Collection of information about toxicity and calls for regulatory action to ban these toxic chemicals

Flame retardants, in particular, polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, are of serious concern to children's health. Like other well-known toxic substances like PCBs and dioxins, they are highly toxic and persistent in the environment. Measurements from around the world, including in Canada, show dramatic increases in these substances in the environment, in food, in house dust, and in breast milk. Also like PCBs and dioxins, these chemicals are harmful to children's developing brains.

Publications, fact sheets and on-line resources

The following resources include detailed and summary reports, literature reviews and fact sheets about flame retardants by public interest groups, government agencies and researchers in Canada and the United States.

  1. November 2013
  2. April 2011
  3. August 2010
  4. August 2009
    Fact Sheet
  5. May 27, 2009
    Letter, Response to Consultation
  6. May 27, 2009
    Letter, Response to Consultation
  7. 2009
  8. May 2009
    Brochure, Background information
  9. May 1, 2009
  10. 2009
    Web page
  11. September 4, 2008
    Web page, Report
  12. 2008
    Web page, Video
  13. April 2, 2008
  14. March 24, 2008
  15. 2008
    Web page, Video
  16. February 13, 2008
    Response to Consultation, Report
  17. 2007
  18. February 14, 2007
    Response to Consultation, Legal Submissions
  19. October 2006
    Response to Consultation, Report
  20. October 2005
  21. August 2005
  22. July 22, 2005
    Fact Sheet
  23. June 23, 2005
    Fact Sheet
  24. March 2005
  25. November 2004
    Position Paper
  26. September 29, 2004
  27. 2004
  28. 2003
  29. 2003
  30. 2003
  31. June 10, 2003
  32. 2003

News coverage on this issue

Nov 20, 2013

Independent tests reveal kids’ products contain chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and other serious health problems

Media Release from the Canadian Environmental Law Association

Apr 25, 2011

Carpet pads commonly sold to consumers in the USA, Canada and other developed countries contain dangerous chemicals that can cause nervous system damage, particularly in infants and toddlers.

Media Release from the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)

May 10, 2009
Delegate Decisions Threaten the Integrity of the Stockholm Convention
Mar 27, 2009
Move by government to control DecaBDE welcomed by environmental groups
Sep 04, 2008
Toxic Compounds in Toddlers & Preschoolers 3x Higher Than in Moms
Jul 11, 2008
Backgrounder to July 10/08 Media Release from CELA, Ecojustice and David Suzuki Foundation
Jul 11, 2008
Groups call for ban on all PBDEs
Joint Media Release from Ecojustice, CELA and the David Suzuki Foundation
Apr 04, 2007
Washington State Passes Bill to Ban PBDEs
Feb 16, 2007
Legal complaint highlights gaping loopholes in proposed regulations.

Media release from Sierra Legal Defence Fund, Canadian Environmental Law Association and the David Suzuki Foundation
Aug 25, 2005
A paper presented at Toronto's "Dioxin 2005" conference suggests that levels of PBDEs in humans are overtaking levels of long-banned chemicals PCBs
Aug 25, 2005
New analysis by California EPA scientists suggests that toxic flame retardants known as PBDEs are becoming a major environmental health concern (media release from Northwest Environment Watch)
Aug 25, 2005
Q and As prepared by Northwest Environment Watch
Feb 14, 2005
From Globe and Mail Monday, February 14, 2005 Updated at 1:20 AM EST By ANDRÉ PICARD and AVIS FAVARO
Sep 29, 2004
Breastmilk study confirms need for chemical phase-out; says breastfeeding still best for baby and mom.