BSEF response to Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture Position Paper - Unwanted toxic flame retardants preventing circularity and increasing fire toxicity

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The statement “toxic flame retardants are a historical, hazardous and ineffective practice” demonstrates a poor understanding of the proven benefits of flame retardantsthrough history and their effectiveness as a fire safety layer in society.

Flame retardants are substances that change the nature of combustible plastic materials making them more ignition resistant.  In most products they primarily stop fires from starting – No Ignition No Fire.   They also significantly delay flame and fire development which save lives in homes and buildings by increasing the time for occupants to escape and firefighters to respond.  It is important to understand the term ‘flame retardant’ refers to a functional role and not particular chemistry– there are many types of flame retardants and the choice in any product design combines performance and safety from all dimensions. They offer a critical first layer of prevention in societal fire minimisation strategies and their value should not be easily dismissed

The following comments and rebuttal address allegations made in specific sections of the Alliance’s paper.



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