Committee considers flame-retardant ban

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

JUNEAU — Lawmakers have begun considering a ban on flame-retardant chemicals that have been linked to degenerative diseases.

Proposed by Democratic Rep. Lindsey Holmes of Anchorage, the bill prohibits the sale, manufacture or distribution of items containing chemicals known as polybrominated fire retardants.

Holmes says these chemicals, which are added to mattresses, furniture and electronic equipment to prevent them from catching fire, have also been shown to have toxic qualities that can be transmitted to infants through breast milk.

She says Alaskans are at a particular risk from the products due to large amounts of time spent indoors where toxins can concentrate.

The bill was held for future consideration by the House Labor and Commerce Committee.

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