I'm a firefighter and I need you to speak out against cancer-causing flame retardants by March 26!
  • Petitioned Tonya Blood, Bureau Chief, Department of Consumer Affairs, California

This petition was delivered to:

Tonya Blood, Bureau Chief, Department of Consumer Affairs, California

I'm a firefighter and I need you to speak out against cancer-causing flame retardants by March 26!

    1. Tony Stefani
    2. Petition by

      Tony Stefani

  1.  
  2.   
December 2013

Victory

Just last month, my state of California finally threw out a law that required manufacturers to pack products like couches and baby furniture full of flame retardant chemicals. Chemicals that firefighters like me have been exposed to for years, making us sick. I started my petition on Change.org and worked with groups like the Center for Environmental Health and the Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety to demand that government officials in California review this law. You and over 72,000 other people signed my petition, and I delivered your signatures before the end of the public comment period so that state legislators knew how important it was to seriously review this law.Thanks to you, the public pressure worked, and new regulations around toxic flame retardants in products will go into effect January 1st! This also comes on the heels of new evidence suggesting that these flame retardants were not even adding extra protection from fires. I know that active firefighters will welcome this change knowing that one group of toxic chemicals has been eliminated. There is more work to do on the National level to regulate toxic chemicals. We will continue to push in that direction. I can't thank you enough for supporting my campaign and standing up for firefighters.

After 27 years fighting fires, I got stunning news from my doctor. He diagnosed me with Transitional Cell Carcinoma (in my right renal pelvis), a rare form of cancer my doctor told me is usually found in people exposed to toxic chemicals or workers in the chemical industry. Within two years, two more firefighters at my station contracted the same form of cancer.

Here’s the scary thing: Research has shown that some flame retardants -- packed into the couches and foam products in our homes -- are known to cause cancer, and others are linked to a host of serious health problems. A new study looking at a group of 12 firefighters from San Francisco shows levels of flame retardant chemicals 2 or 3 times higher than the general population. One firefighter in the study had more than 11 times higher levels of chemicals than the average person!

What's worse is that fire safety experts are on record testifying that these dangerous flame retardant chemicals do not even effectively prevent fires in furniture and many other products.

My experience tells me that no one should be exposed to flame retardant chemicals, yet pounds of these chemicals are used in products in all of our homes. Shockingly, the Center for Environmental Health and the Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety recently found a cancer-causing flame retardant in baby products like crib mattresses and nap mats used in childcare locations across the United States.

So why are these dangerous and unnecessary flame retardants used in furniture and baby products across America? It’s because of an old California regulation that promotes the use of these cancer-causing chemicals in furniture and other products sold in the United States, regardless of where products are manufactured (this even applies to imported furniture).

Here’s the good news: This regulatory policy, TB 117, is actually being reconsidered RIGHT NOW, and it could be replaced with a new modern, scientific standard (called TB 117-2013) that would improve fire safety WITHOUT requiring these harmful chemicals. We have until March 26 to let the regulators know how important this decision is.

If TB 117 is revised, many furniture manufacturers have indicated that they would gladly remove these unnecessary flame retardants from their products, and thus from our homes.

Here’s the bad news: The flame retardant chemical industry is not going to surrender without a huge fight. These companies have spent decades -- and millions of dollars -- lobbying to keep these chemicals in household products. Last year, in an award-winning series of articles, The Chicago Tribune exposed the chemical industry’s “decades-long campaign of deception that has loaded the furniture and electronics in American homes with pounds of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, neurological deficits, developmental problems and impaired fertility.”

As firefighters, we face a "chemical cocktail" when we enter burning buildings, and we don't let that risk prevent us from doing our jobs. But, if these flame retardants are ineffective and unnecessary, there's no reason why anyone should bear the burden of exposure to harmful chemicals in our homes merely to benefit corporate interests.

Fortunately, the regulators in charge of updating TB 117 have drafted a standard that provides greater fire safety without relying on the use of toxic chemicals -- but they need to hear from people across America soon before they make their final decision. Will you sign my petition in support of a safer, scientific flammability standard -- and share this link with your friends?

To:
Tonya Blood, Bureau Chief, Department of Consumer Affairs, California
Thank you for the proposed flammability standard (TB 117-2013) that provides real fire safety benefits without flame retardant chemicals. The proposal will put California at the forefront of change towards modern, scientific fire safety standards. Please insure that finalizing TB 117-2013 is not delayed. Everyone deserves swift protection from harmful flame retardant chemicals.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 50,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • cindy jenkins ESTERO FL, FL
      • 10 months ago

      tocic chemicals and big pharm running our world

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Heather Hovard SAN PEDRO, CA
      • 10 months ago

      I don't want these chemicals poisoning my family, friends and community heros !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Andy Sirois DENVER, CO
      • 10 months ago

      Support from the insulators that may start having to install this crap!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ben Stein GOOD THUNDER, MN
      • 10 months ago

      my brother is a firefighter

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kenney C Kennedy AUSTIN, TX
      • 10 months ago

      Our firefighters should not be intentionally subjected to carcinogens.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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