Product News and Recalls

Writer compares flame retardant chemicals to asbestos

David Green, executive director of the Center for Environmental Health, compares flame retardants and their production to asbestos as an example of business interests trying to conceal public health threats in the name of profits.

In a recent piece for the Huffington Post, Green refers to a four-part series in the Chicago Tribune, alleging that leading makers of fire retardant chemicals have for decades used deceptive tactics to mislead the public, legislators, and regulatory agencies about the efficacy and safety of their products.

Green writes that the situation is comparable to the “connection between greed, lies, and unnecessary toxic health threats” inherent in the story of asbestos, “with industry recklessly deploying the cancer-causing chemical in our homes, workplaces, and even schools long after it knew that asbestos was killing people.”

Exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma – a form of cancer affecting the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body.

Asbestos was once commonly used as a building material, but was discontinued in the 1970s because of the health risks. Legal proceedings at the time revealed that government and industry were aware of risks that asbestos represented, but allowed widespread exposure to it anyway.

Green quotes Professor Arlene Blum, a visiting scholar in chemistry at the University of California, as saying that exposure to flame retardant chemicals is associated with “reduced IQ in children, reduced fertility, thyroid impacts, undescended testicles in infants (leading to a higher cancer risk), and decreases in sperm quality and function,” among other health hazards. Blum calls fire retardant chemicals the “asbestos of our time.”

If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.

See the Huffington Post piece here: