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A Chicago Tribune series this past summer, “Playing with Fire,” shed new light on an old but hidden problem – the ubiquity of toxic chemicals embedded in many of the materials used in our indoor environment, halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) for one. Boiled down to the essentials, the issues call out for our attention:

Flame-retardant chemicals are included in a wide range of materials and furnishings as the most expedient and least costly path to meeting the flammability standards. These standards are written into law with the intent of reducing fire hazard by slowing the spread and intensity of fires…

Johanna Brickman