Just weeks after Kaiser Permanente said it will stop purchasing furniture treated with flame retardants, a group representing flame retardants manufacturers has sent a letter urging the healthcare system to reverse its decision.
The North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) says flame retardants save lives and the decision by Kaiser Permanente is based on the potential health effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — a group of flame retardants that are no longer on the market. All flame retardants on the market today are subject to review by the Environmental Protection Agency and other global regulatory agencies for safety, the letter says.
For this reason, NAFRA urges Kaiser Permanente to “give further consideration to the recently announced policy for purchasing upholstered furniture.”
In two reports published last week the EPA identified safer alternatives to the flame retardants now used in consumer and commercial products, including building insulation and products with flexible polyurethane foam, to help industries choose safer chemicals.