Here’s How Your Couch Could be Hazardous to Your Health

Controversy is heating up surrounding health risks attached to furniture cushions soaked in fire retardant chemicals. What’s a home owner to do?

Have you ever noticed a white tag on the back of a furniture cushion stating something like, “This article meets all flammability requirements of California Bureau of Home Furnishings technical bulletin 117”? Well, it turns out that the chemical fire retardants on your sofa may be more hazardous to your health than the fire it may, or may not, retard.

A spate of articles in the mainstream press are warning consumers that chemical flame retardants, known as endocrine disruptors, are showing up in babies’ blood and breast milk, and have been linked to a host of medical problems including:

  • Abnormal brain development
  • Low birth weight
  • Infertility
  • Cancer

Recent articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and NPR examine the somewhat shady origins of the flame-retardant laws and the big money still behind marinating sofas in potentially deadly chemicals.

This leaves anxious home owners with the dilemma: Risk death by fire or by chemical?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this development. Are you concerned?