Bill seeks ban on flame-retardant chemical

A new House bill that would ban the use of a flame retardant is drawing support from some stakeholder groups.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) on Dec. 16 introduced the Decabromine Elimination and Control Act of 2009 (H.R. 4394), intended to eliminate use of the flame-retardant chemical decabromine in furniture, construction materials and electronics. According to a Pingree press release, decabromine has been linked to various health risks, including developmental problems in children and compromised immune systems in adults.

The Fairfax, VA-based International Association of Fire Fighters applauded the legislation, which would phase out decabromine in favor of alternatives. The chemical industry entered into a voluntary agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to stop producing the chemical, according to the press release.

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