Now I wasn’t privy to the conversations that led to Walmart’s decision to ban PBDE flame retardants (sadly), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think F (All of the above, except A) is the best answer here. Let’s pretend this is the Princeton Review, and discuss each of the possible answers.
"Every time you sit on the couch there's a little 'Pig Pen' effect, a little poof," said Kathy Curtis of the Environmental Health Fund. "You adjust your computer screen and a little bit comes off, and you pick up the sandwich and take a bite and now it's in your body. This stuff is everywhere." (Washington Post)
In the future, because of the “Walmart Effect,” even folks who don’t shop at Walmart stand to benefit from the ban of PBDEs:
"This [ban] will have both direct and indirect ripple effects," said Richard Denison, senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. "The companies producing for Wal-Mart are not going to make a special line for them and another line with those chemicals for everyone else. And this is going to make it easier for other retailers to follow suit." (Washington Post)While answer A is a great reason to ban PBDEs, I don’t think it’s the reason Walmart execs are banning PBDEs from Walmart’s products. I’m no Walmart expert (I did watch Frontline’s Is Walmart Good for America? a few years ago). But, as a general rule, I think your average corporation is more worried about profits than human health. That’s too bad, but understandable. So let’s move on to the other answers.
The nation's chemical laws, created 35 years ago, make it extremely difficult for the federal government to ban or restrict a chemical's use. Regulators must prove a chemical poses a clear health risk, but the EPA has sufficient health and safety data for only about 200 of the 84,000 chemicals in commerce in the United States. The hurdles are so high that the agency has been unable to ban asbestos, widely acknowledged as a likely carcinogen and barred in more than 30 countries. (Washington Post)
However, E could not be the reason Walmart is banning PBDEs without B, C and D. Thanks to pesky citizens, advocacy groups, and dedicated legislators (and no thanks to the federal government), it pays for Walmart to make the choice that is healthier for you, your children, and the planet.
Become an Advocate for Safer Chemicals (Safer Chemicals Healthy Families)
How to Buy a Natural Bed when You Have No Income (Eco-novice)
Includes information about avoiding flame retardants in your mattress, pillow, and bedding.
Get Answers: What are Safer Pillow Options? (Healthy Child Healthy World)
Pillows and car seats are some of the most significant sources of PBDEs in humans.
What do You Know about Toxic Fire Retardants in Mattresses and Couches? (Healthy Child Healthy World)
Household Dust Doesn’t Pose a Fire Hazard, So Why Is It Loaded With Flame Retardants? (Healthy Child Healthy World)
Includes tips for avoiding PBDE exposure.
Reducing your exposure to PBDEs in your home (Environmental Working Group)
EWG’s Guide to PBDEs (Environmental Working Group)