Demand Adequate Testing of Flame Retardant Chemicals in Furniture

Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Insist that flame retardant chemicals be properly tested before their use in home furniture.

The last place we want to feel unsafe is in our own home; however, we do not know many of the hidden dangers we are exposed to every day. Recent studies reveal the potential dangers of flame retardant chemicals used in sofas present in many American homes. Researchers have found these flame retardant chemicals in 85% of sofas studied across the United States. Many of the chemicals found are linked to cancer and to hormone disruption, or have not been tested at all. These toxins are migrating from our furniture into the air we breathe; of 16 California homes tested, household dust from most of the homes contained at least one chemical present at possibly dangerous levels. Demand that U.S. Congress stop putting these toxic chemicals in furniture without proper testing to ensure they are safe to be brought into our homes.

The main purpose of flame retardants is to keep us safer from fire. However, researchers suggest the chemicals may actually be making fires more dangerous. While the retardants allow foam to withstand exposure to a small flame for 12 seconds without igniting, once a fire does start, the chemicals produce more carbon monoxide, smoke and soot, compared to foam that does not contain the chemicals. The highly prominent presence of flame retardant chemicals in home furniture is due to California regulations that require the foam in upholstered furniture to withstand exposure to a small flame for 12 seconds. This regulation can only be upheld through the use of large quantities of chemical flame retardants. Rather than only apply flame retardants to furniture sent to California alone, manufacturers apply the chemicals to all of their products sent nationwide. Thus sofas across the United States contain a significant amount of toxins that have not been appropriately examined and established as safe for daily contact.

Manufacturers are allowed to produce and sell products with not nearly enough safety testing due to lenient chemical regulations. Sign this petition and demand that flame retardants be properly tested before their use in home furnishings.

PETITION LETTER

Dear U.S. Congress,

Flame retardant chemicals can be found in the majority of furniture in homes in the United States. These chemicals migrate from furniture into the air we breathe, creating possibly dangerous levels of toxins in our homes. Many of these chemicals are known to be associated with cancer and hormone disruption, while many have not been adequately tested. Please require all flame retardant chemicals be properly tested before they are used in home furnishings.

While the purpose of flame retardant chemicals is to keep us safe from fire, researchers suggest that the chemicals may actually be making fires more dangerous. The retardants allow foam to withstand exposure to a small flame for 12 seconds without igniting, yet once a fire does start, the chemicals produce more carbon monoxide, smoke and soot, compared to foam that does not contain the chemicals. Flame retardant chemicals must be properly tested to ensure they are safe and helping rather than hurting. Please require all chemicals to be adequately tested before they are used in our furniture.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kahle Via MorgueFile

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One Comment

  1. Testing, but not on animals.

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