New Labels Expose Toxic Couch Chemicals

For nearly 40 years, an antiquated California regulation caused sofas, couches, and chairs across the country to be loaded with pounds of toxic chemicals known as “flame retardants.” These chemicals are linked to serious health risks such as cancer, hyperactivity, and reduced intelligent quotient (IQ) levels. But there’s good news for people that want to buy safer, healthier furniture! First, thanks to the work of NRDC and many others, California updated the regulation in 2013 to provide better fire safety without the need to use toxic flame retardant chemicals. Fire safety experts agree that the chemicals aren’t needed in furniture. Second, NRDC and others championed California legislation that requires labels on furniture to clearly state whether or not flame retardant chemicals are added, starting in 2015.