Household items with certain flame retardant chemicals are now banned in New York. Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation S.4630-B/A.5418-B into law. Now, items like mattresses, furniture, and electronics that have certain flame retardant chemicals are banned in the state. The chemicals in question have been associated with risks of neurological injury, hormone disruption, and cancer.
Gov. Hochul said,
"Far too many household items contain toxic chemicals that put our children and first responders at risk for serious illness. The furniture, mattresses, and electronics we buy should be safe and with this legislation signed, we can now ensure that when these items are sold in New York, they will be free of hazardous materials."
Flame retardant chemicals are supposed to help prevent household fires but have been associated with health ailments, such as immune system issues, infertility, and cancer.
NYS says the benefits of banning these chemicals outweighs the supposed fire protection they provide,
Flame retardant chemicals are also difficult to break down, meaning they can remain persistent in the environment or a home for years. By implementing a restriction on the sale of certain products containing identifiably dangerous flame retardant chemicals, will ensure New Yorkers, and their children, are not exposed to hazardous toxins. Moreover, these toxic chemicals have limited value, if any, in preventing or suppressing fires, as other states that have enacted legislation have not experienced more fires or new safety concerns associated with the removal of those chemicals from products.
Companies that continue to sell items with flame retardant chemicals can face fines of up to $2,500 per day.