New Flame Retardants, Old Problems: Replacement Flame Retardants Present Serious Risks

October 22, 2019

New flame retardants escaping from our TVs, other electrical and electronic products, and children’s car seats are just as toxic as the flame retardants they’re intended to replace, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The authors found that the replacement chemicals, called organophosphate flame retardants, have been associated with lower IQ in children, reproductive problems, and other serious health harms.…

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Bigger Not Always Better for Toxic Chemicals: Study finds “Green” Flame Retardant Breaks Down into Possibly Harmful Products

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy being green. Kermit the Frog probably didn’t have chemistry in mind when he sang that line, but according to researchers from Germany, the phrase rings true for a purportedly “green” flame retardant. Many everyday products contain flame retardant chemicals which are often found to be toxic to humans and ecosystems. A new peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology, found that heat and ultraviolet light can break down a flame retardant marketed as eco-friendly into smaller, potentially harmful chemicals.…

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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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Health & Environment: The TV fire and flame retardant controversy: deconstructing the data

24 Mar 2014

Whether or not candles cause TV fires has been a cause of controversy, with a recurring argument between those who believe that a standard for ignition resistance is necessary for television manufacture, and those who believe such a standard results in excessive use of environmentally hazardous flame retardant chemicals. Instrumental to the case in favour of the ignition standard is data presented in a series of papers derived from an obscure estimate of causes of fire in Sweden.…

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Scientific American: Do we need flame retardants in electronics?

28 Jan 2014

Fear of fires, especially from lit cigarettes, helped ignite the decades-long practice of adding fire retardant chemicals to furniture and other household items. But evidence that some of the chemicals could cause cancer or other health problems eventually led to a protracted fight to get them out of furniture.…

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