Flame retardants in toys cause cancer

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by Derek Smith

 ANCHORAGE, Ak-- Vi Waghiyi, grandmother and mother from St. Lawerence says her community is highly toxic. 

 
"Communities like ours on St. Lawerence Island, we are some of the most highly contaminated population on the planet from global contaminants," Vi Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Program Program Director says. 
 
To make matters worse, some house hold items add to the toxity level. 
 
"Our children are more vulnerable and this greatly concerns me as a grandmother because our children has twice as much birth effects than the lower 48. Children, they crawl on the carpet pad, the pad has flame retardents," Waghiyi says. 
 
In 1970, flame retardent chemicals such as Tris were found in every day items. 
But no plan of action has been issued yet. 
 
"But what hasn't been done at the federal level is the removal of these chemicals from children's products," Pamela Miller, Executive Director of ACAT says. 
 
Alaska Community Action on Toxics tests childrens toys and other items for possible hazardous chemicals. The results were terrifying.  
 
"These care chemicals known to be cancer causing. They are known to cause reproductive harm, and they can damage the developing brain and nerve system," Miller states. 
 
After noticing results, Senator Donnie Olsen, a small community citizen, introduced a bill for companies to use an alternative. 
 
"First of all senater donnie olsen introduced bill 151 toxic free act," Miller says. 
 
For mother and grand mother Vi, it's a step in the right direction. 
 
 "I like to thank him for sponsoring and introducing senate bill 151. The Toxic Free Childrens Act. It is important to show  him grartitude and acknowledge the work that he is doing to protect the health of children in future generations," Waghiyi says.  
 
For now, Alaska Community Action of Toxics can only spread awareness.