USA – Treehugger.com writes that televisions sold on Amazon and at Best Buy were found to contain a type of plastic that is made with flame-retardant chemicals that are not permitted in Europe, Canada, and certain states because of its extreme toxicity. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) recommended that the government ban organohalogen flame retardant chemicals because they are so dangerous to human health. These chemicals have been associated with thyroid problems, learning deficits, and cancer.
The government failed to take action, but some states opted to follow the CSPC recommendations and issue statewide bans. It appears that Amazon and Best Buy are failing to abide by the state-issued bans.
Organohalogen flame retardants were once used in many products, but after the risks of these chemicals became apparent, many places took steps to ensure that their population would not be exposed to the chemicals. Safer alternatives that serve the same purpose exist and are being successfully used in many places.
Many people assume that these chemicals stay inside of their electronics and will not, therefore, impact anyone’s health. Research indicates that this assumption is incorrect. These toxic chemicals do not bind to the plastic and can leach out. A study conducted in Canada indicated that the chemical is found in high concentrations in dust in rooms where electronics containing organohalogen flame retardants are kept.
The International Association of Firefighters has also supported the banning of these chemicals because when firefighters enter a burning building that contains products with chemical fire retardants, they breath in toxic gas from those dangerous substances. Breathing the gas from burning flame retardants has been linked to cancer, lung disease, and heart disease, all of which occur at high levels in firefighters.
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