Starting this month, it will finally be possible to buy upholstered furniture without added toxic flame retardants. From the December 31, 2013 Scientific American:
From the January 4, 2014 Huffington Post:
California's new Technical Bulletin 117 removes a decades-old requirement that flame retardants be included in the filling of upholstered furniture. The state rule, which became the de facto standard for the rest of the nation, meant use of the chemicals flourished for years nationwide, despite mounting evidence implicating them in neurological and reproductive disorders, and cancers. For all their ills, the chemicals may not actually slow fires.
"Right now, most people have harmful flame retardants in their homes and in their bodies," said Blum, a University of California, Berkeley, chemist. "And the chemicals don't serve a benefit.
As for finding new flame retardant-free furniture, Blum recommended looking for the new "TB 117-2013" tag and asking retailers whether a specific item contains flame retardants. It may be best to wait a few more months to allow new products to arrive in stores and old stock to be sold out, she noted.