Wednesday 21 May 2014

USA: Furniture That Is Fire Retardant Free

USA: Furniture That Is Fire Retardant Free

There is nothing clever about this post.  At the end of the day is simply a list, quite a shortlist in fact, of American furniture manufacturers who do not put fire retardants in the interior of their furniture. Most often the padding inside furniture is foam and the foam is drenched in nasty fire retardant chemicals because that is the law in some places.  It is certainly the law in the UK.
A double trouble chair - fire retardant in the foam and a space to trap kittens underneath.

In America, the state of California led the way in legislation that insisted upon manufacturers pushing fire retardant chemicals inside furniture.  As it transpired, the rest of America followed suit not because they created laws that made it obligatory for manufacturers to use fire retardants but because the furniture manufacturers could not justify, on a financial basis, providing different sorts of furniture to different states.

As it happens, and as I understand it, California has now relented in respect of their unwelcome laws regarding fire retardants and have amended the law such that it specifies the furniture should pass a smouldering test and manufacturers can pass that test without the need to use fire retardant chemicals.

A lot of people will find that decision very welcome indeed.  A lot of people are unaware of the potential health problems of fire retardants inside furniture and let us remind ourselves that the domestic cat can spend a lot of time curled up on household furniture which puts them in close contact with the furniture often for long periods.  As a result they are particularly prone or particularly exposed to the potential damaging health effects of chemicals inside the furniture.

Below is a list of USA furniture manufacturers who do not use fire retardants in their products.  I'm sure that there are others, possibly many others, but these are the ones that I was able to isolate on an Internet search today.  If I was an American and I looked after a cat and if I was in the market to buy some new furniture, personally, I would be buying from one of these manufacturers because there are many idiopathic diseases from which the domestic cat can suffer and I wonder whether some of these diseases are created or exacerbated by household chemicals that we cannot see or smell but are there nonetheless in the background.

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