Flame Retardant Chemicals are found in a wide variety of products:
- Upholstered Furniture
- Baby Products
In your home, they can emit from upholstered furniture in the form of dust, or they can get on your hands when you use plastic electronic items such as your remote control. Flame retardants chemicals aren’t good for your health, and they haven’t proven to be very effective at preventing fires either. Avoid ingesting flame retardant chemicals with these solutions:
- Dust, vacuum, and mop your home often.
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
- Don’t eat while using electronics such as a TV remote or computer key board.
- Cover up holes or reupholster old furniture, pillows or pads if foam cushions are exposed.
Improvements and Replacements
- Go foam free with 100% down, wool or polyester fillings that usually do not contain flame retardant chemicals.
- Replace the foam in your furniture with flame retardant chemical free foam.
- Purchase furniture made without added flame retardant chemicals.
Understand why flame retardant chemicals are used.
By law, flame retardant chemicals have been incorporated into furniture, carpet padding, insulation, electronics and other products dating back to 1975. At that time, in-home smoking was more prevalent, and electronics would often overheat. Flame retardant chemicals are added to products as an outdated method to meet government fire safety rules.
While these chemicals not only do little, if anything, to slow or prevent fire, studies show they are accumulating in humans and the environment. These chemicals may disrupt brain development and thyroid hormones; affect learning, memory and attention; reduce IQ; reduce sperm quality; disrupt thyroid function; and mimic estrogen.
- TB 117 - Most likely contains flame retardant chemicals
- TB 117-2013 - May or may not contain flame retardant chemicals
- SB 1019 - See which line is marked with an X next to "contain added flame retardant chemicals", or "contain NO added flame retardant chemicals"
Natural Resources Defense Council's explaining flame retardants
Chicago Tribune's "Playing with Fire" series on how and why flame retardants are used
Green Science Policy Institute's background on flame retardants
Environmental Health Perspectives' summary of widespread exposure to flame retardants