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Some flame retardant chemicals raise health, environmental concerns, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the concerns raised by the use of certain flame retardants in textiles and other consumer products, exposure to which may result in long-term health problems. The federal Toxic Substances Control Act does regulate the use of flame retardants in industry, and is currently evaluating several “problem formulation” chemicals used in flame retardants, including chlorinated phosphate esters, cyclic aliphatic bromides, and tetrabromobisphenol A.

These chemicals are used in a variety of products, including furniture foams, textiles, paints, coatings, plastics and electronic circuit boards. The Environmental Protection Agency is releasing these problem formulations, as well as data need assessments, for public comment and the agency plans to conduct risk assessment for each groups of concerning chemicals, with an eye toward possibly restricting their use. 

The EPA’s rule-making process allows for a period of public comment on the risks associated with these several groups of flame retardants. A lot needs to still be weighed before any decision would be made to restrict the use of these chemicals, but it could eventually lead to restriction of the chemicals raising the greatest concern for environmental and public health problems.

Those who are harmed due to exposure to dangerous chemicals do not necessarily have to just accept it. In some cases, it may be possible to hold those responsible for the exposure to account. Working with an experienced attorney on such cases is critical to ensure one has proper guidance and solid advocacy throughout the process. 

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