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chair on fire

Minnesota Poised to Pass Nation’s Toughest Fire Retardant Ban

Manufacturers of furniture and other household items such as textiles, mattresses and children’s products may have to stop using four commonly used flame-retardant chemicals in their manufacturing processes. Minnesota legislators are considering a bill that would ban four flame-retardant chemicals in these products. If approved, it would be the nation’s most … Read more »

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 … Read more »

toxic chemicals

EPA Adds BPA, 22 Other Chemicals to TSCA List

Twenty-three chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), seven phthalates and two flame retardants, have been added to the EPA’s list of chemicals for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Manufacturers of some of the newly added chemicals include Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Mexichem S.A.B de C.V., Momentive Performance Materials … Read more »

Hospitals Stop Purchasing Furniture with Toxic Flame Retardants

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 … Read more »

old sofa

Treat Sofa Waste Like E-Waste

Waste from sofas, cushions and other soft furnishings should be treated — and discarded — like e-waste, says Phys.org, reporting on a review led by William Stubbings at the University of Birmingham. Both electronics and sofa waste contain brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which can harm the environment and humans. At least two … Read more »

NAFRA to Kaiser: Reverse Flame Retardants Decision

Just weeks after Kaiser Permanente said it will stop purchasing furniture treated with flame retardants, a group representing flame retardants manufacturers has sent a letter urging the healthcare system to reverse its decision. The North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) says flame retardants save lives and the decision by Kaiser … Read more »

EPA IDs Alternatives to Toxic Flame Retardants

The EPA has identified safer alternatives to the flame retardants now used in consumer and commercial products, including building insulation and products with flexible polyurethane foam, to help industries choose safer chemicals. Flame retardant chemicals such as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) raise concerns for human health and the environment … Read more »

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Stops Buying Furniture with Flame Retardants

Kaiser Permanente says it will stop purchasing furniture treated with flame retardants, making it the first healthcare system in the US to remove these toxic chemicals from hospital furniture. The decision could impact more than 38 hospitals and 600 medical offices in eight states and the District of Columbia, the … Read more »

chair on fire

Flame Retardants Out of California Furniture

Flammability standards for upholstered furniture in California, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown last week, will curb toxic chemicals found in furniture from high chairs to sofas, Brown says. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, manufacturers may begin manufacturing to the new standards, eliminating almost all flame-retardant chemicals from their products including polyurethane … Read more »

EPA to Review Flame Retardants

The EPA says it will assess 23 commonly used chemicals, with a specific focus on flame retardant chemicals, to ascertain any potential risks to people’s health and the environment. This effort is part of the Toxic Substances Control Act Work Plan that identifies commonly used chemicals for risk assessment. Americans are often … Read more »

California Reconsiders Flame Retardants

California officials have proposed changes that would eliminate the use of toxic flame-retardant chemicals, and change the way it conducts flammability tests. The state aims to overturn a 1975 law, known as Technical Bulletin 117, that requires polyurethane foam in upholstered furniture and children’s products to withstand a small open … Read more »

Potentially Toxic Chemicals in 58% of Couches, Study Finds

More than half of all couches tested in Duke University-led research contained potentially toxic or untested chemical flame retardants that may pose risks to human health, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The study analyzes 102 polyurethane foam samples from couches purchased for … Read more »