Flame Retardants

Problem: Flame retardants increase risk of serious illness.

 The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow worked for 8 years to get toxic flame retardants out of:

  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • carpets
  • window treatments
  • 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.


Solution: Ban toxic flame retardants.

In late December 2020, the Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Baker signed “An Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Harmful Flame Retardants”:  House Bill 4900  Senate Bill 2349.

Huge thanks to everybody who made this victory possible, especially Marjorie Decker, Cynthia Creem, Margo Golden, the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, Fire Chief Association of Massachusetts and Built Environment Plus, plus the Clean Water Action canvas, Clean Water Action members, and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow board.

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 shown to be 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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