This month Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will ask the Fire Marshal and the Building Standards Commission to review California'a flammability standards for insulation materials. Authored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D- Berkeley, the law will have officials considering whether flame retardants are necessary for fire safety. This law comes in light of studies showing that some of the most commonly used compounds
in insulation have dangerous or unknown effects. With the chemical industry pouring millions of dollars into state legislature, Skinner says banning chemicals outright will be a tough sell. "It was more important to at least have the ability for building professionals and consumers to be able to get foam without chemicals than to ban" the chemicals, she said. "Because with the standard right now, we don't have the option to get it or use it without chemicals." The law, known as AB127, targets chemical flame retardant chemicals like HBCD, which can disrupt human hormones and harm the developing nervous system, and TCPP, which is considered potential carcinogen. With support from the USGBC, San Francisco firefighters, and the National Resources Defense Council decades-old flammability standards are finally being reversed.