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


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. Others are more vague about their plans. Some decline to address the issue at all.

The inconsistent messages mean consumers must ask retailers pointed questions if they want to ensure a particular couch or chair doesn’t contain flame retardants linked to cancer, developmental problems, reduced IQ and impaired fertility.

Michael Hawthorne