As a nurse, I support L.D. 182, “An Act To Protect Firefighters by Establishing a Prohibition on the Sale and Distribution of New Upholstered Furniture Containing Certain Flame-retardant Chemicals.”

Chemicals like dioxins, found in flame retardants, have been linked to cancer, which is the No. 1 cause of line-of-duty deaths among professional firefighters. I want to thank my legislators, Sen. Scott Cyrway and Rep. John Picchiotti, for voting in favor of this important bill to protect firefighters and families. I am asking both of them to continue to help get this bill passed into law, even if that means overriding the governor’s veto.

The same toxic chemicals that threaten the health of firefighters also endanger the health of our families and children. These chemicals, found in upholstered furniture, are released into the air that we breathe in our homes. We are exposed to them every day whenever we sit on our couch or dust the table.

The only way to reduce exposures to our families and firefighters is to avoid the toxic chemicals completely. Flame retardants in upholstered furniture have no life safety benefit, make fires more dangerous, according to experts, and no state in the nation requires them. Passing this bill will ensure healthier furniture everywhere, making it easy for families to replace old furniture with a safer option, and in case of fire, will help protect the important people that protect our lives, homes, and businesses.

Sally Melcher-McKeagney


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