New Study: 85% of Couches may be Toxic

A recent study by the Green Science Policy Institute found that a majority of couches tested in America contained flame retardant chemicals either known to be toxic, or that lack adequate testing.

According to the Institute, the study “trace[s] the path of flame retardants from our couches to the dust in our homes to our children’s bodies.  Sadly new human health findings document reduced attention, fine motor coordination, and IQ in children exposed to furniture flame retardants.  And there is not even any fire safety benefit from these toxic retardants in our furniture!”

A great article in the Chicago Tribune rightfully points out that public outcry led to the removal of these same chemicals from childrens’ pajamas decades ago, but very little attention has been paid to their use in our furniture.

The Tribune article also points to a few positive industry changes, but for the most part even the EPA can not protect consumers from products containing these chemicals. They support a total re-haul of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (often called TOSCA) as do many sustainable businesses and advocacy organizations such as Healthy Child Healthy World. 

Scientific American created a helpful infographic for understanding toxic flame retardants in the home, and you can view it on our blog here. 

New Living is also happy to announce the arrival of a variety of pieces from Cisco Brothers Furniture’s Inside Green line, which is the healthiest furniture we’ve found!


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