Safety of Flame Retardants Called into Question
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A new California law dictating that certain types of flame retardants be removed from products made available to consumers has passed, causing the public to feel concern over whether something in their home could be harming their health. The new law, AB 2998, restricts the amount of flame retardant that can be used on various products, ranging from children’s sleepwear to mattresses.

Manufacturers and consumers both worried

While consumers are concerned that these products—intended to keep them safe in the event of a fire—could actually be doing more harm than good, manufacturers face legal penalties if their products are determined to be non-compliant with the new law and are sold in the state of California. The Department of Toxic Substances Control will be taking samples from items that typically contain flame retardants and, if the item is found to contain more than the new maximum allowable 1,000 parts per million of an anti-flame substance, the company that manufactures that item may face legal penalties, including fines.

What spurred the change

The state of California has long had requirements that various consumer products—such as children’s pajamas and crib mattresses—meet strict standards of being anti-flammable. This led to myriad manufacturers using spray-on flame-retardant chemicals in order to ensure that their products could meet these requirements (i.e., not burn even when exposed to open flame). However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is now concerned that the high levels of flame-retardant chemical required to meet these standards could pose a risk all its own. This has resulted in the strict limitation of the amount of flame-retardant product that can be used on any given item made available to California consumers under the new law.

The health concerns connected to flame retardants

According to information made available by the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences, chemical flame retardants have been associated with endocrine disruption, interference with thyroid functioning, some forms of cancer and may have a teratogenic effect, leading to birth defects in unborn children exposed to the chemicals. This is because these flame retardants contain ingredients such as bromine and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which have harmful effects on health with sufficient exposure.

Changes will be implemented within two years

The law limiting flame retardants in these products is set to take effect in early 2020, but many manufacturers are making changes to their products now in the interest of being compliant when the change is made official. If you believe you or someone you love has suffered as a result of exposure to flame retardant chemicals, you have the right to pursue legal action in court.

Allegiance Law can help you file a product liability claim in court

If you are concerned about the safety of a product in your home or office and want to discuss your legal options with a product liability lawyer in San Francisco, contact the attorneys at Allegiance Law today. We have experienced product liability litigators, and we can help you file a claim and get the monetary compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, so call or click to talk to one of our product liability experts about your case.

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