On November 9th, the Boston City Council’s Committee on Public Safety held a hearing to discuss updates to the Boston Fire Prevention Code. Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (AHT) coalition members and supporters attended the hearing to testify and show their support. As a member of the AHT Governing Board, the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition stands with the coalition to reduce exposure to toxic flame retardants.
The hearing was crowded with concerned citizens, students, advocates, furniture manufacturers, healthcare workers, firefighters, and others to voice their opinions about fire codes.
For more information about the hearing, please read this article from AHT.
Why do we care about flame retardants?
Synthetic flame retardant chemicals are added to upholstered furniture (plus to bedding, electronics, and more). These chemicals can leach from products and settle in our air and dust, sometimes at levels above federal guidelines. Many flame retardants are “endocrine disrupting compounds,” which means they alter the natural functioning of hormones in our bodies. These chemicals have been linked with cancer and altered reproductive and brain development.
Boston’s current flammability standards for public spaces have resulted in an overuse of flame retardant chemicals in furniture. Updating the fire code would allow public institutions with automatic fire sprinklers, (including schools, libraries and hospitals) to use flame retardant-free furniture.