For nearly 40 years, an antiquated California regulation caused sofas, couches, and chairs across the country to be loaded with pounds of toxic flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals have been associated with serious health risks such as cancer, hyperactivity, and reduced intelligent quotient (IQ) levels. Thanks to the work of NRDC and many others, the state recently updated the regulation to provide better fire safety without the use of flame retardants. Furniture stores can now ask their suppliers for products that do not contain these hazardous, unnecessary chemicals. The new regulation does not prohibit or ban the use of flame retardants, however, so some products may still contain these toxic chemicals.
To help consumers identify where they can purchase safer, healthier furniture without added flame retardants, NRDC surveyed major companies that sell furniture in the United States.