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Calif. Sued Over New Flame Retardant Regulations

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 8:02am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A chemical company is suing California to overturn new flammability standards for furniture and other products that allow manufacturers to stop using chemical flame retardants.

Chemtura Corp. filed its suit Thursday in Sacramento County Superior Court, saying the state's new rules weaken fire safety standards.

Supporters of the new standards say they were a badly needed update to nearly 40-year old rules that led to the widespread use of chemicals known as PBDEs on furniture.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says PBDEs can affect brain development in animals, but human health effects are still unknown.

Anne Noonan, a senior vice president at Chemtura, said in a statement that the new rules eliminate requirements that furniture pass an open-flame test, which could lead to more fires and deaths.

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