For 37 years, the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) has allowed chemical manufacturers to place harmful chemicals in your commercial household products without any real safety testing. It’s an outrageous standard that has gone unquestioned for years, but now many people think it is time to change this law and the safety of our homes as they fight to bring awareness to the public.
A documentary set to air on HBO this month called ‘Toxic Hot Seat’ explores and documents the story of activists, lawmakers and journalists as they attempt to ban harmful toxic flame retardants from our furniture, environment, and our bodies.
Flame retardants have been incorporated into many household products over the years to do one thing: protect us from fire. However, not only may they not work to prevent fires, but they may be slowly poisoning us as well! Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to a number of health issues including thyroid disease, cancer, infertility and even a lower IQ in children, As one woman announces in the trailer, she knows more firefighter friends who have died from cancer than fires, mostly due to being exposed to burning chemicals in homes and buildings.
Although there has been some action at the federal level recently, including the introduction of bills like the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, the documentary focuses on the fight against fire retardants in Calif. Since the film’s production, senators have also began to work on reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act and hope to bring legislation to the floor in 2014.
As a result of the fight documented in ‘Toxic Hot Seat,” Calif. will have a revised fire-safety standard in 2014, which will offer non-toxic alternatives to consumers.
What is important about this documentary is the awareness it will bring to the public about the hazards of fire retardants and the lack of regulations and protections against dangerous chemicals in the home.
As the film’s website says, “Those who put corporate profit before public health cannot succeed unless we are disinterested and disengaged.”
This film is the first step to becoming engaged in the issue.