Mark S. Granger
Mark S. Granger

  Mark S. Granger
  Admitted to Practice in MA and NY

  PO Box 487, 1094 US RT 9
  Schroon Lake, NY 12870


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On January 1, 2019, in an informal session, they passed a new law banning certain flame retardants which will certainly won't be a surprise if the Governor signs it.

The statue bans the sale of products manufactured after June 1, 2019, containing PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These are typically used to reduce flammability and the spread of fire. They are typically found in household furniture of furnishings but can be in products used for seating and padding in all kinds of products including padding in vehicles and machines and in sports equipment.

An interesting alliance between firemen's unions and consumer advocates has formed around these products. Consumer advocates claim that dust containing PBDEs can gather on floors exposing young children They claim it can result in lowered IQ's. Firemen claim that it is a carcinogen, especially when exposed to flames. Polybrominated diphenyls have been listed on the Prop 65 list since 1989 and are listed as causing reproductive harm and as a potential carcinogen. No significant risk levels are set at 0.02 g/day.

Apparently there is allegedly a substantial amount of PDBEs in children's car seats and in yoga and exercise mats treated to reduce flammability. Padded equipment that must also comply with resistance to flames may also contain them.

The Association of Industries of Massachusetts and the American Chemistry Council both oppose the new regulation.

The bill would require the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to draft regulations and provides for fines of $100 for the first product, with a maximum of $5,000. A second violation is a fine of up to $250 per product and a maximum of $25,000. Subsequent violations are a fine of $1,000 per product and a maximum of $50,000.

I will endeavor to obtain for information about the bill and other chemicals covered by it. This appears to be Massachusetts first attempt to join the "West Coast League" in banning fire retardant chemicals.

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