National Groups Hail Maine's New Flame Retardants Law
PORTLAND, Maine - Firefighters and national chemical safety groups are praising Maine's new law banning flame retardants in furniture.
Maine lawmakers this week overrode Republican Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a law that supporters said would reduce firefighters' exposure to carcinogens.
Starting in 2019, a person can't sell upholstered furniture whose materials contain more than one percent of a flame-retardant chemical. The restrictions don't apply to used furniture.
Furniture bought for use in schools, jails and hospital are also exempted, and instead have to go through safety tests.
The American Chemistry Council had lobbied against the bill, arguing that flame retardants protect consumers from fire.
But Maine firefighters said smoke detectors and sprinklers save lives and that it's best to ban all flame retardant chemicals rather than wait for replacements that may be just as harmful.