Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics


Enviro chairman targets "killer couches"

Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) wants to ban "killer couches." And, no, he's not talking about great looking sofas.

Sweeney, chairman of the Assembly Environmental Committee, says “killer couches” contain flame retardant chemicals that are linked to numerous health risks without providing “any practical safety benefit.” He said flame-retardant chemicals are linked to many problems, including infertility, birth defects and early puberty, and that studies show that women with high levels of flame retardants in their blood have smaller babies. The chemicals became standard in furniture in the 1970s to reduce cigarette-caused fires.

On Tuesday, the state Assembly passed a Sweeney-sponsored measure that would ban the use of chemical-flame retardants in residential upholstered furniture – one of several measures on the Democrat-led Assembly’s environmental agenda.

But it’s unclear if Sweeney’s bill will gather steam in the politically-split Senate. So far, no senator is sponsoring it.

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Sec. of State John Kerry seeking more authority for the administration to fight ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “dangerous concessions” if rivals win election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?"

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