How One Washington Doctor Changed The Course Of Flame Retardants

Mar 21, 2014

David Hyde talks with investigative reporter Sam Roe at the Chicago Tribune about the series on flame retardants and how one Washington doctor changed the debate.

Roe and fellow reporter, Patricia Callahan, broke the story in 2012 that revealed Dr. David Heimbach falsely testified to legislators in multiple states that chemical flame retardants were safe for children and lied to backup his testimony.

While Heimbach worked as a burn expert at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, he also received $240,000 from a chemical company that manufactured the toxic flame retardants, Roe said. These chemicals have long been linked to serious problems by health and environmental advocates.

As a result of this investigative reporting, consumers — starting this summer — will be able to purchase fire retardant-free furniture, which Roe says weren't available in the last 34 years.

Meanwhile, Heimbach faces professional misconduct charges in the Washington state.