Minnesota Bans Some Flame-Retardant Chemicals


The Minnesota House and Senate enthusiastically signed a bill into law recently that will ban certain flame-retardant chemicals found in mattresses and a few different household products. On May 23, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law a bill that will also ban the use of class B firefighting foamthat contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for testing or training starting July 2020, unless it’s required by federal law. However, the class B foams wouldn’t be banned for use in emergency firefighting or fire prevention, as they are considered effective in putting out oil fires. The law also requires that any “release of class B firefighting foam containing PFAS must be reported to the state’s fire reporting system within 24 hours.” Prior to the bill, there was no such tracking.


According to an article on MPRnews.org, the bill bans the “manufacture and sale of mattresses, children’s products, upholstered furniture and residential textiles, such as window coverings, that contain certain flame retardants.” While there was some contentious debate surrounding the bill with chemical manufacturers opposing it, the bill passed by an overwhelming majority, and among those lobbying for the bill were firefighters, who are concerned about what these chemicals might be doing to their health. Studies have shown firefighters have a 14% greater chance of dying from cancer than the general population, and breathing in the noxious fumes from dangerous chemicals for many years wreaks havoc on a firefighter’s health.

Read the full article here.

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