Event: Healthy Buildings: Reducing the use of flame retardants
and the “Six Classes” of harmful chemicals
Date & Time: Monday, April 14th, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health
700 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Join Arlene Blum Ph.D., author, mountaineer, and founder of the Green Science Policy Institute, for a discussion of “Six Classes” or families containing chemicals of concern, the science and policy of flame retardant chemicals, and the national health impacts of California’s changing flammability standards.
Rather than addressing the tens of thousands of chemicals on the market one at a time, the SixClasses.org project educates decision makers in manufacturing, retail and government as well as consumers about the “Six Classes” that contain many of the harmful chemicals in consumer products and building materials. The class approach can prevent regrettable substitutions, where a toxic chemical is removed and replaced by a chemical cousin with similar harmful properties.
Extensive research has associated the class of flame retardant chemicals in home furniture, baby products, and some insulation materials with endocrine disruption, cancer, and neurological and reproductive impairments. Furthermore, as currently used in these products, flame retardants do not improve fire safety. In response, California recently changed its state furniture flammability standard to allow for increased fire safety without the use of flame retardants and is investigating a similar change for foam plastic insulation materials. How does the new California furniture flammability standard achieve fire safety without harm?
Can design goals for buildings and other products be met without compromising health?