How you can help
Write to your MP
Dear [insert name]
I have been working/studying as an upholsterer at [insert your address to prove you are in the constituency] in your constituency, my business name is [insert name or website address].
I am concerned that I have unacceptable occupational exposure to chemical flame retardants in my workshop. In the UK, foam, furniture filling materials and top fabrics are all treated with chemical flame retardants. I am worried that [itchy skin, thyroid problem, fertility problems, auto immune problems] might have been linked to my time working with these chemicals. I understand that there is now a considerable body of scientific research linking these flame retardants to adverse health conditions such as cancer, endocrine disruption, fertility issues, child developmental problems and metabolic problems. I also understand that they are not much help in a fire situation.
In 2019 there was an Environmental Audit - Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life run by MP Mary Creagh, and this concluded that the UK should stop using these chemical flame retardants and move to the US and EU model of a fabric smoulder test instead.
There has just been a consultation, run by the OPSS, within the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on changing the UK law that leads to these chemicals being used. I completely fail to understand why the OPSS is not following the Environmental Audit decision. Instead the new draft law on furniture fire safety continues to have an “open flame” test - and this will mean the toxic chemicals continue.
I am hoping I can invite you to my workshop to better understand the problem. And I am hoping I can persuade you to contact the Right Honourable Philip Dunne, the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee to ask why the Government is not following the 2019 Environmental Audit? And to ask the Right Honourable Philip Dunne to contact BEIS and explain to them the depth of the health risks discovered by the Environmental Audit Committee.
I’m grateful for your time.
All the best
[Insert your name]
PS In case you would like to take a look before we meet:
The 2019 Environmental Audit conclusion clause 8
Add your name to our letter
The government consultation is closed but we can keep adding names to our letter to show the evidence that this is an issue many of us care about.
Before the deadline on 24 October 2023, we had almost 6000 signatures.
Let's get to 10,000.
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