To: Elliot F. Kaye, Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Get Toxic Chemicals Out of Our Homes

I am writing to you, as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because I am very concerned about consumer products containing toxic flame retardants.

These chemicals--which have been associated with reproductive impairment; neurological impacts, including learning deficits and decreased IQ in children; endocrine disruption; cancer; and immune disorders--should not be used in consumer products in a way that leads to exposure. Currently, toxic flame retardants migrate out of many consumer products and into our homes. I am especially concerned about the impact on children who may be exposed during critical periods of rapid growth and brain development. I am also concerned that the use of toxic flame retardants may place firefighters and other first responders at greater risk of harm in the event of a fire, because when products containing toxic flame retardants burn, they tend to produce more smoke, soot, toxic gases, and carcinogenic byproducts.

To protect me, my family, and the first responders we rely on, please take action as soon as possible on the petition the CPSC recently received from the International Association of Fire Fighters, American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, National Hispanic Medical Association, American Medical Women's Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Worksafe, Kids in Danger, and Green Science Policy Institute.

Thank you for your consideration.

Why is this important?

Many of us fear trace amounts of pesticides in our food, but sit on sofas every day that contain pounds of toxic flame retardants. These chemicals migrate out of our sofas and other household products and are released into the air in our homes. As a result, 97 percent of U.S. residents have measurable quantities of toxic flame retardants in their blood.

Take action today to urge the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect the public from toxic flame retardants.

These chemicals have been associated with reproductive impairment; neurological impacts, including learning deficits and decreased IQ in children; endocrine disruption; cancer; and immune disorders. Children’s products in particular are likely to contain flame retardant chemicals, putting kids at risk during critical periods of rapid growth and brain development. And for reasons that are not fully understood, low-income communities and communities of color bear a higher body burden of these chemicals than others.

To make matters worse, household products containing toxic flame retardants can still burn, and when they do, they tend to produce more smoke, soot, toxic gases, and carcinogenic combustion products. This puts building residents, firefighters, and other first responders at greater risk of harm in the event of a fire.

Earthjustice and Consumer Federation of America, representing a broad coalition of organizations, just submitted a legal petition to the CPSC, asking it to protect the public by prohibiting the sale of any children’s product, piece of furniture, or mattress if it contains a toxic flame retardant, and any electronic product with toxic flame retardants in the plastic enclosure.

Please let the CPSC know that you stand with the firefighters, pediatricians, consumer advocates, and scientists in asking for household products free of toxic flame retardants!

Category