ACC division urges healthcare group to reconsider flame retardant ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: June 17, 2014 4:36 pm ET
Updated: June 17, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, United States, Medical furniture
Companies & Associations American Chemistry Council

WASHINGTON — A division of the American Chemistry Council is urging Kaiser Permanente to reverse its decision to stop buying flame retardant office and hospital furniture in a June 17 letter, arguing that the chemicals play an important role in reducing fires and protecting the sick and elderly.

“Flame retardants are an important tool in the fire safety tool box. They represent an important layer of fire protection in hospitals, health care facilities, and medical offices,” ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley wrote in the letter on behalf of the North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA). “The use of flame retardants in upholstered furniture can help prevent fires from starting and/or slow the rate at which small fires become big fires, providing valuable time for persons to escape danger.”

The NAFRA letter notes that the decision by Kaiser Permanente is based on the potential health effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — a group of flame retardants that are no longer on the market — and urges the health care company to “give further consideration to the recently announced policy for purchasing upholstered furniture” and noted that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently identified 50 flame retardants that would protect people from fires while posing little to no risk to human health.

In the letter, Dooley and NAFRA members also requested a meeting with Kaiser Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson to further discuss the scientific evidence showing the role of flame retardants in saving lives.

Out of concern for exposing patients and clients to increasing levels of potentially harmful or toxic chemicals in the environment, Kaiser, the largest nonprofit health management organization in the United States, announced June 3 it will stop buying furniture made with polyurethane that contains any type of chemical flame retardant, even those that are federally approved.

Kaiser spends about $30 million each year furnishing its 38 hospitals and 600 medical office buildings in eight states and the District of Columbia.


Comments

ACC division urges healthcare group to reconsider flame retardant ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: June 17, 2014 4:36 pm ET
Updated: June 17, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Australia's Orora buys Texas packaging distributor Worldwide Plastics

September 2, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Australian packaging company Orora Ltd. has bought San Antonio, Texas-based plastic packaging distributor Worldwide Plastics Co.    More

Image

Startup post-consumer recycling specialty company Zzyzx wins grant

September 2, 2014 1:33 pm ET

An Allentown, Pa., company is receiving a grant of $737,000 to help support its efforts to develop polymers using post-consumer plastics.    More

Image

Minnesota Rubber & Plastics has new leader, new focus

September 2, 2014 12:18 pm ET

With new leadership, Minnesota Rubber & Plastics is setting the foundation for long-term success.    More

Image

Europe recycled equivalent of 65 billion PET bottles in 2013

September 2, 2014 10:38 am ET

New figures from Petcore Europe said the equivalent of around 65 billion bottles — 1.64 million metric tons — was recycled in the region...    More

Image

EcoCortec develops marine degradeable film to help reduce debris

September 2, 2014 9:55 am ET

Croatian specialist packaging producer EcoCortec has developed marine biodegradable film products designed to combat the scourge of plastics packaging...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events