WebMD - Flame Retardant Chemicals in House Dust, Sofas

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November 28, 2012
By Salynn Boyles

Excerpt: Many people may be breathing in chemical flame retardants that are seeping from their upholstered furniture, electronics, and other common household items, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the environmental research group Silent Spring Institute found potentially unsafe levels of several flame retardants in the dust from a large percentage of the homes they examined.
House Dust Has Flame Retardants

Among the chemicals found in the highest levels in household dust were those banned from children’s pajamas in the late 1970s, largely as a result of research by University of California chemist Arlene Blum, PhD.

In a separate study, Blum and colleagues from UC Berkley and Duke University found that 85% of the sofas they tested were treated with flame retardants and the most common one was the chemical Blum identified as a carcinogen decades ago, known as chlorinated Tris.

Both studies were published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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