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From Products Liability Law Daily, August 19, 2015

CPSC receives petition requesting ban on certain products containing organohalogen flame retardants

By John Dumoulin

Earthjustice and the Consumer Federation of America have petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to initiate rulemaking under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) to declare several categories of products containing additive organohalogen flame retardants to be “banned hazardous substances.” The two organizations were joined in the petition by the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Medical Women’s Association; Consumers Union; the Green Science Policy Institute; the International Association of Fire Fighters; Kids In Danger; Philip Landrigan, M.D., M.P.H.; the League of United Latin American Citizens; the Learning Disabilities Association of America; and Worksafe. Comments are due by October 19, 2015 (CPSC Notice, 80 FR 50238, August 19, 2015).

Petition. The petition specifically asks CPSC to declare that: (a) any durable infant or toddler product, children’s toy, child care article, or other children’s product (other than children’s car seats) that contains additive organohalogen flame retardants is a “banned hazardous substance”; (b) any article of upholstered furniture sold for use in residences and containing additive organohalogen flame retardants is a “hazardous substance” and a “banned hazardous substance”; (c) any mattress or mattress pad with additive organohalogen flame retardants is a “hazardous substance” and a “banned hazardous substance”; and (d) any electronic device with additive organohalogen flame retardants in its plastic casing is a “hazardous substance” and a “banned hazardous substance.”

Basis of petition. The petitioners contend that based on the physico-chemical properties of additive organohalogen flame retardants, all such chemicals in the class will migrate out of consumer products and persist in the indoor environment. They also contend that because organohalogen flame retardants are, as a class, foreign to the human body and inherently toxic due to their physical, chemical, and biological properties, human exposure to these chemicals will result in adverse human health impacts. In addition, the petitioners believe that declaring the specified categories of products containing additive organohalogen flame retardants to be “banned hazardous substances” is necessary to adequately protect public health and safety, that action short of a ban under the FHSA would not adequately protect the public health and safety, and that the ban must apply to the entire class of additive organohalogen flame retardants.

Companies: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Medical Women’s Association; Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union; Earthjustice; Green Science Policy Institute; International Association of Fire Fighters; Kids In Danger; League of United Latin American Citizens; Learning Disabilities Association of America; Worksafe

MainStory: TopStory NoticesFR BabyProductsNews ChildrensProductsNews HouseholdProductsNews ChemicalNews

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