Support SB 147: Keep Fire Safety, Give Us a Choice for Health
Right now, members of the California legislature have the opportunity to take a step towards better health for Californians, and make a decision that values science-based prevention.
SB 147 (Leno), The Consumer Choice Fire Safety Act, would change an outdated and ineffective regulation, called TB 117, which has become a de facto requirement for flame retardant chemicals. Many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, lowered IQ, reproductive problems, thyroid effects, and endocrine disruption. A landmark scientific consensus, the San Antonio Statement, published in the Dec. 2010 Environmental Health Perspectives, highlights health and environmental hazards of many flame retardants, and discusses concern about the persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic properties of these chemicals.
California is the only jurisdiction in the world that requires bare furniture foam to withstand a 12-second open flame before being sold. TB 117 was created in the 1970s and now desperately needs to be updated to give us fire safety and leave out chemicals that are ineffective for fire safety, and toxic for our health and environment.
Add your name to our below support letter now! See the broad coaliton of supporters for SB 147, from firefighters and physicians to businesses and manufacturers!
To make an even bigger impact, place a call or make a visit to members of the California Senate Business and Professions Committee, where this bill will be heard in April. Here's who to contact:
Read PSR-LA member, Dr. Harpreet Malhi's April 11 post in the California Progress Report, "California's Toxic Sofas -- Give Us a Choice for Health"
Read more about SB 147 and see the bill introduction press conference.
Talking Points for Calls and Visits
I am writing to express support for Senate Bill 147 (SB 147), the Consumer Choice Fire Safety Act.
We know from biomonitoring studies that toxic flame retardants are now routinely found in the bodies of humans across North America, and at the highest levels in California. The chemicals migrate from consumer products into dust and make their way into humans, pets, wildlife and our food supply. Testing of umbilical cord blood shows that our babies are born pre-polluted with toxic flame retardants. California’s ineffective furniture flammability standard is the major cause of this problem.
SB 147 is an essential step to correct the outdated flammability standard that has led to the use of toxic flame retardants in consumer products in California. Despite our reputation as a leader on environmental health policy, the California Furniture Flammability Standard Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) has in fact resulted in California being responsible for unnecessary pollution of the U.S. population and environment by known problematic chemicals. SB 147 will begin to fix this by calling for an alternative flammability standard that can be met without the use of chemical fire retardants, and that does not compromise fire safety.
There is no impartial data to support the myth promoted by the chemical industry that flame retardants are effective in preventing furniture fire deaths. In fact, flame retardant treated foam ignites after seconds and gives off high levels of the carbon monoxide, soot and smoke that are the major causes of fire deaths.
On the other hand, dozens of peer reviewed scientific research studies link fire retardant chemicals to cancer, neurological impairments, reproductive problems, thyroid effects, and endocrine disruption. Toddlers, who are particularly vulnerable, often have a 3 times higher level of flame retardants in their bodies compared to their parents, and California children some of the highest levels of some toxic flame retardants in their bodies.
The Consumer Choice Fire Safety Act will protect our state from both fires and the harmful health and environmental effects of fire retardant chemicals. I strongly support SB 147, for the health of our children, our workers, our environment, and all of California.