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States Look to Ban Toxic Flame Retardants, PBDEs

Mar 04, 2005In 2003, California became the first state to ban toxic flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE. The legislation banned the penta- and octa- forms of PBDE beginning in 2006. Since then, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, and New York have followed with similar bans. The European Union banned penta- and octa- PBDEs in 2003. The EU legislation is attached in .pdf format.

According to reports, PBDEs have been shown to cause attention, learning, memory and behavior problems in laboratory animals at low levels. PBDEs have been detected at "unexpectedly high levels" in American women's breast milk, according to the Environmental Working Group.

This year, legislation has been introduced in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington to ban penta-, octa, and in some cases deca-PBDE. Montana has introduced a resolution supporting a ban on PBDEs that harm human health.

For more information on each of these bills and current laws, see the attached Word file.

You can also find more information on PBDE's at: Environmental Working Group:

[Get Acrobat Reader]
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