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  1. Wow I had no idea of the harmful materials that are in my home or should I say was in My Home. I recently had a house fire and lost three of my bedrooms. The fire was an undetermined cause but the fire chief believes that it started from a phone charger left on the sofa. The first time I was taking into the home after the fire was with the chief and he pointed out the foam in the sofa and proceeded to tell me that kerosene was used in the production of the foam which potentially causes to increase the fire potential. This is how I came across your article. I want to make sure that my home is more safe. He informed me that the US codes were stricter than codes from other countries but which are allowed to be sold in our country. How horrible. I am also concerned of the fumes that have been left as far as residue in my home. I’m on a very restricted budget due to me being disabled but I don’t want to risk the safety of myself or my children and grandchildren. My head is spinning right now . The fire was three weeks ago. Please can you give me some economical options for replacement of sofas ,mattresses that I may be able to afford. I had rather leave a room empty until I can resolve these new discoveries on my part. Thank you for your time and educating me on such a scary topic. I know you said not to try and stress so much but the obvious is stress. Thank you so much and God bless you. Please forward any information you can to help me.

  2. So I brought a pillow with polyurethane foam and I started to have headaches didn’t know why until I removed my pillow just to see if I was wrong, but I was right it is the pillow

  3. Sad to say that I was unaware my loungie flip chair which arrived today has 80% polyurethane foam and 20% polyurethane cotton. The fabric is made of Micro-Suede. The only reason I came to know this is from the tag on the chair. NO added flame retardant chemicals. I bought it especially for my 3 and 4 year old great grandkids when they stay the night. It’s fully convertible and turns into a sleeper. Now I’m very confused as to whether I will be harming their health if I keep it. It’s so hard to return things. I would appreciate any input you can give. Thanking you in advance.

  4. Hello,
    I realize this was posted a few years ago but I have a concern. I recently bought a used loveseat that emits an oily almost gasoline odor. Didn’t realize this until I got it home. It’s cute and I hoped the odor would dissipate after a time but it has not. I just saw in this article that one of the chemicals used to make this foam is a petroleum derivative. Should I just get rid of it?


  5. Interesting article. Thanks for all the research you’ve done. I recently had a baby girl and am obsessed with the materials in her products / stuffed animals. Our neighbour bought her a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal and my daughter is so drawn to it (likely because of the contrasting black/white/pink colours) but I cringe every time she reaches for it because there is polyurethane foam listed in the materials. I imagine this is toxic to young children, and, if so, why are companies allowed to use such a material in toys made for children? (also listed is ethylene vinyl acetate foam, which I don’t know much about)

    1. Hi Kara, I completely understand your concerns. Unfortunately, in the US, it is up to us consumers to protect ourselves from toxins. Here is an article I wrote that will help you understand the US system in regard to toxic chemicals. I encourage you while doing your best to reduce exposure to toxins, remember not to stress out as stress can more harmful than toxins. Yes, it is best to get stuffed animals made of certified organic cotton, at least in the first year of life. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (aka EVA) is considered a safer alternative to PVC because it does not have chlorine, phthalates, and BPA. But I always ask what is used instead. (And really get answers.:( But we can get answers if we stick together. I hope you will join my blog.) And surely, EVA was tested a few years ago and found to have formamide, which is a carcinogen. So it is best to avoid it, if possible. I hope this helps and you’ll keep in touch. Irina

  6. This came at a perfect time! Trying to find safe alternatives to everthing is so time consuming and frustrating especially when you feel a company is being secretive or dishonest about their products. How can you tell a truly honest company/product from the rest? I’d love a post on that; how to sort through all the greenwashing and some good questions to ask to get going in the right direction.

  7. Thanks so much for all your research- I know you have covered this before but it would be great if you could update the list of places we can buy non-toxic couches and chairs. Thanks!

      1. I have become chemical sensitive to furniture. I live in BC., Canada. Any ideas of where I can buy furniture?

    1. Hi Emily
      I’m sure Irina will post some great resources but in the meantime, 2 sources are Cisco (if you specify the ‘green inside’ line) and Ekla home furniture. I had a custom upholstered bed frame made by Ekla and it came out beautifully – I sent her a picture of what I wanted and she made it with non-toxic materials. She is based out of LA so it is a little risky purchasing “sight unseen” but I went to see a couch she made (for a local family, who was kind enough to let me into their home to see it!) and both the couch and bedframe she made were impeccably done. I also have a chair from Cisco that is very well made. I highly recommend Rowena at Pine Street Interiors to help you with any furniture decisions – she is really on top of all the issues.