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Fabric Back-Coat used on domestic furniture.
In order to pass the British furniture fire regulations many fabrics, including cotton, have to be back- coated with a chemical fire retardant. Bear in mind that an average fabric has 35-40 grams of fabric back-coat per square metre, and be aware that this back- coat can break down back into powder over time, leaching out of the sofa or bed and into the environment to be inhaled or in the case of young children possibly swallowed.
Leaving aside whether these products work or not, we have included in this report two chemical safety sheets. One comes from a UK supplier of fire retardant back coating, who sell their product to the fabric companies, giving details of the chemicals used (Antimony Trioxide / Alkanes Chlorinate). The other information comes from reliable sources – the New Jersey Department of Health on the fire retardant (re Antimony Trioxide) and Toxipedia (Alkanes Chlorinate).
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