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Facebook, Other Major Firms to Buy Furniture Without Flame Retardant Chemicals

Facebook, Autodesk and Dignity Health are among the major corporations and government purchasers that have signed a pledge to preferentially purchase furniture made without toxic flame retardant chemicals.

The Center for Environmental Health organized the pledge and has also published a list of companies that sell office furniture made without toxic flame retardants, based on its survey with HDR Architecture of major national furniture producers.

Among the signers of the CEH Purchaser’s Pledge are HDR Architecture (North America’s second largest design firm, with 8,500 employees working in 200 locations worldwide), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, San Francisco Department of the Environment, New Jersey’s Hackensack University Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente.

CEH is also partnering with HDR Architecture to track office furniture makers’ progress on eliminating flame retardant chemicals. HDR and CEH began surveying office furniture manufacturers in July 2014 and have identified companies that are producing some or all of their office furniture products without harmful flame-retardant chemicals. The survey found that leading business furniture companies including Teknion, Humanscale, Arcadia and David Edward have already eliminated flame retardant chemicals from their products, and other major companies including Herman Miller, Haworth, and Martin Brattrud are in the process of eliminating these chemicals.

This year, new California furniture flammability standards came into effect, allowing companies to meet the state standard without the use of harmful chemicals.

In September a group of hospitals including Advocate Health Care, Beaumont Health System, Hackensack University Medical Center, and University Hospitals said they would stop purchasing furniture treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals, following a similar announcement by Kaiser Permanente three months prior.

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