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Toxic Flame Retardants: Obsolete California Regulation Fails to Protect People from Fires and Toxic Chemicals Linked to Illness

California State Legislature to Hold Special Hearing

SAN FRANCISCO (June 14, 2012) – How are an obsolete California regulation, chemical industry deception, and attacks on science linked to autism, infertility and cancer?

Furniture manufacturers nationwide use chemicals in foam inside upholstered furniture to meet California’s flammability standard, also known as TB117. Adopted by California regulators nearly 40 years ago, TB117 does not provide a measurable fire safety benefit. In fact, studies show that chemicals used in fire retardants are associated with cancer and other major health risks.

Modernizing California’s flammability standard to reflect current fire safety science and years of research by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a critical step for protecting the safety and health of millions of people. On June 26, the California State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials will hold an informational hearing on flame retardants. The focus will be an examination of the effectiveness of TB 117 and of the environmental and human health impacts of flame retardant chemicals.

Join us June 20th, Noon pacific for a Webinar presentation with public health experts and fire safety advocates to discuss flame retardant chemicals and TB 117. Please RSVP as space is limited.


· Sarah Janssen, MD, PhD, MPH, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and assistant professor and reproductive health researcher at UC San Francisco. Dr. Janssen will address health impacts linked to flame retardant chemicals.

· Arlene Blum, PhD, chemist and visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and director of the Green Science Policy Institute. Dr, Blum will address the failure of effectiveness of flame retardants and how the chemicals being promoted to replace them in the marketplace are also dangerous.

· Tony Stefani, retired San Francisco firefighter and president of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. Tony can describe the unusual cancers and other illness experienced by firefighters from toxic chemicals.

· David Levine, CEO and founder of the American Sustainable Business Council. David will address how the business community wants to eliminate toxic chemicals from products.

· Ana Mascareñas, policy and communications director at Physicians for Social Responsibility in Los Angeles. Ana will be facilitating and is the coordinator for Californians for Toxic Free Fire Safety and can address federal and state policy issues and how communities of color have been targeted by the flame retardant industry.

12 Noon PT, Wednesday, June 20, 2012



Enter Meeting # 198090080

Audio Connection:


Access code: 198090080

For more information about flame retardants visit Californians for Toxic Free Fire Safety: <http://toxicfreefiresafety.org/CaliforniansForToxicFreeFireSafety.php>

Contact: Tiffany Traynum, 415-875-6106 or ttraynum@nrdc.org;Serena Ingre, 415-875-6155 or singre@nrdc.org; Stephenie Hendricks 415-258-9151 or stephdh@earthlink.net