Major retailers urge reform of furniture flammability rules

Rules that put toxic flame retardant chemicals into British homes must be changed, retailers have said at a House of Commons committee hearing, in which MPs attacked the flame retardant industry over allegations of “covert lobbying” and suppressing academic criticism.

First before the latest session of the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into toxic substances in everyday life were representatives of Ikea and Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix. The committee sought their views on updating the 31-year-old Furniture Regulations to accommodate modern knowledge of fire chemistry, the toxicity of brominated and organophosphate-based flame retardants and flaws in the law’s flammability tests.

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