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


“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.

The voluntary standard governing the use of flame-retardant chemicals in electronics in the US, known as UL-94, is met by adding the chemicals not only to internal components but also to plastic outer casings, including those of TVs. Based on what’s called a “candle-flame standard,” it requires that items not ignite when they come into contact with a candle flame. Blum, a vocal opponent of flame-retardant chemicals in consumer products, thinks using flame retardants on the outer casings of electronics is unnecessary and puts consumers’ health at risk.

Nicholas Kristof