Dangerous Flame Retardant Chemical Added to CA. Prop 65 List

Oct 12, 2011, 16:28 ET from Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety

Chlorinated Tris Linked to Cancer, Removed from Children's Pajamas in 1970's

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The same chemical removed from baby pajamas in 1977  due to concerns about carcinogenicity, was officially  listed  as a cancer-causing chemical by the State of California on the "Prop 65 list" today. Chlorinated Tris is the most commonly used flame retardant in foam in U.S. furniture and baby products. The listing won't ban the chemical from use but could result in a labeling requirement for consumer products containing the chemical.

The Carcinogen Identification Committee, a scientific committee appointed by the Governor, added TDCPP (chlorinated Tris) to the Proposition 65 list, which requires the publication of a list of chemicals, known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have reported that chlorinated Tris poses a cancer hazard; but companies that manufacture this chemical say there is no problem.

"The listing of chlorinated tris on Prop 65 is a public health victory. Widespread exposure to this chemical, now officially identified as a cancer-causing chemical, threatens vulnerable populations. This listing should result in labeling requirements for products that contain  dangerous levels of this chemical," said Sarah Janssen, MD, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Flame retardants like Tris leach out of furniture and end up in dust in our homes. We unknowingly inhale and ingest Tris into our bodies," said Arlene Blum Ph.D., Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley Chemistry Department and Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute. "We tested 100 baby products and 100 couches, and found dangerous levels of Tris more often than any other flame retardant."

Kathy Curtis, LPN, of Clean and Healthy New York, comments,  "When chemical makers produce a chemical like Tris to replace other dangerous chemicals, this underscores the need for federal chemical policy reform. Meanwhile, states like California are taking the lead to protect people from these persistent chemicals."

Fire scientists say that using Tris (and other organohalogen flame retardants) in furniture and baby products, doesn't provide any fire safety benefit. The treated products burn after a few seconds and the chemicals combust, forming toxic gases that cause most fire deaths and injuries.

More info, experts: www.toxicfreefiresafety.org.

SOURCE Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety