For years scientists, consumers and concerned companies have been working hard to change the 1970s regulations that ushered in over four decades of heavy duty application of chemicals in furniture.
The good news is, all that hard work has paid off……sort of.
As of January 1st of this year, it’s no longer mandatory for couches and other furniture sold in California (and because California is such a huge market, that law will essentially cover the whole country) to be treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals.
But as great as this all sounds, you’ll still have a hard time finding a non-toxic couch on the showroom floor.
What’s wrong with the new regulations?
They leave a lot of questions and don’t go far enough.
First off, the new standard in no way PREVENTS the use of toxic flame retardants, it just no longer REQUIRES it. That means that it’s up to the manufacturer to decide how much poison they put in the cushions.
Second, the new Tech Bulletin 117-2013 label is confusing and pretty uninformative. It just tells you that your couch complies with the new standards, which means that it may have been treated with harmful contaminants or it may not have. Not too helpful, huh?
It also means that it’s likely the surface material has been treated with chemicals since the cushions now have to pass a smolder test.
Third, manufacturers still have a lot of old inventory that you’ll find on the showroom floor. Old models means old standards and that means LOTS of toxins.
How can you be sure you’re getting safe furniture for your family?
Even though the new regs are a step in the right direction, reversing over four decades of toxic assault will take more than the good will of manufacturers. The only way to be sure that you’re buying a safe couch or sofa is to buy from companies that are committed to the nontoxic cause.
We’ve done our research so you don’t have to!
Read on for more information on how to avoid toxic sofas, couches and other furniture.