SF bans flame retardants from furniture


San Francisco is banning the sale of upholstered furniture and children’s products that contain flame retardant chemicals.

The chemicals have been linked a number of health issues including to cancer, especially affecting firefighters who are exposed to the chemical at its most volatile level during a fire.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the legislation on Tuesday, which was sponsored by Supervisor Mark Farrell.

Farrell said while the state does not require manufacturers to use the chemicals anymore, the chemicals can still be found on products today:

“Most people are unaware that household furniture and children’s products located in our homes contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious health aliments.”

Upholstered furniture and children’s products sold online are also included in the ban. Stores will have to ensure that labels on products show that the items do not contain the chemicals, under the legislation.

A petition process is also setup in the legislation to allow for certain furniture items such as massage chairs for possible exemption from the ban. The Department of Environment will work on the petition process, said Farrell.

The ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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