Letter to the Editor

House must act to ban toxic flame retardants

Dear Editor:

Have you ever sat down on your couch and watched the dust particles fly? Many couches and other children’s products contain toxic flame retardants that escape the foam cushions and attach to household dust, exposing all of us to these hazardous chemicals. In May, the Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to pass S.2302, a bill that would ban toxic flame retardants from kid’s products and household furniture in state. The Senate deserves applause for their early, health-protective action.

The House of Representatives now has the chance to take up this bill and take a stand for children’s — and firefighters’ — health.  Why is this so urgent? Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to cancer, nervous system damage, decreased fertility, thyroid problems and a host of other significant health impacts. That is why S.2303 (and the nearly identical H.4241) has earned the support of the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Massachusetts along with medical professionals and public health advocates. As a Winthrop resident and a daughter who watched her mom battle cancer for 8 years, I urge House Speaker Robert DeLeo to pass the flame retardants bill before the legislative session ends on July 31st.  This will only expand Speaker DeLeo’s strong record on protecting our health.

 Cynthia Luppi


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