United Kindom and Ireland has the most stringent flammability requirements for furniture. The UK has evaluated their own regulations, and here are some of the results. Click the buttons for full evaluation.
"Very little work has been done on identifying any weak elements in the Regulations, despite the fact they were somewhat rushed into existence." and "It is possible to demonstrate in full scale tests that the Regulations are ineffective."
“We do not have comparative data which allows us to assess whether the UK regulations actually lead to safer furniture than in the rest of the EU”
“There is growing evidence that a) BFRs are worn away during normal use, getting into house dust and b) they damage the environment by releasing toxins and dioxins when burnt or dumped in landfill at end of life.”
"There is growing body of literature that has linked health and environmental harm with the flame retardant chemicals brominated, chlorinated and phosphate) used in furniture. Furniture flame retardants can be associated with endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity, cancer, and/or reproductive and neurological impairments, lowered IQ, and hyperactivity. Flame retardants migrate out of furniture, settle in dust, and are ingested by humans and animals. Young children have the highest blood levels due to hand-to-mouth behaviour. In the USA, a majority of residential fire deaths result from inhalation of toxic gases, and soot and smoke can obscure escape."
“Old upholstered furniture ends up in land-fill. Some of the FR chemicals present therein leach out into the environment and, according to Food Standards Agency research, get into the food chain.”
"Firstly, in order to meet the requirements, manufacturers use significant quantities of potentially harmful Flame Retardant chemicals (FRs) to make covers fire resistant to the required standard. Secondly, weaknesses in the current testing regime mean that the testing which takes place (particularly the ‘match test’) may not actually be delivering the desired outcome (i.e. match-resistant furniture) for finished products”