Panel seeks input on bill reducing exposure to flame retardant chemicals

Bill would prohibit the sale of products with high amounts of flame retardant chemicals.

BOSTON (WWLP) – Flame retardants can help protect your home from fire, but these chemicals can also be toxic to your health. Now lawmakers are considering a proposal to further regulate these chemicals on items in your home.

While you may not see it, your furniture may have a coating of flame retardant chemicals that can stop or delay fire from spreading in your home. But these chemicals have raised health concerns, especially for firefighters who are exposed to toxins that have been linked to diseases like cancer when they try to put out a fire.

The state’s Public Health Committee heard from the public on Tuesday regarding a bill that would prohibit the sale of children’s products and furniture with high amounts of flame retardant chemicals.

“Obviously it protects not only the public, but it protects us as firefighters,” Paul Jacques, the Legislative Agent for the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts told 22News. “These flame retardants get into our gear, into our skin, and when we’re working overhaul on fires, we breathe them in.”

The bill would also create a panel to further study the potential health effects of flame retardants used on children’s products and furniture.