St Paul, Minnesota – Minnesota has become the latest state to introduce ban on flame retardants, after governor Tim Walz signed a bill into law. It brings in strict limits on their use in products such as mattresses.
Parts of the new come into effect from July 2022. When fully in place, it will be illegal in Minnesota to use more than 1000 ppm organohalogen FRs in a range of products. The law covers furniture, fabric and children’s products.
However, there are exemptions. The non-foam components of adult mattresses, and products covered by federal flammability standards, are not included.
The bill had bipartisan support. Its ultimate aim is to protect firefighters from the potential carcinogenic effects of FRs.
‘Firefighters are some of our most selfless public servants. We’re exposing them to unnecessary risk by sending them into a toxic chemical soup,’ said state senator Jeff Howe, who introduced the bill. ‘After more than 30 years, we know the flame retardants that are supposed to be saving lives are making the situation more dangerous. [They contribute] to them having cancer rates four times the average person.’
Meanwhile, as expected, another attempt is being made to get a ban onto the statue books in Massachusetts. A bill passed both house and senate last year, but in January it was vetoed by governor Charlie Baker.