Quartz: The US government is finally acknowledging the flame retardants in your furniture and baby products are not just ineffective, but also dangerous


The US agency in charge of protecting consumer safety just took the first step towards banning a class of flame retardants that were, up until very recently, nearly ubiquitous. So ubiquitous—mostly in children’s clothes, baby toys, and upholstered furniture—that the vast majority of the US population has measurable quantities of it in their blood.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission published a notice in the Federal Register on Sept. 28 warning that, based on “overwhelming scientific evidence” that organohalogenated flame retardants “present a serious public health issue,” using them is “ill advised.” Years of peer-reviewed research have associated exposure to this class of flame retardants with reduced fertilitylower IQ in childrendevelopmental problemsearly pubertythyroid problems, and cancer.

Zoë Schlanger

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