The children’s foam nap mats contain a flame retardant linked to cancer. Spray foam insulation commonly used to weatherize homes can contain unreacted di-isocyanates. Use of the chemical is one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the country. Paint strippers contain methylene chloride. Dr. Meredith Williams with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control says when that chemical is metabolized, it becomes carbon monoxide.
“And then it becomes an acute neurotoxin and in fact, between the year 2000 and 2011 there were 14 deaths in the US related to one profession that uses this extensively and that’s bathtub refinishers,” says Williams.
All the products are on the shelves now and come with warning labels. But California regulators are asking manufacturers to figure out how to make these products safer or limit their use.
“We could ask for more labeling, we could restrict its use to very specific applications," she says. "We could decide that there is not enough known about the chemical and ask the manufacturers to fund additional research.”
Pamela Williams with the California Retailers Association says the children’s nap mats with the flame retardant are practically gone from the market anyway. So the announcement of the targeted products may not change what’s on the shelf.
“That will be up to the store to decide even though we can sell it, do we want to continue because we do have alternatives to offer,”says Williams.
This fall DTSC plans to release a much more comprehensive list of products that it may regulate within the next three years.
California lawmakers are looking for ways to address some of the challenges faced by male minorities in the state.
Pro-choice lawmakers are backing a bill in the California Assembly that seeks to ensure pregnant women know they have access to abortions.
The California Medical Association has changed its position on a physician aid in dying bill currently in the state Senate.
Governor Jerry Brown is encouraging regional governments around the world to follow California’s lead on climate change. On Tuesday, he and international leaders signed an agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
Not everyone is happy with the revised budget proposed by California Governor Jerry Brown. But he does have the approval of the Community College system. Brown attended the Community College Board of Governors meeting today.