By Richard Holober
Consumer Federation of California
Californians are exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in our homes, thanks to a 37 year old state furniture regulation. While the regulation never served its intended goal of reducing fires in our homes, its legacy of toxic harm lives on. Click here to ask the Governor to take toxics out of our furniture.
In May 2012, a remarkable investigative series in the Chicago Tribune exposed decades of lies, coercion and influence peddling by flame retardant manufacturers. The report describes how a chemical industry front group paid a medical school professor to travel to Sacramento to testify on two separate occasions before the state legislature. This burn doctor described in vivid detail how he held in his hands a dying seven week old infant who was horribly burned when a pillow she was lying on burst into flames when a candle ignited it. He lectured lawmakers that the pillow was not chemically treated, and warned that changing the California regulation would only lead to more tragic deaths.
There was one problem with the doctor’s heart-wrenching story – he made it up.