ADHD.

Many halogenated fire retardants are persistent, accumulate up the food chain, and are now found at increasing levels in people and wildlife. Developing fetuses and young children are the most vulnerable.

The Green Chemistry Initiative was enacted for the purpose of creating a scientifically based, comprehensive process to identify and evaluate potentially harmful chemicals as an alternative individual chemical bans. 

No other agency is currently responsible to monitor or review the human health impacts of halogenated fire retardants and it is therefore critical that the Department of Toxics and Substance Control include them in the Green Chemistry Initiative.

For these and other reasons, we strongly support SB 1291.