National progress on toxic chemical

VPIRG is thrilled to announce that the only two U.S. manufacturers of the toxic flame retardant Deca and the largest U.S. importer have agreed to a voluntary phase out of the chemical!
This is a huge victory for children’s health and the environment. Under the agreement, the manufacturers will stop the production, importation, and sale of Deca for most uses in the United States over a three-year period.
Vermont should be especially proud today as our leadership provided momentum for this agreement which crystallizes the impact that state action can have on the national level.  This year, Vermont became the third state in the country to adopt a ban on Deca.   Last year, our restrictions of lead and phthalates preceded strong federal action.  This once again shows that states can pave the way.
Our law bans Deca in mattresses and upholstered furniture by 2010 and in TVs and computers by 2012.  Manufacturers will still have to comply with Vermont’s law for these products regardless of the voluntary agreement.   
While we should celebrate this victory, it is important to remember that Deca is just one of many chemicals that has been linked to a variety of health impacts including developmental and reproductive problems.  Vermont must look beyond addressing chemicals on an individual basis.  Instead, we must take a comprehensive approach to chemical regulation that uses precaution and acts when there is evidence of harm.  By doing this, Vermont can better protect the health of our families and continue to impact change on the national stage.

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