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No doubt about it—flame-retardants used in mattresses, upholstery, television, and circuit boards have saved many lives. However the same life-saving chemicals that reduce the risk of fire have been linked to learning and memory problems in animals, and may cause cancer in humans. Some states, such as California and Washington, have recently banned these toxic chemicals from being used in upholstered furniture, so consider buying new furnishings if you're worried about your exposure.
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