- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine firefighters and environmentalists are asking lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban the use of flame retardants in new furniture.

The firefighters say that when foam and upholstery treated with those chemicals burn, they give off smoke, fumes and particles that can be carcinogenic.

Maine has already banned several specific chemicals as flame retardants in furniture. Environmental group Prevent Harm, which helped write the bill, wants to ban all of them.

Former state Sen. Linda Baker, of Topsham, told lawmakers Monday that her husband, a former fire chief, died from cancer and she believes it was caused by breathing toxic chemicals from a burning car.

The state Department of Environmental Protection opposes the bill, saying it’s too broad and that the cost to consumers could be significant.

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