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Safety

Ban Sought On Items With Organohalogen Flame Retardants

by Britt E. Erickson
April 6, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 14

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Credit: Shutterstock
Groups want CPSC to ban infant items such as car seats if they contain organohalogen flame retardants.
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Credit: Shutterstock
Groups want CPSC to ban infant items such as car seats if they contain organohalogen flame retardants.

A coalition of medical and consumer groups, scientists, and firefighters is urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban household products that contain organohalogen flame retardants. In a March 31 petition, the coalition asks CPSC to adopt a rule under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act deeming four types of products as “banned hazardous substances” if they contain organohalogen flame retardants. The products are durable infant and toddler items, furniture used in residences, mattresses and mattress pads, and casings surrounding electronics products. Chemicals in organohalogen flame retardants have been found “to cause adverse reproductive, genotoxic, immunotoxic, neurotoxic, and carcinogenic outcomes in animal studies,” the coalition claims. Organohalogens are semivolatile and can migrate from products into house dust that people and pets ingest. Biomonitoring studies have found organohalogen flame retardants in the blood and body tissues of nearly all U.S. residents tested, with the highest levels in residents of California and in young children.

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