Cancer-Causing Chemical Reappears
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that a cancer-causing flame retardant, which was taken out of children's pajamas more than 30 years ago, is now being used in furniture, paint and baby products.
The Journal Sentinel's Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger found that the chemical, known as chlorinated Tris, one of the three most commonly used flame retardants, is considered harmful by several international and national health and regulatory agencies.
The federal government thinks otherwise, listing on its Web site 16 studies that each conclude the chemical does not harm people. The Journal Sentinel examined those studies and found that all were funded by chemical-makers; all but one were conducted more than 25 years ago; and only one was published or peer-reviewed, a standard of rigorous scientific scrutiny.
The story, published Saturday, follows up on the paper's "Chemical Fallout" series, which examined dangerous chemicals found in the packaging, surfaces or contents of many products.
The Journal Sentinel's story follows a yearlong Chicago Tribune investigation into hazardous children's products, "Kids at Risk," a series that led to significant congressional reforms in regards to consumer-product safety and a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting this year.
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