The Racket Known As Flame Retardants

Illustration thumbnail: Reducing your risk                                                 

As Nicholas Kristof writes in this weekend’s column, Are You Safe On That Sofa?, the Chicago Tribune series, Playing with Fire,  is a must-read. (Click here to see the package) It’s about the history behind the “protective” toxins in our furniture known as flame retardants.

The chemicals embedded in our household upholstery are toxic to humans, and, according to this investigation, useless. But that’s not the news. Experts have known for some time that endocrine disruptors and other ubiquitous chemicals are linked to cancer, fetal damage, child development problems and fertility problems.  The real story? It turns out that flame retardants’ whole reason for being was just to protect the tobacco industry.  The “protect-people-from-fires” thing was just a smokescreen.

I hope my mom reads this report.  This is the reason I insisted on organic cotton clothing for my newborn and why we need real public health policies and laws like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to protect us from industrial chemicals and the corporations that profit from them.

Bravo to reporters Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne!

Related alternahealthgrrrl.com content:  Toxins on Shoes and Other Environmental Exposures to Avoid; Lyme Disease Alert! + DEET alternatives that protect without toxins;  Air Pollution Linked to Kids’ Anxiety and Attention Problems; What Siberian Husky Sled Dogs Reveal About Human Bodies.

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About alternahealthgrrrl

I'm a writer, reporter and editor who has been on the health beat for over 15 years. I've worked on staff at Whole Living Magazine and More Magazine, where I conceived an investigative piece on unwarrented hysterectomies that earned a 2009 National Magazine Award nomination. Other publications I've worked at include Self, Vogue, and Lucky. View all posts by alternahealthgrrrl

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