Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-13.4
Hazardous Chemicals – Contamination of Breast Milk and Environment

SECTION 23-13.4-1

§ 23-13.4-1. Legislative findings.

The legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Chemicals known as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are widely used in Rhode Island. To meet stringent fire standards, manufacturers add BFRs to a multitude of products, including plastic housing of electronics and computers, circuit boards, and the foam and textiles used in furniture.

(2) Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), which is a subcategory of BFRs, has increased fortyfold in human breast milk since the 1970s.

(3) PBDE has the potential to disrupt thyroid hormone balance and contribute to a variety of developmental deficits, including low intelligence and learning disabilities. PBDE may also have the potential to cause cancer.

(4) Substantial efforts to eliminate BFRs from products have been made throughout the world, including private and public sectors. These efforts have made available numerous alternatives safe to human health while meeting stringent fire standards. To meet market demand, it is in the interest of Rhode Island manufacturers to eliminate the use of BFRs.

(5) In order to protect the public health and the environment, the legislature believes it is necessary for the state to develop a precautionary approach regarding the production, use, storage, and disposal of products containing brominated fire retardants.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 591, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 45.)