Guardian: Flame retardants may be coming off of furniture, but they’re still in your TV sets

May 19 2015

“When’s the last time you watched TV by candlelight?” asks Arlene Blum, founder of the Green Science Policy Institute. Blum questions the logic of television sets being coated in chemicals that are either known health hazards or under-researched.…

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New York Times and Retro Report: A Flame Retardant That Came With Its Own Threat to Health

3 May 2015

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There are over 80,000 chemicals in use today. The story of TRIS, removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s, illustrates just how hard it is to regulate chemicals, or to even know if they’re safe.…

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Michigan Public Radio Environment Report: Furniture Makers Getting Rid of Flame Retardants in their Products

Apr 9 2015

This week, we’re bringing you a series of stories about firefighters and cancer. Firefighters say they’re worried about getting exposed to certain kinds of toxic flame retardant chemicals.…

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Chicago Tribune: Furniture firms shun flame retardants but some toxic couches still for sale

Jan 23 2015

New safety regulations allow upholstered furniture to be made without flame retardants, but consumers may find it difficult to tell whether a retailer’s new couches and chairs are free of the toxic, ineffective chemicals. A handful of industry leaders say they have largely purged flame retardants from their supply chains.…

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Chicago Tribune: Surgeon rebuked for flame-retardant falsehoods

13 Mar 2014

In a stern rebuke of a noted surgeon, the state of Washington has issued disciplinary charges against Dr. David Heimbach, who told lawmakers misleading stories about fatally burned babies while testifying in favor of flame retardants. Medical licensing authorities allege that Heimbach, whose activities were exposed in a 2012 Tribune investigation, fabricated testimony, failed to disclose his ties to the chemical industry and falsely presented himself as an unbiased burn expert when he was in fact collecting $240,000 from flame retardant manufacturers.…

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Industry funded website obscures flame retardant issues

As recent changes in regulations and increased media coverage bring deserved attention to the issue of flame retardant chemicals in consumer products, the chemical industry has gone on the defensive. The American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade organization representing Chemtura, Abermarle, and ICL (the three major producers of flame retardants), has responded by hosting a creatively misleading website called flameretardantfacts.com. Front and center on this industry-funded site is the assertion that “Consumers don’t have to choose between chemical safety and…

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Why can’t I buy flame retardant-free furniture in California yet?

Perhaps you, too, were waiting for that clock to strike midnight on January 1, 2014 to buy a new sofa. In that one second, a regulation that led to the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture and baby products for 38 years finally changed. And perhaps, full of excitement, you rushed to the store that very day, looking forward to buying a flame retardant-free couch or chair. Unfortunately, things have proved to be a bit more complicated. Under the…

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