Government accused of stalling on action to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in homes The Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life today, setting out the growing problem of chemical pollution and a range of measures the Government should act upon with key recommendations.
Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh said: "Most people assume that they aren't at risk from toxic chemicals but the reality is different." "Mums in the UK have some of the world's highest concentrations of flame retardants in their breast milk, some of which have now been banned."
"Chemical flame retardants are still being widely used in our furnishings from children's mattresses to sofas. Meanwhile the Government is sitting on its hands instead of changing regulations to ensure that the most toxic chemicals are taken out of use. I find it appalling that a government department should take nearly three years to respond to a public consultation and we're still waiting."
Mark Dowen, Managing Director here at Cottonsafe® Natural Mattress who presented evidence and information to the Committee said:
"The Furniture Industry and the public have been misled by the Government introducing Regulations which were meant to protect us from fire but were really about protectionism and profit. After six years of Government dithering and provocation, I hope this report will now galvanise public opinion into forcing a reduction in the huge amount of flame-retardant chemicals in our homes."
"We need to ask, why are these chemicals being used, why are they so ineffective and how are they going to be disposed of?"
"It is time the Government and the Furniture Trade take responsibility for the legacy they have creating by putting enormous quantities of toxic chemicals in mattresses and sofas. I have worked singlehandedly within the mattress industry to find methods of meeting and surpassing these regulations without chemicals. Fact: you don't need chemicals to make fire safe furniture."