Jan 17, 2014

Chemical Company Sues California Over Flame Retardants | Environmental Working Group

Oakland, Calif. – The chemical company Chemtura sued the state of California yesterday seeking to block new fire safety regulations that would permit furniture production without toxic flame retardants.   

The new rules, which Gov. Jerry Brown put into force last November  would allow furniture manufacturers to meet California's fire safety standards without using fire retardants chemicals, including those manufactured by Chemtura.   

"This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to protect the company's profits under the guise of concern for public safety," said Renee Sharp, EWG's director of research. "If successful, this lawsuit would undermine one of the most important environmental and public health victories of 2013 – Gov. Brown's move to revamp the state's outdated and problematic fire safety standards.  Previous fire safety rules did not effectively protect us from fire dangers, but they did contaminate our bodies and those of our children with chemicals linked to cancer and other serious dangers to health."

The new regulations are expected to have a significant impact nationwide for Chemtura' future profits because California, with 10 percent of the U.S. population, has so much purchasing power that most furniture makers fabricate their products to comply with the state's flammability standards.