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Flame retardant-free
furniture rare, costly

San Francisco Chronicle, by Stephanie M. Lee

Original Article

Posted By:Ribicon, 2/22/2013 5:12:29 PM

Zem Joaquin had a furniture dilemma. In 2005, the interior designer was trying to make her Marin County house a healthy environment for her two toddlers. But virtually all the couches on the market, she learned, contain foam with toxic flame retardants, the unintended result of a 1970s California law. So with a furniture maker´s help, Joaquin designed her own sofa. Yellow and big enough to seat seven, it is made of sustainably harvested wood, natural latex foam, organic wool - and no flame retardants. "I ended up actually designing my own furniture because there wasn´t an alternative out there yet,

Comments:
Want The Right to Choose a sofa minus the government-mandated toxic chemicals? You can have it, but only if you´re wealthy. This is the Two Americas touted by the Silky Pony: rules and regulations for us, back doors for them.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: ColoWapiti, 2/22/2013 5:19:28 PM     (No. 9191475)

She better not quit her day job. What an ugly couch.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: ROLFnader, 2/22/2013 5:44:05 PM     (No. 9191502)

In this month´s installment of Living Dangerously, we follow Zem as she tries to stay alive in the wilds of San Francisco....

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Reply 3 - Posted by: TXknitter, 2/22/2013 5:50:27 PM     (No. 9191515)

A lot of my best pieces were purchased in second hand stores or estate sales. Easy to find vintage, real wood and good Early American pieces with good bones. Then I take it to a wonderful fellow who reupholsters, stuffs it with good quality, American made, no funky chemical stuffing.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: joew9, 2/22/2013 6:11:36 PM     (No. 9191543)

Her sofa is highly flammable. If she has children they should be taken from her.

I wish I had had a flame retardant sofa in college. I didn´t. And a visitor´s cigarette fell in the cushions. It smoldered smokelessly and unnoticed mostly because we were all in the process of leaving for the evening. The house burned down. It was obvious that the fire started at the sofa. The visitor later admitted she had dropped the lit cigarette but thought it probably went out and anyway the danger of fire never occurred to her because... well... she was dumb.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: schnapps, 2/22/2013 6:29:03 PM     (No. 9191574)

My liberal SIL spent big $$$ for a "healthy" non-flame-retardant mattress. She also likes the idea of mud floors and composting toilets. Go figure.


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Reply 6 - Posted by: earlybird, 2/22/2013 7:35:00 PM     (No. 9191642)

I have seen an upholstered couch - from the pre-retardent era - catch fire after no one noticed a fireplace ember had shot into it and become embedded.

It had smoldered for some time after we had gone up to bed in a home where we were visiting.

There are few things more scary than a blazing couch in a house full of sleeping people.

I´ll take the fire-retardent.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 2/22/2013 8:01:43 PM     (No. 9191659)

As I recall the genesis of the fire-retardent mattresses was with furniture for babies and children.

Upholstered furniture is highly flammable (the female subject of this article notwithstanding) and the smoke and fumes are highly toxic.

Go back to the articles on Benghazi and I believe you´ll find that Ambassador Stevens was overcome by toxic smoke from flaming upholstered furniture. It becomes fully engulfed very quickly.



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Reply 8 - Posted by: gillyo, 2/22/2013 8:32:39 PM     (No. 9191693)

This is such a typical Marin attitude. Everything has to be special just for them because they´re more special than the rest of us. So annoying. Especially since it´s people like her that love telling us what we should and shouldn´t do. Serves her right if she couldn´t easily find the "special" couch she wanted.

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