Is my furniture trying to kill me? This question has been lurking in the back of my mind ever since I met Arlene Blum of the Green Science Policy Institute several years ago, and it’s not a comfortable thing to think about each time I time I flop down on my sofa after a long day at work.
My science writer friend Erik Vance just published an article in Scientific American on the science behind toxic flame retardants used in furniture foam. The occasion for the piece is a current legislative proposal intended to reduce the amount of flame retardants in California furniture. (Don’t worry, supporters of the bill say the flame retardants weren’t doing that much to keep your house from burning down in the first place, and anyway, the toxic fumes from the flame retardants would kill you before the fire would).
Toxic exposure isn’t really something you can buy your way out of, but if you want to give it a shot, check out these furniture purchasing guidelines.
You might also enjoy reading about the wild life that Blum has led as a scientist and mountain climber, I know I did!