California City bans flame retardants in furniture, children’s products


This article has been republished with the permission of Furniture Today USA.

San Francisco has banned the sale of upholstered furniture and children’s products containing flame retardant chemicals.

Words: Erin Berg

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the legislation proposed by Supervisor Mark Farrell, and the ban will go into effect January 2019.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the law would impact about 200 furniture retailers in San Francisco and 17 retailers of children’s products. The ban extends to online sales but does not apply to second-hand resales.

Studies have linked certain flame retardant chemicals to cancer, and in children, to birth defects and learning disabilities. The American Chemistry Council’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance have argued that the flame retardants provide a layer of fire protection.

ewg_social_share_flameretlivingroom_c01In August Maine was the first state in the nation to ban the sale of upholstered furniture containing flame retardants, and earlier this month Rhode Island passed similar legislation affecting upholstered bedding and furniture. Both states’ laws will take effect January 2019.

California bans products containing more than 1/10 of 1% of the flame retardants pentaDBE or octaBDE and requires labeling on upholstered furniture whether it contains toxic flame retardant chemicals.