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Feb 6, 2013

Some state lawmakers are pushing to ban(1) potentially(2) cancer-causing(3) chemicals from children's products and sofas. The two flame retardant(4) chemicals are known as TCEP and TDCCP and are found in car seats, strollers(5), changing pads(6), other children's products, and furniture. Manufacturers often add the chemicals to foam(7), plastics and fabrics to prevent fires and to slow down fires if they have already started. The chemical industry says that flame retardants have been useful in reducing fires and saving lives. However, supporters(8) of the bill say there are better ways to protect against fires without the chemicals.

1. 'To ban' is the similar in meaning to 'to forbid', 'to stop', or 'to not allow'.

a. Certain weapons are banned for civilian use.

b. Chewing gum is banned from the schools.

2. 'Potentially' means 'having the power to' or 'possibly'. It is a powerful word to use in the right context.

a. The new flu virus could potentially affect all of us.

b. The recession could potentially cause the cost of flights to double.

3. '-causing' can be added to many nouns, especially names of diseases.

a. The street party had lots of conflict-causing elements; I'm not surprised there was a riot.

b. Cholera-causing bacteria were found in the drinking water.

4. 'Flame retardant' is a set phrase used for particular chemicals that reduce the risk of fire. 'Retardant' means 'stopping' or 'slowing'.

a. Often, kids' pajamas are flame retardant.

b. Sofas also have a flame retardant chemical added to them.

5. 'Stroller' is the American word for a 'push chair' used to transport a baby or youngster while the parent is walking. It's basically a seat with wheels and handlebars at the top. The word is taken from the verb 'to stroll' which means to walk slowly.

a. It was such a lovely day that I put the baby in the stroller and walked in the park.

b. We need some equipment for the new baby, including a stroller.

6. 'A changing pad' is another piece of equipment or furniture used when a person has a baby. It is like a long, flat, waterproof pillow that you lay the baby on in order to change its diaper. The word 'pad' is used for many things, such as: a seat pad, a panty pad, a pad of paper. Also 'padding' is similar to a material filling, such as in a cushion. It can be used figuratively.

a. The changing pad needs to be disinfected after each use.

b. He's on a diet. He said that he has five pounds of padding on his stomach that he wants to lose.

7. 'Foam' is an aerated, bubbly substance that is either made out of rubber or plastic material, or an organic substance such as egg, toothpaste, or sea water. The padding in furniture is often made out of 'foam'.

a. The foam padding in the sofa has gone flat; it needs to be replaced.

b. There is a lot of foam on the waves today.

8. 'Supporters' are people who agree with a person, a group, or a cause. A supporter is also someone who helps financially.

a. The supporters of the presidential candidate filled the stadium.

b. It was the supporters of the Committee of Arts and Culture who paid for the statue.

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