FDA Efforts to Curb Harmful Flame Retardants May Be Delayed by Industry

When you buy food for your family, you can read the ingredients list and know what you're putting into your body.  But do you know what's in your clothing, your furniture, and your car upholstery?  

For decades, since the 1970s, manufacturers of all sorts of fabric products have used flame-retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, in their products.  PBDEs help prevent products from catching fire easily.  However, recent research has shown that these chemicals build up in blood and breast milk, interfere with natural hormones, trigger reproductive problems and cause developmental and neurological damage.  Even babies are born with PBDEs in their blood-- and American babies have the highest levels of any babies in the world.

Manufacturers have already stopped making two kinds of PBDEs, and are working on phasing out production of another.  The FDA had planned a rule that would nearly ban sales of imported and recycled products that contain PBDEs, and would force manufacturers to test products for safety and obtain permission from the FDA before manufacturing products with PBDEs.  The rule is set to go into effect in December 2013.

However, industry interests are working hard to delay the rule, calling it an onerous burden.  Whether they will succeed remains to be seen.

If you or your child has sustained personal injuries or harmful conditions as a result of PBDE exposure, you may be entitled to financial damages. McCready, Garcia, & Leet can help you obtain the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, please contact us at (773) 663-4522.

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