Earlier this month I wrote a letter to Macy’s. I wanted to let them know that I was concerned about toxic chemicals that may be in products I bring into my home. I shared with them that I’m especially concerned about toxic flame retardants, which are common in upholstered furniture.
It’s no secret flame retardants have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other serious health problems, yet much of the furniture in our stores continues to be filled with these toxic chemicals. They are known to migrate out of couches and other furniture, get into the dust inside our homes and make their way into our bodies.
For years, most couches and upholstered furniture across the U.S. contained high levels of toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Recent changes to the California flammability standard now provide better fire safety without the use of these toxic chemicals.
Leading retailers are already selling furniture without toxic flame retardants. Ashley Furniture, Walmart, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, the Futon Shop, La-Z-Boy, Williams Sonoma (Pottery Barn, West Elm), Ikea, Ethan Allen, and Restoration Hardware have either eliminated or committed to eliminate toxic flame retardants in all of their furniture.
I joined many others as part of the Mind the Store Campaign. Together we asked Macy’s, one of the biggest retailers of furniture in the country, to adopt a public policy and time-frame for eliminating toxic flame retardant chemicals in all furniture foam, textiles and backing, and clearly label all products nationwide in accordance with the new California labeling law.
Over the past two weeks, Macy’s received thousands of e-mails from customers encouraging them to address the harmful chemicals.
And guess what?! Macy’s listened!
Victory! After much consumer pressure, Macy’s has agreed to ensure the furniture they sell is free of toxic flame retardants.
Macy’s let me know in an e-mail that they’re finally taking action on flame retardants in furniture. They said:
“We will be instructing any remaining suppliers who are using these chemicals to cease doing so.”
Thank you Macy’s for doing what’s right for our health.
Thank you to Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and the Mind the Store Campaign for their hard work on this issue and thank you to the thousands of people who took time to write to Macy’s to voice their concerns.
Change is happening. As buyers continue to demand flame retardant-free furniture, manufacturers have no other option but to listen. Together we made this happen!
If you have some time over the next few days please give Macy’s a shout out on social media.
Just click here if you’re on Twitter:
[Tweet “Thank you @Macys for getting toxic #flameretardants out of furniture #MindTheStore http://ow.ly/TGnxL via @groovygreenlivi”]
Where do you buy your furniture? Are you concerned about toxic flame retardants?
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photo credit: Macy’s 6/2014 Waterbury, CT. Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. #Macys #MacysStore via photopin (license)