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California Considers New Flame Retardant Rules For Furniture


California regulators published new rules today that would eliminating the need to soak furniture padding in chemical flame retardants.

The agency overseeing the issue says independent testing found there was no advantage gained by soaking foam padding in chlorinated tris, or similar chemicals. That includes items like mattresses for cribs.

For years the Center for Environmental Health has fought to eliminate use of the retardants. The Center's Charles Margulis said the chemicals are known to cause cancer and other illnesses.


"For example if you take a mattress or a pillow and push on it, you feel a little bit of the air come out. Well, some of the flame retardant chemicals are coming out as well. So, people are exposed to these chemicals just from everyday use," said Margulis.

The proposed rule could take effect in 45 days. California is the only state with flame retardant standards and those rules have become the de facto standard for the nation.