Washington Becomes First State to Ban Flame Retardants

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Breaking Developments In Environmental Law

Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law on Tuesday, April 17, a ban on certain types of flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (“PBDE”), which are used in a number of consumer products, including mattresses, carpet pads, furniture, and plastic enclosures for televisions and computers. Washington’s ban comes after extensive debate concerning persistent toxic chemicals and the value of using PBDEs. The compounds are the subject of particular concern because some studies indicate that the chemicals have been found in blood, fat tissue and breast milk in humans, and may present a health risk.

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