Get cancer-causing chemicals out of cars

We need fire-safe vehicles without exposure to harmful flame retardants

 

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The air and seat foam inside our vehicles contains harmful flame retardants, according to a new study by the Green Science Policy Institute and Duke University that found these toxic chemicals in the interiors of all 101 cars tested across 22 brands. Manufacturers add these chemicals to seat foam and other materials—including those in children’s car seats—to meet an outdated 1971 federal flammability standard with no proven fire-safety benefit. Every day, people are exposed to these cancer-causing and neurotoxic flame retardants inside their cars—especially infants and children who spend many hours in car seats. 

It’s time to update this half-century-old standard, which needlessly leads to daily toxic exposures. With a decrease in cigarette smoking in cars and improved vehicle technologies, as well as increasing research showing the severe health harm of flame retardant chemicals, consumers deserve an updated standard with protection against fire AND toxic chemical harm. Sign our petition calling for a modern flammability standard that doesn’t expose us to these toxic chemicals in our vehicles.

Petition to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

We urge you to update the 1971 flammability standard FMVSS 302, which applies to fabrics, foams and other materials inside the vehicles. A new study confirmed that cars across the U.S. contain toxic flame retardant chemicals, including known carcinogens and neurotoxins, in order to meet this standard. Every day, people are exposed to these chemicals inside their cars.

These chemicals will only delay fires for seconds, and when they burn, the flame retardants create additional smoke, soot, toxic gases, dioxins, and furans, which are the main causes of fire deaths and contribute to firefighter cancer.

It is well past time to update this harmful and ineffective standard that leads to daily toxic exposures for everyone who rides in cars—especially infants and children who spend many hours in car seats. Please launch an effort immediately to develop a better flammability standard that doesn’t expose us to these harms.