OLYMPIA – As a firefighter, Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) knows how often toxic flame retardant chemicals are used in toys and furniture used by our families every day. As a state representative, he has sponsored multiple bills to ban these chemicals and give state agencies the regulatory authority to ban them from use. Yesterday, the state House of Representatives passed Rep. Van De Wege’s “Toxic Free Kids and Families Act”, HB 2545, by a bipartisan vote of 76-21.
“These chemicals are supposedly helping save lives but in reality, they’re shortening lifespans and hurting our families,” said Van De Wege. “It’s time we end the use of these chemicals and make sure our kids are safe from their toxic effects.”
Despite claims to prevent fires, some of these chemicals have been proven to fail at inhibiting fires and safer alternatives are available to industries. HB 2545 bans several toxic flame retardants in furniture and children’s products and gives the Department of Health authority to create rules banning other harmful flame retardants. The bill will be sent to the state Senate for its consideration.