March 6th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
In 2009 legislators in Montpelier passed a bill banning toxic flame retardant chemicals in Vermont furniture. Of course the natural wood furniture Vermont is so well known for, isn’t the target of this legislation as it has never had flame retardant chemicals applied to it. It’s upholstered furniture, shipping pallets and baby mattresses that are of biggest concern right now. Although we don’t make much upholstered furniture in Vermont, we need to guard our citizens against harmful substances in products brought in from other states and countries.
If you have babies or young children in your house, you might be interested in a recent study by the Center for Environmental Health which found over 90% of children’s nap mats, such as those used at child care centers, contain toxic, potentially carcinogenic flame retardant chemicals (this study included nap mats from nationwide retailers, including a sample from Vermont). Toxins from fire retardants move from nap mats and couches into dust and then into people’s bodies. This is why toddlers who play on the floor and pets who groom their fur have such high levels of flame retardant chemicals in their bodies.
Vermonters who wish to support bill (S.81) to expand the state’s 2009 ban on toxic flame retardant chemicals can learn more about it here and contact their legislators to voice their opinions.