Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative Karen Clark

273 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Joel Johnson 651-297-1934

Posted: 2007-03-19 00:00:00
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State Representative Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis) recently authored a bill prohibiting the manufacture, process and distribution of products containing a potentially harmful chemical. The chemical, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), is currently found as a flame retardant in products such as computers and televisions with electronic enclosures, upholstered furniture and textiles, and mattresses and mattress pads.

“We have found that a product originally thought to protect us is potentially very dangerous. It would be irresponsible of us as legislatures to ignore such an important issue that affects so many lives. Now is the time to take action," said Clark.

PBDE is meant to protect consumers by helping to reduce the risk of fire, but research has shown that the chemical releases toxins into the air that can damage the nervous and reproductive systems when inhaled.

“It frightens me to think of children wearing clothing and sleeping on mattresses that could cause irreparable damage to their health,” said Clark. “We must find safe alternatives to PBDE and we are starting that process here today.”

By passing this bill, Minnesota is leading the country in protecting citizens from this harmful form of bromine. Many other states are currently considering similar bills involving the limitation of PBDE use in consumer furniture and appliances.


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