SACRAMENTO, Calif.,–On Monday, eight California State Senators voted against a measure that provides green business opportunities, improves fire safety for the state, and curbs global exposure to illness-causing chemicals.

Senate Business and Professions Committee Senators–Curren Price, D-Inglewood; Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet; Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana; Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina; Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino; Juan Vargas, D-San Diego; Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel; and Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach–voted down SB 147, a bill that allows manufacturers to make fire-safe and chemical-free furniture and baby products intended for sale in California.

“Every single life is valuable, and no one should fall victim to fire injury or death. Firefighters can protect the lives of others and their own life better if this law is passed,” says Tony Stefani, cancer survivor, founder of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, and retired Captain of the San Francisco Fire Department.

Denise Lamb of Black Women for Wellness works on health issues for the African American community, and testified: “We’re constantly talking about the educational achievement gap in our kids, yet current law encourages the use of chemicals like flame retardants that are linked to lowered IQ and developmental disorders. We deserve the right to protect our families from fire and from toxic chemicals.”

“Opposition to this bill was created by the same political operative who once worked at the Tobacco Institute,” said Andrew McGuire, Executive Director of the Trauma Foundation at San Francisco General Hospital who was badly burned as a child and mounted a 15 year campaign for fire-safe cigarettes and fire safety. “Well-trained hired guns are running this chemical industry campaign, and our legislators need to do a better job of watching out for the interests of their real constituents.”

“It is unconscionable that these legislators are ignoring the myriad of scientific studies linking flame retardants’ chemicals to the rising rates of illnesses we are seeing today–learning disabilities and lowered IQ, reproductive effects–including undescended testicles, decreased sperm quality, infertility–and even cancer,” says Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA). “These legislators have a responsibility to us, their constituents, not to chemical industry front groups.”

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