Health care wants furniture without unneeded flame retardants
Brominated and other flame retardants are losing the health care market. Four health care providers -- Advocate Health Care, Beaumont Health System, Hackensack University Medical Center, and University Hospitals -- announced they will stop buying upholstered furniture treated with flame retardant chemicals. With Kaiser Permanente, which made a similar announcement in June, these organizations spend about $50 million annually on furniture. Questions going forward: How will this move influence other commercial furniture purchases and what technologies will replace chemical flame retardants now in use?