Want A Healthier Home? Start With Your Couch

To make your home a bit healthier you may want to upgrade your couch.

Silent Spring Institute researchers have found that when people replace their old couch with a new one that has no added flame retardants, levels of the harmful chemicals in household dust drop significantly. They found replacing the foam inside the couch cushions is also just as effective.

The experts say that flame retardants can migrate out of furniture into air and dust, and end up in people’s bodies. Exposure to these chemicals has been associated with cancer, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, lower IQ, and other harmful health effects.

In homes where people swapped out their old couches for new couches, researchers found a significant drop in the flame retardants found in dust samples six months later, and the levels remained lower a year after the furniture was replaced. The same was seen in homes that only replaced the foam inside their existing couch.

The experts say you should try to keep dust levels low in your house, and also consider replacing the foam in your couch if it’s old. (EruekAlert!