For more information:
Corey Troiani, Texas Campaign for the Environment
214-599-7840 or 972-658-3617, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zac Trahan, Texas Campaign for the Environment
214-599-7840 or 214-497-6050, email@example.com
Pier 1 Faces Demonstration Over Chemicals in Furniture
Protestors visit Fort Worth HQ urging retailer to shelve toxic flame retardants
FORT WORTH— A Texas environmental group is drawing attention to locally headquartered Pier 1 Imports and pressuring the company to sell furniture without flame retardant chemicals they say pose a threat to public health. Protesters brought a large sofa and stood just outside the company’s downtown headquarters, displaying a large banner, “Pier 1 Imports Toxics, Make All Sofas Safe,” and a speech bubble, “Ask me about my toxic chemicals.”
Today’s demonstration coincides with a national effort to pressure Pier 1 to change its chemical policy and phase out the use of toxic flame retardants. Several other leading furniture retailers such as IKEA and Ashley Furniture have already responded to similar pressure – they will not be selling furniture with such chemicals.
Advocacy organizations and consumers have become concerned with the flame retardant chemicals in their clothing, furniture, and electronics as it is becoming clear that they pose more harm than good.
“We think of our living rooms and bedrooms as places for us to relax,” said Corey Troiani with Texas Campaign for the Environment a local nonprofit advocacy organization, “Our furniture shouldn’t be riddled with chemicals that escape into household dust and then enter our bodies. Toxic flame retardants threaten our reproductive and nervous systems.”
For nearly four decades, controversial flame retardant chemicals were required in furniture in the state of California to prevent fires. Many national furniture companies added these chemicals to furniture products in every state to meet minimum standards in California. Recent scientific evidence suggests that the chemicals do not effectively protect against fires, but actually cause more harm than good, contributing to more toxic soot and smoke during fires and releasing chemicals into dust during everyday use. (California no longer requires them.)
The Fort Worth protest was coordinated with other consumer advocacy groups across the nation pressuring Pier 1 Imports to change their chemical policy. Just last month, Macy’s responded to the same coalition of advocacy groups by removing these chemicals from their furniture.
Organizers with Texas Campaign for the Environment delivered consumers’ letters of concern to corporate officials, intended to be read by the company CEO, Alexander Smith. “Sometimes corporate leaders don’t chose to do the right thing, they need a little push, and it’s best when that push comes from the people they care about most, their shoppers,” said Laura Trevisani.
Tags: safer chemicals
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