Study finds potential toxins in most US couches

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On Wednesday, advocates jumped on the research to argue for passage of the Safe Chemicals Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would restrict the use of chemicals that are not proven to be safe.

"This study spotlights how people are harmed by the glaring holes in federal consumer protections from chemicals," said Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, in a statement.

"A very toxic chemical has hitched a ride into our living rooms, and our children's bodies, because we let the chemical industry operate on the honor system."

A lead trade group for the chemical industry rebutted the study, meanwhile, saying it contained "no data ... that indicate that the levels of flame retardants found would cause any human health problems."

In a statement, the American Chemistry Council added that flame retardants in furniture save lives by providing "valuable escape time" in case of a fire.

Fire and chemical safety standards are generally made at the state level.

The study was conducted by researchers with Duke University, Boston University and the University of California, Berkeley.

One author was UC Berkeley's Arlene Blum, whose research led to the voluntary removal of tris from kid's sleepwear.