TV news inflames fire retardant fears

Last night’s news on CBS reported the concerns on human exposures to brominated flame retardants especially the chemical Deca, a polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) produced in the US.

Deca is also a focus of attention in Europe although a recent study from the European Union indicated that the flame retardant do not pose any risk. In CBS’ report, the EPA is said to be currently reviewing the safety of Deca.

In connection with the show, I received an email from Friends of the Earth today regarding their “Killer Cribs” study. The group is asking the crib manufacturer Graco to stop using PBDEs and also pointed out that California is currently passing a bill that will end the use of PBDEs.

If PBDEs are unsafe then an alternative is definitely needed. The recently concluded EU study seems to negate that view, however. I wonder who will be sued for a fire accident that occurred because of the lack of flame retardants? Definitely not the public advocates.

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