Congress is currently considering federal legislation that would ban the
use of dangerous chemical flame retardants in certain children’s
products. The “Children and Firefighters Protections Act of 2014” (
S. 2811) was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York in September. Child
The proposed bill would ban the 10 worst chemical flame retardants from
upholstered furniture and children’s products, such as changing
table pads, portable crib mattresses, pajamas, nap mats, and nursing pillows.
The 10 flame retardants include: TDCPP, TCEP, TBBPA, decabromodiphenyl
ether, antimony trioxide, HBCD, TBPH, TBB, chlorinated paraffins, and TCPP.
According to published studies, long-term exposure to flame retardants
has been linked to developmental delays in children, as well as rare cancers
in firefighters when the furniture burns and the toxins become airborne.
Moreover, they often fail to deter fires.
“It’s a nightmare scenario that is all too real: children are
being exposed to highly toxic flame retardants- that can cause cancer
and developmental delays – just by lying on a changing table and
in their cribs, or even by sitting on the family couch. To boot, these
carcinogenic chemicals found in foam are not effective in reducing fire
risks,” said Senator Schumer.
In addition to the ten named chemicals, Schumer’s legislation also
gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) additional authority
and requires them to convene a panel to review the safety of all other
flame retardants and issue an outright ban.