New York Times and Retro Report: A Flame Retardant That Came With Its Own Threat to Health

3 May 2015

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There are over 80,000 chemicals in use today. The story of TRIS, removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s, illustrates just how hard it is to regulate chemicals, or to even know if they’re safe.…

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Huffington Post: Kaiser Permanente pledges to stop buying flame-retardant furniture

3 Jun 2014

The push to rid our bodies and the environment of toxic flame retardants just got a powerful boost from a major health care system, according to experts. Kaiser Permanente, the largest U.S. nonprofit health management organization, announced Tuesday it will stop buying furniture treated with the chemicals, still common in homes, offices and child care centers throughout the U.S. Flame retardants have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders and brain damage in children, among other ills.…

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CBS5 ConsumerWatch: Chemical-free couch foam now available

22 Apr 2014

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Couch owners who want to limit their exposure to flame retardant chemicals now have a new option. The Safer Sofa Foam Exchange is a new program that helps consumers replace the old foam in their sofa and chair cushions with new foam that is chemical free.…

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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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San Jose Mercury News: Berkeley scientist battles toxic sofas to promote public health

18 Mar 2014

The banner that Arlene Blum unfurled in 1976 on the 24,500-foot mark of the world’s highest mountain had an image of two petri dishes and an obscure message: “THE MUTANTS.” Blum never made it to the top of Mt. Everest, though she was the first American woman to try.…

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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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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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