Niche Interiors

Flame Retardants: Going, Going, Gone?

After 39 years of living with toxic sofas, we finally have cause for celebration! The new 2013 update to the California TB 117 flammability law just went into effect last month. Furniture manufacturers are no longer required to add flame retardants to the foam in upholstered furniture. That is AMAZING news – one big step in the right direction towards creating greener, healthier homes!

eco non toxic sofa san franciscoEco-friendly sofa designed by Niche Interiors and built locally in San Francisco The chemicals found in flame retardants have been shown to cause a number of health problems including cancer, reproductive issues, and impaired IQ. Sadly, the use of these chemicals has not proven to be effective in slowing ignition or preventing fires. The new HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat” does an excellent job of examining the history of this law, and the forces that big tobacco has had on it’s creation.
eco friendly custom sofa bay area

Eco-friendly sofa with latex foam and organic wool

How does the new law affect your furniture options? While the new law is a huge step forward, it still doesn’t ban flame retardants from being added to foam, it simply doesn’t require them. We are hopeful that manufacturers will start making the switch soon, but we’ve been told that foam companies are planning to unload all of their current inventory before investing in new technology.

What should I look for when shopping for a non-toxic sofa? First, be sure it has the TB 117-2013 tag. Second, ask the sales associate if the foam has been treated with flame-retardant chemicals. If they don’t know or can’t provide concrete information it’s best to look elsewhere. Companies such as Cisco Home already offer better alternatives that are made with soy foam.

Ready to go 100% green? An essential part of Niche Interiors’ eco-friendly design services are our custom non-toxic sofas made of natural latex foam wrapped in organic wool, which has natural flame resistant qualities. Contact us today for more information.

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