House Bill 77 is a bill that Representative John Kowalko introduces every session, and unfortunately has not progressed far. This bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of children’s products, upholstered furniture used in residences, and mattresses that contain harmful flame retardant chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer.
Indeed, flame retardant chemicals are associated with serious health effects, from cancer and reproductive harm to learning disabilities to interference with the normal operation of hormones. What’s worse, firefighters and children face especially high risks from these chemicals. Most manufacturers have already moved away from these unnecessary uses of these chemicals, but a stubborn minority of manufacturers continue to cause potentially harmful exposures for people.
A similar bill just became law in Maryland and is also headed for passage in New York. Hopefully that momentum will help here. In Maryland, the bill there was opposed fiercely by the American Chemistry Council, and I am sure they have put in calls to the General Assembly leadership to keep this bill bottled up over the last few years. However, in Maryland, a coalition that included firefighters and environmental, consumer, and public health groups were able to overcome that pressure.
|House Bill 77 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Kowalko Baumbach Brady Lynn Mitchell K.Williams|
|Current Status: House Economic Everything Committee 1/19/21|