Fire retardant bill dies on the Senate floor

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 11, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Every year, Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduces a bill to ban flame retardants and every year the bill dies.  Last year it was SB 772 on juvenile products. This year it was SB 1291.

SB 1291 would have required the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to include flame retardants as a “Chemical of Consideration” in their development of the Green Chemistry program and to evaluate it as one of their top priority “Chemicals of Concern”.  Citing health concerns, SB 1291 would have placed a moratorium on the use of any new flame retardant in the manufacture of any upholstered furniture, bedding and filling materials, until DTSC had made a determination on whether it was a chemical of concern.

One of the problems with this approach is that it takes the decision-making away from the scientists at DTSC to determine Chemicals of Consideration and Chemicals of Concern and instead makes it a political decision in the hands of legislators.

California has some of the strictest fire regulations in the country (copied by many other states) and one of the best records for fire protection.  The possibility of undermining the effectiveness of California’s fire regulations and concerns about the implications on the Green Chemistry program still underway caused the defeat of SB 1291 on the Senate Floor on June 3rd.

The bill is dead for this session.

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