Lies, damned lies, and flame-retardant furniture


17 Responses to “Lies, damned lies, and flame-retardant furniture”

  1. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    Has the tobacco industry ever managed to engage in a shadowy campaign of disinformation and subversion that didn’t end up having dire consequences?

  2. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Build your furniture from white oak, or buy white oak furniture from the Kenton chair shop.  A properly made windsor chair is more comfortable than any stuffed or padded chair, in my opinion.

  3. Greg Miller says:

    So, if we live outside of California, and don’t want furniture loaded with these flame-retardants, who can I buy such furniture from, especially in Colorado?

  4. penguinchris says:

    Kind of funny that the state that puts labels on practically everything to warn people of carcinogens is responsible for mandating the use of these chemicals. 

    I mean, I do think California’s heavy-handed approach to these things is good, ultimately, but they need to be able to admit mistakes and repeal things when appropriate. 

    And if you think the stickers that say things contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer are ridiculous, try living in CA itself – the signs are so ubiquitous all you can do is ignore them. They serve no useful purpose. At least they aren’t causing further potential harm, though, like the fire-retardant chemicals.

  5. RayCornwall says:

    Funny point- in the discussion for Lance Armstrong’s post the other day about California cigarette tax (found here:, users were arguing about the tax per pack vs. the estimated health care cost of smoking per pack ($0.87/tax vs.  $15.10/cost). There was some argument about the validity of the latter number, as some smoker’s rights advocates felt that the number was artificially elevated because it was hard to distinguish the costs actually incurred by smoking (for example, just because a smoker gets lung cancer doesn’t mean it was directly caused by smoking- it could be a result of a thousand other variables).

    But the argument didn’t factor in firefighting costs. I wonder if there’s a way of determining how much smoking costs a community in extra firefighting costs, and then dividing that cost by the number of packs sold in that area over a period of time. Might give advocates of raising cigarette taxes some more ammunition…

  6. olele says:
    “Retired UW burn doctor telling tales to promote fire retardants”:except it was all made up

    “Testifying for California lawmakers last year, the retired Seattle doctor and former president of the American Burn Association drew gasps as he described a 7-week-old girl who was burned in a fire started by a candle while she lay on a pillow that lacked flame-retardant chemicals.”
    “They are lying,” said Jeff Zack, a spokesman for the International Association of Fire Fighters.

  7. swlabr says:

    I recall a gig constructing theater sets, when the fabric backdrops had to be slathered with toxic goop, as directed by law. Not good times. 

  8. Kludgegrrl says:

    When my son was younger I avoided baby pajamas for him because the law mandated that all baby sleepwear *must* be treated with flame retardants (and I was concerned about the health consequences from them). 

    I could never understand the logic as it always seemed that by the time time the helpless baby, alone in his/her crib, was surrounded by fire — really, how much good would anything short of an asbestos box do for the tyke?  Fire retardant, give me a break.  Talk about fear-mongering.  

    • starfish and coffee says:

      Fire retardant baby pyjamases, the only solution when your baby refuses to give up smoking in bed.

  9. Kimmo says:

    So we have the tobacco companies to thank for brominated flame retardants.

    Great legacy there, arseholes.

  10. Dingos says:

    If anyone is interested, Dr. Robert Hale of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences has done some seminal work on this matter.

  11. Dingos says:

    If anyone is interested, Dr. Robert Hale of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences has done some seminal work on this matter.

Leave a Reply