Flame Retardants

For decades, foam furniture, baby products and electronics have been loaded with needless flame retardants that migrate out of products and into our bodies. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption, as well as deficits in motor skills, attention and IQ in children. Though the most toxic ones have been phased out in the United States, they were replaced with poorly studied alternatives that also could harm health.

In 2017, the Consumer Products Safety Commission initiated a ban on the most toxic additives in foam products and electronics, and warned the public, particularly parents, to avoid buying new foam or electronic products that contain bromine- or chlorine-based flame retardants.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I spend lots of time thinking about toxic chemicals, so when I shop I get pretty annoyed. It’s flame retardants again. They’re in everything – kids’ pajamas, nap mats, nursing pillows, even some of those princess tents and kid tunnels.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

March is Women’s History Month, when the nation honors the many women who have had a lasting impact on American culture, history and women’s rights.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

California Governor Jerry Brown today proposed to end the widespread use of highly toxic fire retardant chemicals in foam furniture sold in the state.

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News Release
Monday, January 7, 2013

The Chicago Tribune reports it has detected cancer-causing chemicals known as chlorinated tris in 11 crib mattresses made in China and sold by Babies R Us, Foundations and Angeles brands. None of the 16 U.S.-made mattresses tested by the Tribune contained this toxic chemical.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The top environmental health stories of 2012 were all about everyday hazards that are right in our backyards. They have to do with the unintended consequences of chemical pollution that could harm the health of our families, our neighbors, our towns - our nation.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Harmful fire retardant chemicals are turning up in everything from furniture to dust in American homes, researchers report in two new studies being published today (Nov. 28), a finding that underscores how California's misguided fire safety rules have created a pervasive environmental hazard. 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Harmful fire retardant chemicals are turning up in everything from furniture to dust in American homes, researchers report in two new studies published today (Nov. 28), a finding that underscores how California’s misguided fire safety rules have created a pervasive environmental hazard for much of the country.

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News Release
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today scrutinized a failed federal law that has allowed toxic flame retardants to be widely used in consumer products.

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News Release
Monday, June 25, 2012

My kids eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than I'd like to admit. And in my line of work I hear about toxic chemicals daily so it takes a lot to shock me. But, flame retardants in peanut butter? Even I paused when I saw the headline about a recent study that found that flame retardants - that stuff that's slathered on kids' pajamas, sofa foam and upholstery ostensibly to protect us from fires--are showing up in sardines, poultry and yes, even peanut butter.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

California Governor Jerry Brown took a stand for public health today by directing state agencies to revise outdated and unsupportable flammability standards.

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News Release
Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finding a nasty flame retardant in peanut butter and other food products brought EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder to tell E&E reporter Jeremy Jacobs: "We are contaminating our food chain with chemicals that are long-lasting in the environment and harmful to our health. We need to stop this."

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Even though toxic flame retardant chemicals were banned in 2006, pregnant women in California carry high levels of the hazardous substances in their blood, according to a new study by scientists at UC San Francisco's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Last year I cut small squares of foam from my sons' car seats, our glider rocker and my breastfeeding pillow, wrapped them in foil to prevent contamination and mailed them off to Duke University for chemical analysis.

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News and Analysis
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Lisa Frack

"This is the beginning of the end for brominated flame retardants."

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Late Thursday, three large chemical companies and officials of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a deal to phase out the toxic flame retardant Decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca). Deca is heavily used in consumer electronics, furniture, textiles and plastic shipping pallets.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have detected as many as 232 toxic chemicals in cord blood samples collected from 10 minority newborns. Notably these tests show, for the first time, bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Are you trying to reduce your family's exposure to flame retardants? It's a good idea since they're associated with long-term health effects - especially in children whose developing bodies are more sensitive to chemical exposures. Plus, they're all over your house. We'd like to believe our government is effectively protecting us from toxic chemicals that are increasingly linked to health problems and found in many common household items, but it's not.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In efforts to protect the nation’s food supply from further chemical contamination, Environmental Working Group (EWG) today urged the country’s largest grocery stores and supermarkets to suspend the use of plastic food storage racks that contain the toxic flame retardant chemical and neurotoxin commonly called Deca (decabromodiphenyl).

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News Release
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jessica Webb of Healthy Child, Healthy World blogs about an important bill to change to California fire safety standards for baby products, and the chemical industry's efforts to uncut these improvements.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Worried about your cantaloupe catching fire? You might not have to anymore! Your fruits and veggies may be doused in Deca, a flame retardant chemical and known neurotoxin.

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