The Science of Sustainability

Tag: arlene blum

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Last June, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to change California's flammability standard to ensure fire safety without dousing furniture and other foam products with toxic chemicals. Now activists are focusing on an even bigger market for flame retardants: foam insulation in buildings.

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The Political Firestorm Inside Your Sofa

The Political Firestorm Inside Your Sofa

To comply with California law, furniture makers treat the foam in cushions with flame-retardant chemicals, up to two pounds of chemicals in an average-sized sofa. Those chemicals can turn up in household dust, blood, and breast milk. But efforts to remove them have been blocked by the chemical industry.

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