The Clean Water Blog

photo: Tim Wright,

National furniture warning - what you need to know

While we are used to the Consumer Product Safety Commission issuing product recalls, the Commission issued an unprecedented warning to consumers in September. Shoppers were advised to avoid upholstered furniture with organohalogens, a group of chemicals used as flame retardants. Scientific studies have demonstrated exposure to these chemicals can cause cancer, neurological deficits and other health problems.

Here's how to be an informed consumer: Before buying upholstered furniture, read the tag. Many furniture tags will contain information on whether or not flame retardant chemicals are present. Look for a marked checkbox with the statement “contains no added flame retardant chemicals.” Most of us already have upholstered furniture in our homes that contain these chemicals. Read our Household Furnishings Guide with additional tips on how you can reduce your exposure from existing products.

Rhode Island and Maine recently banned organohalogens and now Clean Water Action and the Healthy Legacy coalition are campaigning for Minnesota to do the same! Minnesotans can contact their legislators here and ask them to act now for the health of families and firefighters today.