BSEF Statement on Chicago Tribune Articles

There are numerous studies and fire tests proving that flame retardants slow down the spread of fire1. This is a criterion necessary to meet international fire safety standards for consumer products. The industry has referenced independent, scientific studies to demonstrate the efficacy of flame retardants and to the best of our knowledge.

Our industry initiates science from leading scientists. We are guided by the conclusions to these studies which are communicated in a transparent manner with our funding clearly acknowledged.

Industry is required by authorities to develop science assessing the environmental and health impact of the substances put on the market. Such studies are reviewed by the authorities. Where no independent data exists, it is responsible for industry to invest in scientific studies by reputable experts, where possible peer reviewed in well recognised publications.

In Europe, flame retardants are regulated under REACH, which is the European Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. This entered into force in 2007. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through early identification of hazardous properties in chemical substances. The flame retardant industry is actively supporting REACH through the submission of a wide range of data for REACH registration.


1 – University of Surrey report on ‘International Fire Statistics and the Potential Benefits of Fire Counter-Measures’, May 2005
Greenstreet Berman Ltd., “A statistical report to investigate the effectiveness of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988”, (December 2009)