Photo by: Pixabay user Hans

Flame Retardants and Health

11/04/2015 | Harvard C-CHANGE

Flame retardant chemicals aren’t necessary for fire safety, yet they have been widely applied to many products we regularly use in our homes and offices. The flame retardants migrate out of these products into the air and dust in indoor environments where we are exposed to them continuously. They persist in the environment, and our bodies, for long periods of time. They have been associated with adverse effects on neurodevelopment and interference with our hormone and reproductive systems.

This series briefly explores the history of flame retardant chemicals use, how they can affect our health, and how a recent change in standards may allow for us, for the first time, to make purchasing decisions that reduce our exposures to potentially toxic chemicals.

Flame Retardants: Why Do We Have Them And How Are They Harmful?

The story of flame retardant chemicals in the US begins in the 1970’s, when they first appeared in children’s pajamas and other consumer products. This video explores the history of these chemicals.

Is There A Benefit To Having Flame Retardants in Our Products?

Flame retardants appear nearly everywhere, yet research and fire safety experts point to their limited effectiveness in protecting us from fires.

Can We Choose Products Without Flame Retardants?

New regulations make it easier for manufacturers to create products that do not contain flame retardant chemicals.