Toxic Chemicals

Killer Cribs: Protecting Infants and Children from Toxic Exposure

Killer CribsFriends of the Earth has found that commonly used baby and children's products and upholstered household furniture contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals called halogenated fire retardants.

The study finds that these toxic chemicals appear in a high percentage of portable cribs, strollers, car seats and infant carriers. Due to their prevalence in common household products, these chemicals have been found in breast milk and in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of these chemicals as they impact development at critical stages of growth.

Learn More about Killer Cribs | Press Release | CBS News: Is Fire Retardant A Harmful Toxin?


Friends of the Earth Blasts Bush Administration Railroad Routing Regulations

The Bush administration published new regulations today that allow U.S. railroads to unilaterally select dangerous routes through or around major cities for chemical railcars that the federal agencies call “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” The new rule is nearly identical to the one Bush administration proposed December 21, 2006, and which Congress subsequently found inadequate. The previous rule and the new one allow railroads to pick hazardous materials routes using assumptions and calculations that are kept secret from the public.

Press Release | Chertoff lambasted for railcar safety boast


Friends of the Earth Releases "Killer Couch" Report

Virtually every American tested found to have retardants in bodies; babies and children found to have highest levels

Killer CouchSAN FRANCISCO—According to a study released by Friends of the Earth, a high percentage of California furniture contains toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, and reproductive and neurological dysfunction. These toxins are particularly dangerous to infants and children.

Friends of the Earth tested a sample of 350 pieces of household furniture in stores and domestic residences and found that most of the furniture had high levels of toxic halogenated fire retardants. This analysis suggests that product contamination is widespread in California, exposing the state's population to a significant and unnecessary risk.

See the Killer Couch Video | CBS News on our Report | Read the Press Release | Download the Report


EPA Study Underlines Need for Ban on Dangerous Fire Retardants

FireSAN FRANCISCO -- Friends of the Earth restated its commitment to a proposed ban on a group of harmful fire retardants yesterday as scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency released a study confirming the risks they pose.

The report, published in the August 15 edition of Environmental Science and Technology, is the latest to focus on the adverse health impacts of these chemicals. When brominated fire retardants burn, they convert to dioxins, among the most potent carcinogens known. As a result, firefighters suffer from four types of cancer--especially non-Hodgkin's lymphoma--at extremely high rates. Some studies have also linked the existence of brominated fire retardants in breast milk to reproductive, neurological and developmental disorders including ADHD and hyperactivity in children.


The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of public health, educational, religious, labor, women’s, environmental and consumer groups. Our goal is to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals that are known or suspected carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins. This campaign is part of Friends of the Earth's new Cancer Prevention Program, which is dedicated to eliminating the preventable causes of cancer.

Go to the Campaign's Website