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From Home Furnishing Business

Norwalk Furniture to Drop Toxic Flame Retardants from Line

Upholstery supplier Norwalk Furniture  is dropping toxic flame-retardant chemicals from its products and the company's line will meet California's new flame smolder test.

The changeover will be effective June 1.

“We are always looking for ways to make homes more beautiful, comfortable and healthier. That’s why we are at the forefront in offering upholstered furniture that is free of toxic chemicals,” said Mike Kenney, president. “Because our products are made in the USA with a focus on using American suppliers and local artisans, consumers can be confident that all Norwalk products use only the best construction methods and materials available. We know our suppliers and how materials are produced.”

Norwalk’s use of low VOC emission foams comes seven months prior to the compliance required by California under the new law TB 117-2013. The requirement takes effect Jan. 1. Norwalk upholstery also meets the new California flame smolder test, which will result in improved fire safety without toxic chemicals.

A study published last year by Duke University and the University of California-Berkeley in Environmental Science & Technology found that 85 percent of tested products, including furniture, contain chemical flame retardants, which are toxic or lack adequate testing. The study links these chemicals to hormone disruption, neurological and reproductive issues, and cancer in animals and humans. It also said that of the furniture tested, flame retardant chemicals were found in 94 percent of upholstery purchased after 2005.

As a result of the law, passed in October 2013, upholstered chairs, sofas and other household products sold in California are required to bear a permanently attached uniform law label on packaging and in retail store displays to warn individuals prior to exposure to harmful chemicals.

“At Norwalk, we take great pride in each product we manufacture, so our customers can have great design and healthier homes,” Kenney said. “Because we are a domestic manufacturer, we can work closely with all of our suppliers to make important changes like this quickly.”

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