Figure: Standards Matter

In a comprehensive analysis of dust on college campuses, researchers compared the effects of two different flammability standards—TB117 and TB133—both of which compel the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals in furniture. Compared with TB117, TB133 represents a more severe standard that manufacturers meet by adding higher levels of flame retardants. Coincidentally, the researchers found that dust on the college adhering to TB133 contained higher levels of flame retardants compared with dust on the campus adhering to TB117.

Toxic Chemicals on College Campuses

Dodson, R.E., K.M. Rodgers, G. Carey, J.G.C. Laurent, A. Covaci, G. Poma, G. Malarvannan, J.D. Spengler, R.A. Rudel, J. G. Allen. 2017. “Flame Re­tardant Chemicals in College Dormitories: Flammability Standards Influence Dust Concentrations.” (link is external) Environmental Science & Technology. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b00429

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