Check out that annoying label hanging off the bottom of your chair or sofa. Unfortunately, the information it gives will confirm you are sitting on a product drenched in flame retardant chemicals. Chemicals originally thought to save lives in a house fire. Now, we know these chemicals are one of the leading causes of cancer, autism and learning disabilities in children. And you are sitting right in the middle of it, every day.
With the help of grassroots organizations and community leaders this toxic flame retardant is finally being banished from use in home furnishings. More specifically, a new law called TB117-2013 helps to ensure that fabrics, foam and fills on sofas and chairs no longer use these harmful chemicals.
The new law states: “it is recommended that all flame retardants be taken out of furnishings manufactured in the United States as of January 2015, but not mandatory.”
These same flame retardant chemicals were banned from children’s pajamas in the late 70’s, so what has taken us so long to rid our furniture of this same harmful chemical? We can thank big tobacco for introducing these chemicals to our home furniture. In the 70’s, with 40% of our adult population smoking cigarettes, fire related deaths were on the rise from smoking and igniting furniture accidentally. Instead of developing self-extinguishing cigarettes, big tobacco fought to manage the problem by getting behind flame retardant furniture instead. Today 80% of all furniture sold in the United States is doused in these toxic chemicals. We now know that these chemicals, originally meant to save lives, are slowly killing us. Enter the California Bureau of Home Furnishings, which has rewritten the law governing flame retardant products. Although it does not demand that the chemicals be banned from use entirely, the law asks furniture manufacturers to make the choice to stop using these chemicals.
As a California furniture manufacturer, we have not only embraced this new law, but implemented it an entire year before it was mandatory. Despite a lengthy and expensive process, we complied as soon as possible because we are committed to bringing not only the most functional custom furniture we can into your home, but furniture that will keep you and your loved ones healthy as well.