Advocate Health Care, Beaumont Health System, Hackensack University Medical Center, and University Hospitals will stop purchasing furniture treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Combined, these four health systems represent 7,000 patient beds throughout Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio.
Each of the systems will specify with their suppliers that upholstered furniture should not contain flame retardant chemicals where code permits. Kaiser Permanente made a similar announcement in June. The five health systems spend nearly $50 million a year on furniture for their facilities.
Commonly used flame retardant chemicals can pose a threat to human health and the environment.
This move is driven by a new California flammability standard, which allows furniture manufacturers to meet the standard without the addition of hazardous flame retardant chemicals.
The four health systems phasing out the purchasing of furniture with flame retardant chemicals are enrolled in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a national campaign aimed at improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector.