Most of us tend to eat a little more around the holidays, but it is not recommended to sleep it off on the couch.
A study involving 104 couches determined that 85 percent of them had been treated with known toxic chemical flame-retardants or others about which researchers did not have enough health information.
ABC News reported that Berkeley and Duke University scientists said 41 percent of couches contained chlorinated Tris, a carcinogen taken out of baby pajamas in the 1970s, and 17 percent had the worldwide-banned chemical pentaBDE.
According to Mother Jones, the research found that 94 percent of newer couches made after 2005 contained chemicals that were either confirmed toxic or had unknown risks, and the chemicals made up as much as 11 percent of the weight of the foam in the cushions.
Many of the chemicals that were tested are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and learning problems in earlier human and animal studies, according to chemist Arlene Blum.
WebMD reported that another study by Silent Spring Institute from Massachusetts found that dust from 16 California homes tested in 2006 and again in 2011 had levels of at least one flame retardant chemical that went over federal health guidelines. The dust was found to come from flame-retardants used in products such as home insulation, upholstered furniture, carpeting, children’s and baby items, and electronics.
The American Home Furnishings Alliance says the problem comes when the industry tries to make their products fire-resistant while keeping them free of hazardous chemicals.
“Over the past 25 years, the incidence of household fires involving upholstered furniture in the United States has been reduced by more than 85 percent,” the group said, according to WBAY. “However, part of that success has been based on the incorporation of flame-retardant chemicals in upholstery.”
“AHFA has steadfastly maintained that product modifications should be made only as they are proven safe, effective and affordable for the greatest number of consumers," they continued.