Environmental connections to public health >>
If you're looking for couches with wood from sustainable forests, fabric free of flame retardants and finished off with non-toxic dyes, stains and glues, Q Collection makes them not just green, but also good-looking. Consumers may be surprised by how unhealthy furniture can be, but the pieces you live with contribute to the toxic mix of chemicals floating in the air of the average home. Fire retardants, polyurethane, formaldehyde and even heavy metals like chromium-6 can all be used in furniture production, although these chemicals have been linked to birth defects and cancer.
If you're particularly interested in harmful fire retardants in everything from your mattress and computer or TV to your kids' toys (and you live in Washington), take heart: the state is considering the nation's first ban on a fire retardant that has been found to break down into other banned chemicals in the environment.
EWG's work on fire retardants is here.