“And, since furniture makers didn’t want to create separate models just for Californians, nearly all furniture made since then has been laced with these chemicals. While the intent may have been to help reduce residential fire deaths, the decades-old California standard may have caused more harm than good.
These chemicals, including pentaBDE and chlorinated tris (which the state of California lists as a carcinogen), are used to treat foam beneath furniture’s fabric surface. Unfortunately, the chemicals can migrate out of the furniture and into the air. Since these molecules are heavy, they drop onto household dust. Though hand-to-mouth contact, we ingest this dust — about 30mg per day, with kids ingesting twice that amount. Because we ingest household dust, it’s no surprise that studies show that our bodies contain these fire-retardant chemicals; levels of pentaBDE have appeared up to nine times higher in Californian children than in similar-aged children elsewhere in the U.S., and up to 100 times higher than similar-aged kids in Europe.”