Flame Retardants

Problem: Flame retardants increase risk of serious illness.

For the past 6 years, The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow has been working to ban toxic flame retardants from:

  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • children’s products (for children age 12 and under)

Chemical flame retardants do not slow the spread of fire.  They become more toxic when burned, contributing to the high rate of cancer among firefighters. Children are also at higher risk, because they crawl on the floor and put their hands in their mouth, absorbing more of the chemicals that leak out of sofas, mattresses, and TVs.

The Massachusetts Legislature passed a flame retardant ban on January 1, 2019, but Governor Baker vetoed it.  In his veto, Baker said he wanted to negotiate with legislators on the bill if it came to him earlier in the 2019/20 session.

Solution: Ban toxic flame retardants.

On Feburary 1, 2019, Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) and Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) refiled “An Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Harmful Flame Retardants.”

As of December 2020, both the House and the Senate have passed the ban on flame retardants! House Bill 4900  & Senate Bill 2349. On January 1, 2021, Governor Baker signed the bill into law. 

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who called, wrote letters, and advocated for this bill.  As of December 31, 2021, no children’s products, mattresses, residential upholstered furniture, carpets, or window treatments may contain 11 highly toxic flame retardants.  The Toxics Use Reduction Institute will be able to restrict the use of additional chemical flame retardants if scientific evidence shows they are harmful to human health.


Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow

c/o Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund
88 Broad Street, Lower Level
Boston, MA 02110



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