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Time for reassessment of toxic flame retardants

Time for reassessment of toxic flame retardants

The Green Party is calling on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to reassess the risk of toxic flame retardants to give our kids safe and clean environments to grow up in.

The issue of toxic flame retardants in children’s clothing has been highlighted in Greenpeace’s recent report that found them in an alarming number of children’s clothing.

“Toxic flame retardants are in many everyday products – not just the children’s clothing highlighted in Greenpeace’s report,” Green Party toxics spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“These flame retardants build up in the body over time, and can pose serious health risks, including affecting brain development in babies and interfering with hormone function and the immune system.

“While there is lots of evidence they can cause us harm, the evidence that they actually prevent any injury from fire is not strong.

“These chemicals are used in cars, curtains, children’s and general furniture. Their use is so widespread they are found in dust in New Zealander’s homes. There are even some places that mandate the use of these chemicals including schools, hospitals and cinemas.

“It seems that manufacturers of imported goods and our regulators are just using them as default without giving any real thought to the risks of what these hazardous chemicals can do to our long term health.

“It is time for the EPA to reassess the risk of flame retardants across the range of imported products in light of what we are learning about their prevalence in our homes and everyday environments.

“Our children deserve a clean, toxic free future.

“The more we learn about these chemicals the stronger the argument that we need more regulation and better limits on their use.”

ends

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