In this blog post we're going to address the top 4 concerns our customers have about certain potentially harmful chemicals used in some textile decor products, and whether we use them. (TL; DR: No, we don't.)
FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS
When we are asked if we use flame retardant chemicals on our products the primary concern of our consumers is to avoid purchasing a product treated with certain flame retardant chemicals which are now known to be carcinogenic. In years past, these chemicals were required to sell certain things such as beds and sofas inside the state of California, to save people who fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Now that these chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, California has reversed its position and now requires consumers to be warned against these specific chemicals. We have never treated our products with these chemicals.
Our fabric suppliers are required to label fabrics treated with these flame retardant chemicals; we do not buy fabric labeled as having been treated with these flame retardant chemicals. We list our fabric content on our RN labels and on our website.
Our foam supplier sells us mixed scrap latex foam. Our supplier provides a variable mix of natural and synthetic latex foam. Our foam supplier does not treat the latex foam with these flame retardant chemicals. We also list the foam content on our RN labels and on our website.
If you live in California you should know that we do not participate in any California programs which may regulate or test flame retardant properties. We do not add a flame retardant barrier to our products. If you expose our product to flame, or a smoldering heat such as a lit cigarette, it could catch on fire, although we have not tested how many seconds or minutes it might require to catch fire.
MEMORY FOAM OFF-GASSING
The other concern our consumers often have, especially in the nursery, is to avoid certain memory foam products which are known to offgas. We do not use memory foam in any of our products. Our natural/synthetic latex blend has an odor which most people can barely smell, which many people describe as being similar to vanilla. This odor is not the same "offgas" that consumers concerned about memory foam are seeking to avoid. Fewer than 0.001% of individuals may be hypersensitive to the smell of latex foam, instead of a faint sweet odor they smell a strong odor; most hyper-sensitive individuals report decreased awareness of the odor after washing or airing the cushions.
STAIN RESISTANT TREATMENTS
Some of our consumers are also interested in whether stain resistant treatments are sprayed on our products. We do not apply a stain resistant spray to our products, however, many of our fabric suppliers apply a stain resistant treatment such as ScotchGuard to the indoor fabrics before they ship the fabric to us. If you wish to remove any stain resistant treatment that my have come from the fabric supplier, you can purchase a set of machine washable cushions and machine wash with a gentle detergent such as Woolite.
We are aware of an increasing number of companies that are using chemical treatments to render natural fibers such as cotton "safe" to use outside. These fabrics are then turned into products which are advertised as "indoor/outdoor". Our indoor/outdoor products are made from 100% spun polyester fibers that are naturally able to shed water (or other liquids) because of the shape of the fibers; this gives them mildew resistance and stain resistance without the use of a chemical spray. Unlike cotton fabrics treated with chemicals or wax coatings that may lose their effectiveness over time, our indoor/outdoor fabrics made from 100% spun polyester will always be safe to use outdoors -all you have to do is allow them to dry completely first if you decide to store them away when not in use.