So in a short space of time, we've had people running for cover, resigning from committees and being axed from their jobs for corruption.
What else will move things on? Get your MP to write to the Department for Business. I met them yesterday and while they're crapping themselves about the attention that's now on them, they admitted that in effect they're not going to make any changes to these Regulations for another 9-12 years. I spelled out to them that that means we're going to continue poisoning our children as they sleep but these people have segmented minds and somehow avoid taking any responsiblity, concerned only about their careers and pension.
What's the evidence for this claim?
> but logic suggests at the very least they were sounded out before retiring.
Logic had little to do with it I fear. Secondly the UK tabloidesque vilification of public servants who leverage their expertise when their career is over is tiresome. That is not evidence of "corruption".
I'm not sure what is the right call is in the train case, because they have the same toxicity issue, interesting to hear it in this context. It makes me wonder if there is more to this story given your allegations
By law all soft furnishing must be treated with flame retardant chemicals in order to be eligible for sale.
That's an oddly specific timeframe. Any reason for that? Is there an agreement that due to be renewed by then or something?
It was cigarette companies who lobbied pro fire retardants. People were setting furniture on fire while falling asleep with cig in hand. And instead of taking blame, they shifted focus and made the laws pass.
This is a tax everyone is paying for some smokers to get their fix. Absolutely disgusting and despicable. Yet, no one has the guts to step up and shut down the entire industry. It's unfathomable to what extent greed makes humans behave.
Amusingly, this is more of a result of anti-tobacco campaigns. I have recently visited Prague and one of the things I noticed were the ashtrays everywhere and very few cigarette butts on the street. But in NYC, where I live, there are no ashtrays and so you get cigarette butts all over the place. Because smokers are not going to quit smoking simply because you removed all the ashtrays.
Everything's a poison depending on the dose. The same could be said for alcohol or junk food.
> just look at the ground next time you're walking outside to see all the cigarette butts
Or soda bottles or fast food wrappers or oil dripping from cars or...
> and then they lobby to push for these retardants to be pushed onto the furnishing industry
This is a result of TB117 being signed by CA gov Jerry Brown in 1975 , more than 10 years after the surgeon general's report about cigarettes and lung cancer. If any lobbyists are to blame I would tend to look at the chemical companies.
What's more, California required the retardant, so furniture companies decided instead of making california-specific furniture, they'd put the retardant into all furniture. There's at least some blame on them as well.
> This is a tax everyone is paying for some smokers to get their fix.
I'd argue it's a tax everyone pays because California's government is/was run amok.
I mean, yea? The alcohol industry in the US and worldwide is kinda shameless in how much they reinforce overindulgence with their advertisements.
Junk food should absolutely have a tax, not a sin tax because it's bad - but a tax that brings in the currently externalized health costs that will come from eating it regularly.
Note that I'm not saying here that they simply fail to use some technology or chemical that would cause a cigarette to burn out. They are doing the opposite; a hand-rolled cigarette burns out on its own.
Cigarette fires are usually caused when a smoker falls asleep while holding a cigarette.
At one point tobacco companies developed non-addictive cigarettes and kept it a secret.
Source: A long time back a friend of mine's brother was part of a faux-jury assembled by tobacco company lawyers to do like a focus group to research how real juries in some real trial might think/feel. They revealed all kinds of stuff to these folks. They made them sign NDAs, of course, but he told us everything anyway. That was one of the things I remember: they made non-addictive cigs and kept it a secret.
There is no gunpowder in cigarettes:
A non-addictive cigarette would have to have no nicotine b/c nicotine is addictive:
"Source: A long time back a friend of mine's brother was part of a faux-jury assembled by tobacco company lawyers to do like a focus group to research how real juries in some real trial might think/feel."
Ycombinator post<--carapace<--friend<--brother<--faux-jury<--lawyers<--tobacco company
Even facts get changed when they're nested >5 levels deep in human networks.
I suspect it would not do well as a product, all the downsides of smoking without the rewarding nicotine buzz. It would be interesting to learn more.
A person is holding something flammable without the respect it deserves. The human desperation to place blame needs to be restrained better.
Have you smoked a cigarette recently (as in at least the past 10 years)?. This is absolutely what they do. I'm not sure what the exact flame out time is for any particular brand, but it's a real drag (ahem) for people who like to smoke slowly, as the first re-lit hit feels very harsh.
According to Wikipedia fire-safe cigarettes are required in all 50 states as of 2011. It's been awhile since I've smoked but I remember me and my friends bitching about the fire safe paper many years before that. We also theorized that it was making the cig more harsh in general. Of course we never had any evidence of this.
I might be wrong about this, but it seems to me that simple paper + tobacco hand rolled cigs natural behavior would be to not flame out, or do so much more slowly. What's stopping it from continuing to burn?
For hand rolled I'm not sure, I just remember that they would go out much easier, whatever is rolled inside of them
When my apartment building nearly caught fire because someone two buildings over fell asleep with a cigarette in hand, killed themselves, and burned down two other apartments, of course people wondered why cigarettes don't burn out on their own when you stop taking drags.
But what about a person dropping a lit cigarette on a couch (either sleeping or not). A cigarette isn't an open flame so the above doesn't apply. Is there a reasonable expectation that a lit cigarette would cause a couch to catch on fire? If there is, and a jury agreed, then the person who dropped it would be negligent.
But I would expect said person's lawyer to show that a standard cigarette dropped on a couch would not and could not cause a fire. But cigarettes manufactured by company X are treated with chemical Y in order to make them non-standard. And while the client may be partially negligent (for dropping the cigarette or falling asleep), the manufacture is also partially negligent for (knowingly) adding fire sustaining chemicals to an otherwise standard cigarette. If the cigarette manufacturer could prove that a standard cigarette would catch a couch on fire, and the knowledge of this was obvious to a standard person, then the person would be 100% negligent.
That is what I would assume anyway, I'm not in the industry.
Based on the American principle of jurisprudence commonly known as "sue the one with the most money", the families of those burnt-up people would probably go after the cigarette manufacturer.
The smoker, after all, would probably not routinely have burning embers smoldering in their home without the cigarette, would not be careless with fire without the casual familiarity with the burning cigarette, and would not be smoking at all without the addictive herbs and chemicals added to the cigarette by the manufacturer.
Imagine if a firearms manufacturer used television and movies to promote the idea that frequently firing live rounds in your own home was a fun and relaxing activity that is completely normal and acceptable (like Elvis shooting his television--free endorsement!). And occasionally someone might die from overpenetration. Gunmakers would then probably promote something like aramid or kevlar fabric wallboard sheathing, too, for more bullet-resistant walls. Arms companies have not, in fact, done anything quite that careless, yet they still get sued occasionally when gun owners are negligent. Not because they deserve the blame; because they have the most money.
If that knife manufacturer had deep pockets, you can bet your ass that eventually some clumsy cook would sue them.
It is like someone tried to write an interesting article then someone else came along and said "How can be mix Brexit into this?" Particularly as this issue has been well known for over ten years, long before Brexit was a realistic thing and the UK solo could have done something without the EU if it had wanted.
One aspect of Brexit could very well be national lobbyists wanting their control back.
Strategically buring news with other events that are higher priority in the news cycle is nothing new and worth pointing out.
That last paragraph was weird.
"Kids not eating their vegetables? Thank Trump for that"
Could it? Wouldn’t one EU state banning products from sale due to the presence of chemicals not banned elsewhere in the EU, not go against the point of the Common Market?
The common market is a trade alliance with some regulatory back-stops. In this case if the UK banned these chemicals and required a safer flame retardant, it would likely be legal elsewhere in the EU anyway because as the article says the currently regulations are too vague on WHAT can be used (so manufacturers use the cheapest).
Obviously none of which matters with Brexit. But historically the UK absolutely could have acted alone, as can other EU countries today.
We've always been free to choose much of our own course (blue passports anyone?), and we've also been as free as other EU states to break rules when it suited us. Beyond that, we were a part of the dialogue and could've pushed our points in within the European context. Instead we had the likes of Farage taking up seats in the EU parliament and adding absolutely nothing useful.
And so, the various vying frontline political factions in Westminster managed to pin much of the discontent in the UK's political landscape on the EU, not itself.
- ed clarified a line by adding '/ right wing'
Note also this isn't published in the news section but in the opinion section. Read into that what you will.
A quick google will reveal the level of gibberish allowed under this editorial section.
Edit: downvotes? Is this Reddit?
"The 1988 regs are a total mess. They work for no one except the chemicals manufacturers and the most slapdash furniture manufacturers. They could be described as either over-regulation or under-regulation. In either case, it's the wrong regulation. But because they have created a certain kind of industry, that industry, with its sunk costs and established interests, wants them to stay as they are. And despite years of handwaving and consultations that go nowhere, governments have obliged."
> ... It took until last year for mattresses and furniture containing the highly toxic retardant deca-BDE to be banned, under European law, from sale. ...
If that's the threat, then Wikipedia has a long way to catch up:
> In 2004, ATSDR wrote "Nothing definite is known about the health effects of PBDEs in people. Practically all of the available information is from studies of laboratory animals. Animal studies indicate that commercial decaBDE mixtures are generally much less toxic than the products containing lower brominated PBDEs. Because of its very different toxicity, decaBDE is expected to have relatively little effect on the health of humans." Based on animal studies, the possible health effects of decaBDE in humans involve the liver, thyroid, reproductive/developmental effects, and neurological effects.
"The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency gratefully acknowledges the efforts of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group and the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum to provide the Agency with important information regarding the polybrominated diphenyl ethers, especially decabromodiphenyl ether, in meetings on July 25, 2005 and September 8, 2005, respectively, and through personal contacts. The information provided is greatly appreciated."
Even though the wheels started turning on all of this a few years ago. Even though the EU themselves only banned things in the last year.
Rather than jumping into the actual story, they used it to push an entirely unrelated political narrative. Worse still, a lot of folks are going to see those first two paragraphs and not read the rest of the article.
That kind of journalism is really divisive and irresponsible, IMO.
 -- https://service.avocadogreenmattress.com/hc/en-us/articles/3...
I'll be buying a new sofa this year so I'm keenly interested on the sofa side. It seems that Ikea are the only company that make nicely designed not incredibly expensive sofas. Will look at vintage as well.
Even the new flame retardant that they're using to replace the old one is considered dangerous. So there's no end in near sight to this problem. I don't know of a realistic/affordable solution for normal consumers, even with knowledge of the problem.
I believe that mattresses are somehow exempt in the US? So the futon becomes a weird gray area. You can buy one with the express intent of using it only as a couch, but you put a mattress on it. I'm not 100% sure to be honest.
Do your own research, but from what I found it’s not too hard to be careful about this stuff.
The underlying problem here is that furniture doesn't need flame retardants, period. You wind up with this weird mouse & cat game. A drive to replace one additive just find something new, previously unknown, and possibly worse.
For example banning lead additives from gasoline was a good thing. It was replaced with MTBE which causes to groundwater contamination. This has now been banned in the US, which ironically sees ethanol replacing it. Ethanol production obviously predates gasoline, so it could have been used all along.
So this is a US thing too or what? I couldn't find anything else in the article mentioning the US.
At least one company sells nontoxic mattresses: https://www.nontoxicbeds.com/
An example of where EU hasn't regulated properly is somehow supposed to automatically be made worse leaving the EU?
He claims that the government is using Brexit as a distraction from this issue but then links to a parliamentary report as one of his primary sources. (I know parliament is not the same as the current government, but come on, this is not some kind of top-down conspiracy)
Regulations frequently butt up against eachother. Making something non-flammable and non-toxic is obviously not trivial. I would love to understand more about this because there is almost certainly something worth investigating here but can we please give this to anyone but George Monbiot to write about.
This is particularly funny - "Edge contends that many of the deaths at Grenfell Tower were likely to have been caused by toxic emissions from furnishings"
But there are issues around this, and the way forward I think it getting pollution meters into peoples houses.
We need to reduce PM 2.5 but VOCs also seem important, allow people to measure these.
Start with the upper class and clean air, bottled water shows this is possible, make it cool.