Sen. Sharon Nelson, D- Maury Island, today issued the following statement after ESHB 1294 passed on the Senate floor:

"I am disappointed that the majority of Washington State Senators voted to pass a gutted version of the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act. The changes made to this bill in committee and voted for on the Senate floor removed much-needed protections for our babies, children and families from these harmful flame retardants that are known to cause cancer.

"As passed, the bill bans two versions of the cancer-causing chemical Tris, both of which are already being phased out of use by the industry. The bill did not include a critical provision in the version passed out of the House that would allow the Dept. of Ecology to restrict known and future toxic flame retardants from being used in children’s products and furniture.

"Every time we ban a toxic chemical in Washington, it is soon replaced with an equally or more harmful alternative. Replacing one bad chemical with another does not protect our children. It also does not protect our firefighters, who must breathe in the harmful fumes of flame retardants when they respond to a fire as they work to protect our families.

"It is long past time for our state to get off this toxic treadmill. As a grandma-to-be, I am especially concerned for our children. They are the ones who are most vulnerable to toxic chemicals as they are growing and developing. These chemicals are in our couches and our babies’ car seats, in household dust that children ingest on a daily basis.

"Today, Senate Republicans and two Democrats failed our state by passing a bill supported by the chemical industry. My goal is to ensure that the final legislation provides real protection for our families and firefighters."