Flame Retardant Chemicals in Kids' Furniture Focus of Kentucky Organization's Concern
A new study of children’s furniture has found that most contain toxic flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals have been linked to serious health problems. The study was conducted by the non-profit Center for Environmental Health and researchers at Duke University. They analyzed 42 children’s couches and chairs from big box retailers, and found that 90 percent of them contained one or more of the flame retardant chemicals.
These chemicals have been previously found in foam couches, even though studies have shown they do little to prevent fires. But they’re of special concern to children, who are more likely to come into contact with chemical-laced dust. Elizabeth Crowe of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation says it’s not enough to just require companies to label furniture that contains these toxic chemicals. "We can’t shop our way out of this problem. The solutions really need to run much more deeply. It’s really not necessary to use these toxic chemicals. in the first place. A much better strategy is to take them out and avoid the hazard altogether," said Crowe.One way to reduce the risk to children from exposure to flame retardants is to vacuum furniture frequently to remove any dust that might build up.