Take Action! Support SB 27: Ban Toxic Flame Retardants in Alaska.
Support SB 27: Ban Toxic Flame Retardants in Alaska.
Success! The Senate Finance Committee passed SB 27. The next step is for the full Senate to pass the legislation before sending it to the House. To Ban Flame Retardants in Alaska, please call your Alaska State Senators and ask them to support Senate Bill 27. (Follow SB 27)
- Senate Finance Committee
- PBDE Briefing Paper
- Nationwide efforts
- Quick Facts
- PBDE Fact Sheet
- Follow Senate Bill 27
Mounting research suggests that exposure to PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) may cause neurological and reproductive harm, thyroid disruption, and cancer. PBDEs are highly persistent in the environment and in our bodies. As furniture, electronics, and other PBDE-containing products break down over time, PBDEs are released into the environment and can remain unchanged for decades. The good news is that there are safer alternatives to PBDEs that are equally effective.
Right now, the Alaska State Legislature is considering a bill that would ban the import of products containing PBDEs. SB 27 & HB 63 will phase out the use, sale and manufacture of products containing PBDEs by 2013/2014. This bill will also allow DEC to work with other state agencies to share information and build capacity to identify and promote safer chemicals and products.
- PBDEs are widely used in a variety of consumer products. PBDEs are found in electronics, such as TVs, and used in some furniture foams, fabrics, and kitchen appliances.
- PBDEs are persistent bioaccumulative toxics that are having a profound effect on the environment and human health, particularly in Alaska and the Arctic. They accumulate and are long lasting.
- PBDEs interfere with thyroid function, cause problems with brain development, and disrupt learning, memory and behavior. They are largely unregulated in the U.S., thus increasing exponentially in the environment, wildlife, and people through widespread releases and exposures in the home, workplace, and foods. Babies are exposed in their mother’s womb and through breast milk.
- Women from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska have the highest level of any population in the Arctic.
- People are exposed to PBDEs in multiple ways, including contaminated air, household dust, and foods. PBDEs have been found in human breast milk and in the blood of mothers and their babies.
- PBDEs in Alaska come from both local sources as well as distant sources that travel to Alaska by ocean and wind currents. These chemicals are building up in the Arctic and entering the food chain.
- PBDEs have been found in soil, air, sediments, birds, marine species and fish.
- We cannot control the delivery of PBDEs into the Arctic by atmospheric currents, but we can control their importation in consumer products.
- With cost-effective and equally fire-safe alternatives available, it’s time to phase out PBDEs. Many companies have taken a proactive approach in phasing out PBDEs use.
- This legislation has widespread support from Alaskans, including Alaska Native tribes, researchers, healthcare professionals and firefighters who have firsthand exposure.
Alaska can achieve fire safety without toxic chemicals. House Bill 63 & Senate Bill 27 follow the lead of a dozen other states in banning toxic flame retardants (PBDEs).
Past Actions: House Bill 63 Efforts continue into 2012. In 2011, there were two hearings on HB 63 in the House Labor and Commerce Committee, thank you to the many people who provided public comments. Please contact your representatives to let them know that you support HB 63, a bill that would protect the health of Alaskans without compromising fire safety.
- Follow House Bill 63 at the Alaska State Legislature.
- PBDEs Briefing Paper for Alaska Legislative Session 2011
- ACAT Testimony SB 27 (2/21/11)
- ACAT Testimony HB 63 (3/16/11)
- ARC of Anchorage Letter of Support (2/16/11)Questions? Call Alaska Community Action on Toxics at 907-222-7714 or email Samantha@akaction.org.