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May 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Seattle doctor's false testimony on flame retardants

Need to focus on alternatives

It is particularly disappointing to hear that a doctor serves as an expert witness for industry at the expense of people’s health. [“Seattle doctor’s untruths fan fears,” page one, May 8.]

Dr. David Heimbach’s testimony was all the more shocking given that he acknowledged he wouldn’t have presented the same examples under oath.

Dr. Heimbach’s responsibility is to promote safe fire prevention, instead of testifying in support of chemicals that have proved to be toxic, but not proved to be effective for preventing household fires.

We need to focus on alternatives to petroleum-based foams in furniture, children’s toys, carpeting and insulation. Research has shown that adding a small amount of flame retardant to these petroleum-based products does not prevent fires, but the amount that ends up in household dust does cause illness, especially for children.

Recent research shows that even our pets’ health is damaged from the toxins in dust.

As someone who has had to deal with the health effects of chemicals in household products, I would like to see doctors held to a higher standard.

— Nola-Jean Bamberry, Seattle

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