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For the record

Do flame retardants in sofas cause cancer? Image

Do flame retardants in sofas cause cancer?

A short article in the Sun on 29th November reported a US study examining flame retardants in the foam padding of sofas. It claimed:

“Sitting on the sofa could give you cancer – because of flameproofing in the foam padding, it was claimed yesterday. “

Dr John Hoskins, Independent Toxicologist responds:

“Flame retardants are chemicals added to materials to slow down or prevent combustion. While we might prefer not to use them the benefits of reducing the severity of household fires are judged to outweigh the risks.”

“Industry studies suggest cancer risk is negligible at the concentrations found in upholstery since human exposure would require direct contact with the material over many years most probably through inhalation of particles.“

“The bottom line is that danger of fire is many, many times greater than any imagined danger from chemicals used to prevent it.”

Document type: For The Record

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