This afternoon the Maine Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee voted 10-3 to support LD 1658, a bill that would phase out the toxic flame retardant known as “deca,” in favor of safer alternatives.
“With this bi-partisan vote to ban deca, Maine’s Legislature is poised to protect the health of Maine families and our environment from this pervasive toxic chemical,” said Matt Prindiville, Toxics Project Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
“We are pleased that the Natural Resources Committee chose to trust Maine’s firefighters, health experts, and scientists, over the chemical industry’s misleading ad campaign.”
The chemical industry mounted an all-out campaign, placing more than 27 full page color print advertisements and running round-the-clock television and radio ads as well.
Concern over the use of deca has grown in recent years due to research indicating that it is accumulating in the bodies of people and wildlife. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that exposure to deca can impair learning and development, and that children are the most vulnerable to its toxic effects. LD 1658 would ban the use of deca-BDE in mattresses and furniture on January 1, 2008 and phase out its use in televisions and other plastic-cased electronics by January 1, 2010.
No product manufacturers or Maine businesses or individuals expressed opposition to the bill, which is supported by over 50 Maine organizations, including fire safety, environmental, public health and children’s groups.