"For the first time a federal agency is moving to outlaw an entire class of toxic flame retardants, a policy change intended to protect Americans from chemicals linked to cancer, neurological deficits, hormone disruption and other health problems.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted Wednesday to immediately warn the public about the dangers of chemicals known as organohalogens in baby and toddler products, mattresses, upholstered furniture and electronics enclosures. The commission also set in motion what promises to be a contentious debate about new regulations prohibiting manufacturers from adding any halogenated flame retardants to products covered by the ban.
Several of the chemicals already have been forced off the market after independent scientists determined they were accumulating in people and posed serious health risks. But advocates and scientists noted the chemical industry has a long history of replacing harmful flame retardants with chemically similar compounds that later were found to be just as worrisome, if not more so."