Toxic Hot Seat
Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. But do they work as promised? And are they making us sick? The three chemical companies producing flame retardants would prefer that we not ask these questions, and they’ve spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers to ensure that we don’t. It might remind you of the Big Tobacco cover-up. Which makes sense, since Big Tobacco has had a hand in this, too.
Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series “Playing With Fire,” TOXIC HOT SEAT threads together an intricate story of manipulation that details how Big Tobacco skillfully convinced fire safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. The film continues to untangle how the chemical companies cover-up deadly risks to public health It exposes the chemical industries manipulation of chemical safety data by paying “experts” to alarm legislators and the public about the deadly risk of removing chemical flame retardants from our homes.
Through the personal stories of a cancer-surviving firefighter, a renowned chemist whose work helped remove fire retardants from kid’s pajamas in the 1970s, and a brave and determined young Maine legislator and mom, TOXIC HOT SEAT reveals the courage of brave citizens willing to fight for the truth against a deadly nexus of money and politics.
Followed by Q&A with director Kirby Walker and former Maine State legislator, Hannah Pingree.
Presented by the Environmental Health Strategy Center