Flame retardant chemicals are in most of your favorite foam-filled furniture—until recently, a California law even required them. But they don’t prevent fires, and they do carry health risks. Now, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is a step closer to banning them.
Quartz reports that the CPSC recently published a guidance document, telling manufacturers not to use organohalogen flame retardants (OFR). The document also directs resellers to stop reselling products that contain these chemicals, and consumers—especially pregnant women—to ask about what’s in the furniture and baby products they buy. Here’s how they describe their read of the evidence:
Numerous peer-reviewed,published studies show that the vast majority of consumers have measurable quantities of OFRs in their blood. The known adverse health effects of these chemicals to consumers include: Reproductive impairment (e.g., abnormal gonadal development, reduced number of ovarian follicles, reduced sperm count, increased time to pregnancy); neurological impacts (e.g., decreased IQ in children, impaired memory, learning deficits, altered motor behavior, hyperactivity); endocrine disruption and interference with thyroid hormone action (potentially contributing to diabetes and obesity); genotoxicity; cancer; and immune disorders. These chemicals have a disproportionately negative health effect on vulnerable populations, including children.
This guidance document is not enforceable, but the CPSC is starting the process of deciding whether OFRs require a warning label or perhaps an outright ban.
For now, all you can do is check the label on your upholstered furniture and baby products; it should say whether flame retardants were used. Right now there’s a good chance it will say yes, but thanks to this rule, flame retardants may be a lot less common when you buy your next couch.
“Flame Retardants Are One Step Closer to Being Banned in Furniture and Baby Products”
Quoted from Vitals Lifehacker - https://vitals.lifehacker.com/flame-retardants-are-one-step-closer-to-being-banned-in-1819330550