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Flame retardant fabric

Flame Retardant Furniture: Unhealthy, and Doesn't Stop Fires

Toxic chemicals from flame retardant fabric build up in household dust.



Flame Retardant Furniture: Unhealthy, and Doesn't Stop Fires

Bust that dust: House dust can contain toxic fire-retardant chemicals.

Remember this the next time you forget to dust: All those dust bunnies could be exposing you to potentially hazardous chemicals. Numerous studies have found that chemicals from pesticides to phthalates (allergenic components of synthetic fragrances) build up in household dust, and a new study just published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives finds that chemicals designed to prevent furniture from going up in flames are in your dust as well—and those chemicals could prove toxic.

THE DETAILS: The study, which took place at a Belgian University, looked at blood levels of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), a flame retardant common in Europe, in 16 university students. For the first part of the study, students were asked to keep track of all the food they ate; flame retardants build up in the fatty tissue of animals, leading some researchers to suspect that food is a major source of flame-retardant exposure. Duplicate samples of those foods were tested for HBCD levels. For the second part of the study, the scientists gathered samples of dust from the students' rooms that were later tested for levels of one type of HBCDs (the second type of the chemical occurs largely in food). During each phase, they compared HBCDs in the students' blood with levels found in the dust and the food. All blood samples had high levels of HBCD, and while there were very low levels found in food, the dust samples had significantly higher levels.

Filed Under: HOME SAFETY, INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Published on: September 9, 2009



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flame retardants

I can not be near furniture or mattresses with these chemicals. I become the walking dead. I was completely unaware of the new legislation, and could not figure out why I was so ill every time I went to the mattress stores to lay on the mattresses before making my decision. My eyes were red, my eyelids were swolen and my vision was blurry.

Only then did I discover the fire retardant legislation making it mandatory for furniture and mattress manufacturers. Furthermore, you have to have a doctor's order to buy organic mattresses.

Recently I bought furniture for my bedroom (chairs/ottoman) from Arhaus Furniture store. They were all custom-made and I had no idea that California makes it mandatory for furniture to have the fire retardant chemicals. I became extremely ill before finding out the reason why. I live in Missouri, so I was unaware of the California law. Even though Arhaus markets itself as eco-friendly, I was not informed about the application of these toxic chemicals although they market themselves as a "green" store. Since they were custom, they will not allow me to return them. It is ridiculous that the laws of one state, affects the health of the entire country. Manufacturers aren't going to divi the merchandise, so they make everything according to California guidelines no matter where their customer resides.

Buyer Beware. I will be sitting on the floor if this legislation doesn't change.

Flame Retardants

YOUR HEADLINE:Dust frequently; look for low-chemical furniture and rely on smoke detectors to prevent fires, not your favorite sofa.
1. YOUR SOFA AND SMOKE DETECTORS "DO NOT PREVENT FIRES". ONLY "PEOPLE" PREVENT FIRES!
2. SMOKE DETECTORS IN EACH ROOM OF THE HOUS (IF PROPERLY INSTALLED AND MAINTAINED), HELP TO PREVENT INJURY OR LOSS OF LIFE BY ALERTING THE OCCUPANTS SO THAT THEY MAY ESCAPE. THEY WILL STILL FACE "THE TRAMMA OF THE FIRE"!
3. YOUR FURNISHINGS (IF WITHIN THE PROPER CODE REQUIRED FLAME SPREAD RATING AND/OR FLAMMIBILITY STANDARDS) WILL MINIMIZE "THE SPREAD OF FIRE".

OBVIOUSLY, YOUR FIRE PROTECTION EXPERT (IF YOU HAVE ONE) MISSED THE MARK ON THIS ONE.

CHEMICALS, MAYBE BAD, YOUR INFORMATION, NOT CORRECT. THANX.

flame-retardants

Your article does not reflect the fact that there is a new open-flame standard related to mattresses that came into effect in mid-2007. The fire-resistant systems that render a mattress resistant to open flame may not contain the chemicals you refer to. There are certain materials that are inherently flame resistant and/or create a char which serves as a fire blcok when exposed to flame. One should be careful assuming all fire-resistant technologies are the same. They are not.

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