As a scientist, aunt, mother and grandmother I am very concerned about the toxic chemical soup that our children and our future generations are or will be exposed to. This week the Resource Committee of the Alaska Legislature will be having a hearing about the House Bill 27, the Toxic-Free Children Act (TFCA). The TFCA would protect the health of Alaska’s children by preventing exposure to toxic flame retardant chemicals.
If passed, this bill will prevent the manufacture, sale and distribution of toxic and unnecessary flame retardant chemicals in children’s products and home furniture. The legislation will also require the labeling of these products to inform people if these contain toxic flame retardant.
These harmful chemicals are found in toys, nap mats, nursing pillows, changing pads, baby carriers, carpet padding and upholstered furniture foam. Under current federal law, these toxic chemicals are virtually unregulated for their safety. Yet, these chemicals pose a serious public health threat, are particularly toxic to children and do not provide a fire safety benefit. These chemicals have a range of harmful health effects, including cancer, learning disabilities, developmental impairment and reproductive harm. There is plenty of evidence showing that fire safety can be achieved without these toxic chemicals.
Enacting legislation to phase out harmful flame retardant chemicals from children’s products and furniture is an important step in the right direction. I congratulate the champions that are moving forward this bill and also invite others to use their voice to protect the most vulnerable. It is the responsibility of our Alaska State Legislature to take action in passing the Toxic-Free Children Act (HB 27) to protect the health of our children and our future generations.