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Cancer: Even fancy sofas are a threat as chemicals sprayed on them up risk

Fancy sofas, particularly the fire-resistant ones, are great to look at and certainly add to your home’s appeal but can cause great harm. A chemical is sprayed onto them which can give you thyroid cancer.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 10, 2017 14:45 IST
Cancer,Fancy sofas,Thyroid cancer
A study has warned that the fire retardant chemicals, found in these sofas and mattresses, can lead to thyroid cancer.

Beware of those fancy fire resistant sofas! A study warns that the fire retardant chemicals, found in these sofas and mattresses can lead to thyroid cancer.

The findings indicate that a chemical such as decaBDE -- sprayed onto fabric and fillings of the furniture -- is linked to 74% spike in cases of the deadly cancer over the last decade.

Heather Stapleton from Duke University in North Carolina in US is set to present her findings to a conference in York next month.

“The chemicals are released as household dust and enter our bodies on our food and hands, with the highest levers found in children,” said Stapleton.

They found that the group with cancer had significantly higher exposure to decaBDE.

The researchers also found a link between cognitive defects in children who had been exposed to the chemical during pregnancy or before the age of four.

“They are causing thousands of cancers and other illnesses, with children particularly vulnerable,” Stapleton added.

“The US changed its sofa flammability laws over two years ago but in the UK, we are still stuck with levels of flame retardants in our sofas and mattresses even higher than the USA faced,” Stapleton explained.

The stark warning comes ahead of a potential move by the UN that could see decaBDE banned later this month, reports the Mirror.

“If our science committee’s recommendations are agreed then at the end of their life, products containing decaBDE become hazardous waste and cannot be recycled,” said Kei Ohno, secretariat of the Stockholm convention.

He added that they would have to be burnt in a high temperature incinerator or buried in a waterproof landfill that would stop the contents leaking out.

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First Published: Apr 10, 2017 14:44 IST