12th November 2009

How To Avoid Toxic Fire Retardants in Your Home


While there are a lot of potential toxins in the average house, fire retardants are one of the worst. One of the more toxic groups of fire retardants is brominated fire retardants (BFRs), which include chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

Those with children should be especially careful to avoid these chemicals. They have been shown to cause reproductive and behavioural development issues.

Where do they hide in the home? Polyurethane foam products are the worst offenders, particularly those manufactured before 2005. These may be used in couches, mattresses, or anything that has upholstery as part of its makeup. They are also in everyday electronics and other household items. Here are some tips to avoid them:

-replace couch covers that are ripped and exposing foam
-replace any foam products that are ripped or breaking down
-buy an Essentia natural memory foam mattress for your bedrooms
-prevent young children from touching or putting electronic items in their mouth, such as the remote control.

For more, please visit the Environmental Working Group’s website. Please also download their guide to PDBE’s.

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