Looks like Washington soon willhave some of the strongest anti-PBDE legislation anywhere in the world!

Under the measure, mattresses with deca [the most common form of PBDEs] would be banned after Jan. 1, 2008, and the chemical would be prohibited in residential upholstered furniture and in televisions or computers with electronic enclosures after Jan. 1, 2011.

The “penta” and “octa” formulations of PBDEs haven’t been manufactured in North America for a while, but “deca” is still fairly common—so this is genuinely big news. I doubt that electronics manufacturers will have much trouble complying with the law, though. Judging from some of the news alerts that land in my inbox, plenty of companies have happily gone PBDE-free.

The P-I had a great rundown on the issue last week. To me, the most interesting bit was the exploration of how firefighters’ organizations came to support the ban. They, more than anyone, bear the burden of household toxics—when a house goes up in smoke, they’re the ones who have to inhale.