Green Buckeye RN


Chicago Tribune: Distorting Science- Makes of Flame Retardants Manipulate Research Findings To Back Their Products, Downplay Health Risks
May 15, 2012, 12:42 pm
Filed under: News

Twenty-five years ago, scientists gathered in a cramped government laboratory and set fire to specially designed chairs, TVs and electrical cables packed with flame retardants. For the next half-hour, they carefully measured how much the chemicals slowed the blaze.

It was one of the largest studies of its kind, and the chemical industry seized upon it, claiming the results showed that flame retardants gave people a 15-fold increase in time to escape fires.

Manufacturers of flame retardants would repeatedly point to this government study as key proof that these toxic chemicals — embedded in many common household items — prevented residential fires and saved lives.

But the study’s lead author, Vytenis Babrauskas, told the Tribune that industry officials have “grossly distorted” the findings of his research, which was not based on real-world conditions. The small amounts of flame retardants in typical home furnishings, he said, offer little to no fire protection.

“Industry has used this study in ways that are improper and untruthful,” he said.

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Read further at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/flames/ct-met-flames-science-20120509,0,2480120.story

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