Governor wants new fire retardant rules

March 26, 2013

FireChemical flame retardants in household furniture pose health hazards and “better ways” are available to provide public safety, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday as he urged state regulators to take action against those “toxic” substances. (Sacramento Bee)

“Toxic flame retardants are found in everything from high chairs to couches and a growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals harm human health and the environment,” the Democratic governor said in a prepared statement. “We must find better ways to meet fire safety standards by reducing and eliminating – wherever possible – dangerous chemicals.”

A proposed bill to accomplish this was defeated during last year’s legislative session; it sought to provide an alternative test for meeting state fire prevention standards.

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who introduced the failed bill, said the governor’s action “definitely shifts the debate.”

“He understands the serious risk to public health and the environment by the continued use of these toxic flame retardants,” Leno told reporters.

Critics of the current practice say the chemicals used are ineffective and cause cancer and other health problems.



  1. easymoney says:

    A little FYI,
    When compared to legacy product (those made of natural materials and before the 1970’s), modern materials (see plastics and other modern man made products) burn at a much higher temperature and spread at a much faster rate of speed. The inclusion of the these mentioned fire retardants are a direct result of the thousands of the man made materials used in home furnishings that are very flammable.

    Watch this video and ask yourself, “are you prepared and how would you react” if your home caught fire. Why is the set on the right burning at the speed that it is and could you make it out in less than 3 minutes when flash over takes effect?

    Keep this in mind when posting on this topic and when voting.
    Question, how is the Governor or any government agency ever going to be able to remove these fire retardants from modern products especially those so readily imported from overseas. Think of that when you go shopping and when you purchase those unbelievably cheap products from overseas…

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  2. OnTheOtherHand says:

    There is no such thing as complete safety in this world. Those who are determined to have it need to pay attention to the costs (not just financial) of their ideas and evaluate the relative risks of what exists and what they propose objectively and honestly so that what results is a net benefit. This is especially true when they are proposing safety measures for someone else. “Think of the children” can sometimes be an appeal to emotion when reason doesn’t offer a clear solution.

    I don’t know enough about the controversy in the article to say, but it is entirely possible that Gov. Brown may be trying to get rid of an expensive/ineffective regulation originally enacted by well-meaning but ignorant people or by people unduly influenced by the manufacturer(s) of the fire retardants currently in use. Any experts out there?

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