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WECF - Flame retardants in consumer products remain a hot topic for environmental

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) welcomes recent report by the French national risk assessment agency for health and environment (ANSES) on flame retardants used in upholstered furniture.

Furniture is one of the many products which impacts indoor air quality. None of the 22 substances used in upholstered furniture and selected for the ANSES study could be proven safe for health and the environment, with each of them at least suspected to be classified in one of the following categories: reprotoxic, neurotoxic, an EDC, carcinogenic, persistent in the environment. As a consequence, ANSES recommends to use alternative methods to flame retardants.

Several halogenated (brominated, chlorinated, fluorinated) compounds which were widely used until recently notably as flame retardants – are now identified by the Stockholm Convention as “Persistent Organic Pollutants”.

WECF welcomes that ANSES works on this issue, which is of concern for many people. The study reveals that indoor air quality standards do not cover all potential air contaminants, whereas this would be quite necessary to improve knowledge and prevent exposures from vulnerable populations – for example, children in nurseries or pregnant women.

WECF is calling for more collaboration between EU Member States dealing with chemicals in consumer products.

Originally posted on 23 November 2015

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