Why can’t I buy flame retardant-free furniture in California yet?

Perhaps you, too, were waiting for that clock to strike midnight on January 1, 2014 to buy a new sofa. In that one second, a regulation that led to the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture and baby products for 38 years finally changed. And perhaps, full of excitement, you rushed to the store that very day, looking forward to buying a flame retardant-free couch or chair. Unfortunately, things have proved to be a bit more complicated. Under the…

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Getting the most out of our redesigned website

One month ago, Green Science Policy Institute launched our redesigned website for 2014. We reimagined the structure and layout from the ground up to help us achieve our mission of getting important information to the consumers, retailers, manufacturers and decision-makers who need it most. The redesign begins with the homepage. A regularly updated visual grid highlights our most active topics and exhibits “featured” items such as major new findings, policy decisions, or upcoming events.  From there, our updated About Us…

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A new year, with promising new regulations

2013 was a productive year for fire safety and for environmental health! Two important regulatory changes that take effect this year have the power to reduce the use of harmful flame retardant chemicals in consumer products while continuing a high standard of fire safety. First, California’s Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) received a much-needed update in 2013 and is now in effect across the state. Second, California Assembly Bill 127 (AB127) generated a discussion of the validity of building insulation flammability…

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Huffington Post: Flame-retardant furniture may leave a toxic legacy

4 Jan 2014

Arlene Blum was trekking in the Himalayas when new regulations to reduce the pervasiveness of flame retardants hit the books on Jan. 1 — more than seven years after she began advocating the change and 37 years after she first published an article about health dangers of the chemicals. California’s new Technical Bulletin 117 removes a decades-old requirement that flame retardants be included in the filling of upholstered furniture.…

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Scientific American: Cancer-linked flame retardants eased out of furniture in 2014

31 Dec 2013

When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, new regulations kick into effect that may help usher in an era of less pervasive flame retardants in our home furnishings. The move caps a years-long campaign to alter regulations inextricably linked with a tobacco industry that sought to elude production of self-extinguishing cigarettes designed to limit couch fires.…

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The Doctor Oz Show: The toxic flame retardants in your home right now!

19 Dec 2013

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Toxic flame-retardant chemicals can be found in your chairs, sofas – even your baby furniture. Investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy joins Dr. Oz to sound the alarm on their dangers with the help of Toxic Hot Seat filmmakers Jamie Redford and Kirby Walker.…

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Huffington Post: New furniture standard to reduce toxic flame retardants

13 Dec 2013

In the midst of increasing information about the ubiquity of our exposure to industrial flame retardants, the revision of a 40-year-old furniture flammability standard in California last month could dramatically reduce the amount of flame retardants added to foam-filled furniture in the future…Under the old standard, upholstered furniture sold in California had to meet an open flame test, which required that it withstand ignition from direct contact with an open flame for a certain number of seconds.…

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L.A. Times: New furniture standards remove harmful flame retardants

30 Nov 2013

Upholstered furniture sold in California is about to get safer, especially for children. On Jan. 1, new state flammability standards will take effect and all new sofas, love seats and chairs must be fully compliant by the end of 2014, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs.…

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