Chemical Flame Retardant-Free Toolkit and Buyers Guide


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Recent changes to the Massachusetts fire safety code now allow Harvard’s Schools and departments to reduce health risks by purchasing furniture that meets strict fire safety standards without the use of harmful chemical flame retardants.

In November 2015, Harvard became the first university to sign a national pledge stating a preference for purchasing flame-retardant-free furniture.

This toolkit and buyers guide explores:

  • What's wrong with flame retardants?
  • What are the health effects of flame retardants?
  • How have regulations changed?
  • How to reduce your exposure

It also provides a checklist for project managers and purchasers to follow when purchasing new furniture and includes a list of vendors that sell products without chemical flame retardants. It was created primarily for use by Harvard offices, but the information applies to any office seeking to purchase chemical flame-retardant-free furniture.

The guide was produced in a partnership between Harvard Financial Administration, the Center for Health and the Global Environment, and Harvard Office for Sustainability.

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