Let the Cat Out of the Bag!

April 29th, 2011

Let the cat out of the bag!

Don’t look now, but the chemical industry in California is trying to prevent you from purchasing products that could help save your cat or dog’s life!

SB 147 (sponsored by Senator Mark Leno) simply wants to “require the Bureau of Home Furnishings to include an alternative flammability standard that can be met without the use of chemical fire retardants and does not compromise fire safety. As a result, consumers will be able to choose to purchase furniture, such as couches, that meets strict fire protection standards without exposing their families to dangerous chemicals.”

But the chemical industry wants this dirty and toxic little secret to stay hidden.

When I first started working at the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, I learned about something called “brominated flame retardants (BFRs)” and how they are up to ten per cent of the weight of the foam in furniture in California. And there is no data to show that the California standard that leads to the use of these chemicals in our couches provides a fire safety benefit.

The negative impacts on workers and the environment were enough to get me motivated, but then it got more personal. The chemicals migrate out of products with foam and end up in dust.

I learned that companion animals, cats in particular, have much higher levels of the BFRs because they clean themselves by licking their fur.

Both of my cats (who are now deceased) suffered from hyperthyroidism, which has been found to be a possible result of exposure to BFRs.

At Indiana University, scientists found flame retardants in the blood of dogs at concentrations five to 10 times higher than in humans, but lower than levels found in a previous study of cats. The dogs lived mostly inside (these stats are not from animal experiments but from blood drawn from people’s companion animals).

Currently a bill is being heard in the California legislature that would give consumers the choice  to buy a furniture with BFRs or not. It is THAT simple. And yet, a number of legislators have voted against your ability as a consumer to make a choice to protect your family – four-legged ones included.

Do not let this happen.

The bill was already voted down (by Democrats and Republicans alike), but will be heard again on MONDAY.

Yes, Monday — please act NOW!

Please call the following legislators TODAY and ask them to vote YES on SB 147:


Curren Price (Chair) Los Angeles, Hollywood, West LA:  916.651-4026
Lou Correa Anaheim and Santa Ana: 916.651-4034
Edward Hernandez Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley:  916.651-4024
Gloria Negrete McLeod San Bernardino:  916.651-4032
Juan Vargas San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties:  916.651-4040

Bill Emmerson (Vice-Chair) Riverside County: 916.651-4037
Mimi Walters Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Orange, Mission Viejo:  916.651-4033
Mark Wyland North San Diego County: 916.651-4038

For more details and background information, please click here.

For my critter and yours,


This is a must

sane choices for sane people (and animals)

Please help save our animals please vote YES on Bill number SB 147
Thank you and have a Blessed day and thank you for your kindness to our precious furry friends who needs your help and support.

Jo Anne M. Whitteaker, ISA CAPP, GG
ISA Certified Appraiser (ISA)
Graduate Gemologist (GIA)
727 688 1300