Many Couches Contain Toxic Flame Retardants
If all you want to do at the end of the day is relax on the couch, then Duke University has some bad news for you. In an analysis of 102 couches, researchers found that 85 percent of them contained some kind of flame retardant chemical that is potentially toxic. These chemicals become most dangerous to humans when they migrate from furniture foam into house dust, and are then inhaled by humans.
The study found that people have about a pound of toxic chemicals in their couches and that these chemicals were most common in couches five years old or newer. When humans are exposed to these chemicals, there can be hormone disruption, cancer and neurological toxicity, according to hundreds of animal studies and several human studies as well. So, the next time you go out to buy a couch, experts recommend looking for couches made with polyester, down, wool or cotton fillings, which are all unlikely to have been treated with chemicals.