Furniture commonly found in most homes and offices must meet specific flammability standards to be sold in most areas around the United States. To meet these standards, manufacturers often add chemical flame retardants to the cushion filling (e.g. polyurethane foam), the upholstery, or sometimes both. These flame retardants can often be emitted from the furniture over the product lifetime and are commonly detected in indoor air and dust samples, leading to relatively ubiquitous exposure among the general population.
To help individuals determine if flame retardant chemicals are present in their furniture, our laboratory group offers a free testing program. Any individual can submit a sample for testing, and we will analyze the sample and return results, typically in about 6-8 weeks. For more information on this program and service, see our website here.