Dayton signs scaled-back flame retardant ban

Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill that bans four flame-retardant chemicals from children's products and upholstered furniture.

The ban, which doesn't take effect until July 2018, was heavily supported by firefighters, who say they were being exposed to more cancer-causing chemicals on the job.

Firefighters pointed to scientific studies showing that, when burned, the chemicals produce carcinogens that can be absorbed through the skin.

An earlier version sought to ban 10 flame retardant-chemicals, but the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the American Chemistry Council fought to pare down the list and delay implementation.

Industry officials say there's no proof the flame retardants are to blame for a spike in cancer cases among U.S. firefighters.

The newly-signed law also orders a study to give lawmakers more information about regulations of flame retardants in a variety of products, including carpeting and mattresses.

Dayton's signature came after the measure received broad support in both the Republican-led House and DFL-led Senate.

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