We designed a number of custom, eco-friendly upholstered items for our Virginia project that turned out beautifully. It’s inspired me to continue our mission of creating non-toxic, flame retardant-free sofas and armchairs.
In 1975, California implemented Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117)—which requires furniture to be resistant to an open flame for 12 seconds. To meet this unique flammability standard, manufacturers largely relied on flame retardants. The chemicals used in flame retardants, largely PBDEs, have been linked to a wide range of health problems such as impaired fertility and IQ, and developmental problems in children.
In March California passed a new, updated version of TB117, which does not require the filling (typically polyurethane foam) to meet any open flame test. Foam manufacturers will no longer be required to add flame-retardant chemicals. This will go into effect in July of 2014, and we are hopeful that furniture manufacturers will immediately phase out these harmful chemicals.
In the meantime, we are busy designing furniture with NO toxic chemicals, built right here in San Francisco. Natural latex foam wrapped in organic wool replaces cushions filled with chemicals. Not only are they eco-friendly and non-toxic, they are beautiful and comfortable. I just had a sectional built for our living room – it’s the coziest spot in the house. And, the best part: It doesn’t smell like chemicals!