CEH works to end the use of harmful flame retardant chemicals. Studies have linked many flame retardants to serious health problems, and fire safety scientists say that these chemicals are ineffective in furniture. In 2011, the state of California listed the flame retardant chlorinated Tris (also called Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate, or TDCPP) as a chemical known to cause cancer.  Despite studies showing that it does not increase fire safety, chlorinated Tris is still often used in furniture with foam cushions and other foam-containing components.

In 2012, CEH began purchasing and testing furniture for chlorinated Tris. We investigated hundreds of items, from major brands of furniture purchased from leading national retailers. Beginning in the fall of 2012, CEH initiated legal action against dozens of companies selling furniture containing chlorinated Tris, including Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney, Kmart, La-Z-Boy, Macy’s, OfficeMax, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart, Williams-Sonoma, and others.

Our goal is to eliminate the use of chlorinated Tris—and ultimately all flame retardant chemicals – in furniture. Our work to eliminate chlorinated Tris from children’s nap mats has already won a legal agreement with one of the country’s leading day care suppliers. The company has agreed to eliminate all flame retardants from its nap mats. We are pressuring furniture makers to reach similar agreements and are continuing to purchase and test furniture. .

CEH has won legal agreement with dozens of companies to end their use of flame retardants. See our list of these furniture and baby products companies.