Thursday, November 29, 2012

Your Couch Is Probably Making You Sick

Photo by Chris H Connelly
Up to 85 percent of couches have been found to contain toxic flame retardants, a number of newspapers reported yesterday, including USA Today.

Flame retardants are linked to hormone disruption, cancer and neurological toxicity, according to scientists.

Children of mothers who had retardants in their blood during pregnancy had lower birth weight, lower IQ scores and other problems.

Devilishly, flame retardants are even more dangerous when they burn -- and they burn like crazy, researchers say.

After catching fire, they emit toxic gases, soot and smoke that account for most fire deaths and injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

So why use them? USA Today says: "An investigation earlier this year by The Chicago Tribune, citing tobacco industry documents, found that tobacco companies surreptitiously pushed for flame-retardant furniture -- rather than fire-safe cigarettes -- as the best way to reduce house fires."

More here.

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