You May Want to Think Twice Before Getting on the Couch.
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New York, NY; Washington, DC; Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX (PRWEB) December 14, 2012
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology November 28, 2012, that indicates that many couches are lined with fire retardants linked with serious health problems.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/you-may-want-to-think-twice-before-getting-on-the-couch) notes, everyone invariably spends some time on the couch, visiting with friends, watching TV, enjoying a nice cup of tea, or just unwinding after a long day. But a recent study at Duke University in North Carolina has uncovered some disturbing findings about couches that will make everyone want to think twice before spending a lot of time on one.
As the article “You May Want to Think Twice Before Getting on the Couch” reports, the Duke research team examined the rising use of flame retardants inside couches. This study marks the first time researchers have tried to detect and identify the flame retardants applied to the foam inside couches, found in literally millions of family rooms across North America.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article explains that many U.S. manufacturers adhere to California’s flammability standard and use flame retardants in residential furniture. The standard, set back in 1975, is now being modified to increase fire safety without flame retardants. But, since there are so many older couches still around, they may adhere to older standards put in place to protect against home fires.
While that may sound beneficial, the article reports that research shows that flame retardants can leave the foam inside the couch and transfer to household dust, pets, and even people. More research has linked flame retardants to adverse health effects due to the fact that many common retardants contain noxious chemicals that can build up in human bodies. Any number of damaging health effects may be possible, from developmental issues in children to disrupted thyroid function.
According to the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, the Duke study gathered information about several different types of flame retardants used in couches. They analyzed 102 foam samples from residential couches and found that 85% of manufacturers are currently using flame retardants. For a couch bought in the past seven years, there is a 93% likelihood that it contains retardants.
The article adds that more than half of the couches contained untested retardants or those that have raised health concerns. The study highlighted one called “Tris,” which is considered a probable human carcinogen. While it was banned for use as a fire retardant in pajamas in 1977, it is still used to line couches.
While the article notes that come flame retardants are less toxic than others, Tris and other potentially harmful substances should be avoided.
(SOURCE: Stapleton, H., et al., “Novel and High Volume Use Flame Retardants in US Couches Reflective of the 2005 PentaBDE Phase Out,” Environmental Science & Technology, published online November 28, 2012.)
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