Over the last several months, many media outlets have published
articles about certain chemicals found in flame retardant foam that studies
have found could cause cancer and complications during pregnancy. While
Foamcraft is not in a position to accuse these articles of falsehood, there are
some points that the media has missed, and that we, as a successful business in
this industry for over 60 years, are able to shed some facts into.
Below are some points we feel need to be known to anyone buying
1. PBDE fire retardant chemicals were eliminated in January 2005.
There are a lot of questions, and reports in the media, that are still
addressing these chemicals that have long since been absent in foam. This of
course confuses the situation. All foam we supply is absent of PBDEs.
2. TDCPP, which was a component of certain FR chemicals that
were developed and approved after PBDEs were phased out, have been added to the
California Proposition 65 chemicals of concern list in October of 2011. In
October of 2012, products that still contained TDCPP were required to have
labels indicating that the state of California has found that this component
can cause cancer. Many of the foam types that we use and supply never used FRs
that contained this component. As of October 2012, none of
the foam types we supply contains it. We can verify this with letters and
further info from our suppliers if necessary. There are actually several
lawsuits in the furniture industry right now, but for the most part they are
addressing this issue which has already been resolved.
3. Beyond these two issues, there are still customers who are
concerned about FR chemicals in general. We believe this concern, beyond these
two issues, is not warranted, and that the FRs used in the industry now, which
have been approved by the EPA and heavily researched by the foam manufacturers
to ensure the lack of harmful chemicals, are still important for the reduction
of household fires as regulated by California Technical Bulletin 117.
The FRs used now fall into two categories: halogenated (or brominated),
and non-halogenated. Both are not knowingly harmful, but halogenated or
brominated FRs are what are still generating concerns and getting a lot of
media coverage. Because of this, and because of an effort in the state of
California to eliminate Cal 117, many furniture manufacturers are considering
moving away from FR chemicals in general. We feel this is a mistake, but we
just cut the foam. So that is what we will do no matter what the industry
requires. The non-halogenated option still could be the solution to eliminate
all the concerns currently out there, while also still offering adequate fire
resistance per Cal 117.