Know the Health Risks


Flame retardant chemicals, which can be found in a variety of consumer products, including upholstered furniture, textiles, and electronic devices, can be hazardous to human health. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, decreased brain functioning, and thyroid abnormalities. Originally, manufacturers added the chemicals to furniture with the intent of lowering the risk of fire. Yet, research shows the chemicals do little, if anything, to protect people from fires. Instead, the use of smoke detectors and sprinkler systems combined with smoking bans and a decrease in smoking habits over the years have had a far more dramatic impact on reducing fire risk.

What you can do:

Reach out to members of your faculty who have expertise in environmental and public health, toxicology, green chemistry, or other related areas to better understand the health risks associated with the use of flame retardants.