Flame Retardant Chemicals in Furniture are Hard to Avoid


“Toxic flame retardant chemicals pervade the nation’s households, especially in California, and little can be done to keep them out of our bodies, two new studies show.”

-SF Gate, November 2012

This week, a spate of excellent media came out, covering the release of two new studies showing the prevalence of toxic flame retardant chemicals in household furniture, electronics, and other products. The studies, led by UC Berkeley and Duke University scientists, found toxic or untested flame retardants in most of the couches they examined from across the nation. Numerous studies have linked fire retardant chemicals to lower IQ, reduced fertility, hormonal changes, reproductive harm, and damage to children’s brain development.

In the SF Chronicle, CEH’s own Sue Chiang speaks about the organization’s work to eliminate toxic flame retardants from furniture and baby products, and how this issue effects her kids and family directly. Many parents express concern about how these chemicals will negatively effect their children’s health.

For the original stories:

Chemicals in Furniture Hard to Avoid (featuring photos of CEH’s own Sue Chiang), San Francisco Chronicle SF Gate, November 2012

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust, NPR, November 2012

Many Couches Contain Potentially Toxic Flame RetardantsUSA Today, November 2012



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Ali manages the website and coordinates the online communications of CEH. She works with the communications and development staff to create messaging strategies and public education content for CEH’s supporters and online audience. A Bay Area native, Ali attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Studies. This allowed her to live abroad in Argentina, where she studied Latin American history and learned valuable Spanish language skills. Ali is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities so effectively.