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Bill to Protect Public From Flame Retardants in Insulation Moves Forward


Current standards for foam insulation were developed in the 1970’s.

Supporters of the bill say those standards force manufacturers to use toxic flame retardants.

The measure, which has already passed the Assembly, would update building standards to ensure fire safety without those chemicals.

Justin Malan represents the US Green Building Council, which sponsored the bill.

“We don’t want to make the same mistakes we made with asbestos," says Malan."Sometimes we put building materials in there that need careful review, let’s not make the same costly and lethal mistakes we made with asbestos.”

But Joe Lang with the American Chemistry Council says the legislation is unnecessary.

He says flame retardants will be regulated by the Department of Toxic Substances Control under new green chemistry laws.

“There already is a process to do exactly what the bill does now, with experts, with chemical experts with policy experts that could result in a whole variety of changes,” says Lang.

The bill now moves to another Senate committee.


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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