Media Roundup: Calif. takes on controversial flame retardant chemical (3/13/14-3/14/14)

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Solidifying its national leadership to halt the use of a highly toxic flame retardant chemical linked to cancer and other serious health effects, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration issued new rules requiring the evaluation of the safety of TDCPP (chlorinated Tris) and its alternatives used in children’s sleep products sold in the state of California.

As a key step in its Safer Consumer Products regulations, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced three draft “priority products” that are listed below. DTSC is requiring manufacturers who want to sell them in California to conduct an “alternatives analysis” to determine if feasible safer ingredients are available. 

DTSC says they selected these priority products because they contain at least one of more than 1,100 toxic chemicals that the department identified as having the potential to cause significant harm to people or the environment. The products also are widely used and create the potential for significant public exposure to these chemicals. 

The three products are:

  • Children’s foam padded sleeping products containing TDCPP (chlorinated TRIS), a flame retardant and probable carcinogen that can also cause chronic health effects.
  • Spray Polyurethane foam systems containing unreacted di-isocyanates. These are used for home and building insulation, weatherization, sealing and roofing. Di-isocyanates can irritate the respiratory tract, cause asthma and cancer and are known skin irritants.
  • Paint stripper containing Methylene Chloride, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.

The Breast Cancer Fund's Janet Nudelman was quoted by three news outlets about the development:

San Jose Mercury News

San Francisco Bay Area National Public Radio affiliate, KQED News

California Health Line

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