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Is Your Couch Making You Sick?

Sep. 12, 2014|423 views
Couch Making You Sick Spread


In my book, True Nutrition—European Secrets for American Women, I talk at length about the toxins hiding in everyday objects and situations. I warn about potential hazards lurking in the average American home, for instance. Some may find this alarmist, but others realize that things are not always what they seem. Take the image of a new mother resting on the family sofa with her newborn baby. What could be more idyllic? They’re safe, comfortable, and relaxed.

Who would have guessed that those comfy sofa cushions may be poisoning both mother and child? I know it sounds outlandish. Yet that’s exactly what I warn about in my book. And now the national consumer advocacy organization, Environmental Working Group (EWG), in conjunction with Duke University researchers, have reported this is routinely occurring across America.

The problem has to do with toxic chemicals used to render furniture non-flammable. It’s certainly nice to know that you’re not sitting on a tinder box every time you plop down on the sofa. But most of us are unaware of a hidden trade-off. Every time you or your child sits down, you may be exposing yourselves to toxic chemicals.

This is not hyperbole. According to EWG’s recently released report, evidence of the cancer-causing fire-retardant chemical, TDCIPP, was discovered in the bloodstreams of all 22 mothers and 26 children tested. In one alarming instance, a child had 23 times more of this carcinogen than the mother. On average, children had five times more of the chemical in their bloodstreams than their mothers.

Fire retardants were originally intended to protect us. No one wants to lie down on a death trap that could burst into flames. But neither do we wish to get back up with a significantly increased risk of cancer. Unfortunately, these chemicals are present in numerous consumer products, and they’re devilishly hard to avoid. Tomorrow, and in the coming days, I’ll talk more about this threat, and what EWG suggests you can do to avoid—or at least minimize—the danger.