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Toxic Chemicals Linked to Cancer Found in Couches

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 5:00am
ALLIANCE FOR TOXIC-FREE FIRE SAFETY

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science and Technology shows a carcinogen has been used to replace banned toxic flame retardants in many couches sampled across the United States.

Molly Rauch , with Moms Clean Air Force, had her couch tested. "I am troubled that a cancer-causing chemical deemed too risky to put in children's pajamas -- Tris -- was poured into my couch foam without my knowledge. This is unacceptable to me, and to parents everywhere."

"Exposure to chlorinated Tris could increase cancer risk," explains Kathy Curtis, LPN, with the Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety. "It's alarming to know the couch that my children and grandchild have sat on, played on, and grown up on, is shedding harmful chemicals," said

Curtis, who supports a New York legislative effort that would ban chlorinated Tris.

A dozen other states have efforts to restrict chlorinated Tris. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is working to improve flammability standards without the use of toxic chemicals. The U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive chemical reform bill, the Safe Chemicals Act, from the

Environment and Public Works Committee, which would ultimately stop the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals in products.

"This study shows that the current federal law doesn't protect us from toxic chemicals in everyday products.  Until we have real federal reform, state legislatures will continue stepping up to protect their citizens from these hidden dangers," adds Sarah Doll, Safer States.

"Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals from many sources," says Ana Mascarenas, with Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles. "We've tried for several years now to get our state legislature to change or halt this exposure, but the chemical industry influence has been too great."

Sonya Lunder , with Environmental Working Group, comments, "I bought my couch after a multi-year effort to ban toxic PBDE fire retardants in foam furniture. I didn't know that another class of toxic chemicals would take their place. We can't allow companies to add cancer causing chemicals to consumer products," she continued. "I'm a mother and we find out these chemicals are stuffed inside my couch cushions? Calling this an outrage doesn't do it justice."

SOURCE: Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety

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