From our TVs to our automobiles, furniture and building materials, dangerous cancer-causing and brain-harming flame retardants are used in the name of fire safety when safer alternatives are available.

How did these harmful chemicals become a common additive to household products? A decades-long collaboration between the chemical and tobacco industries put these chemicals in a multitude of everyday products without regard for public health. The kicker? Fire safety experts say many uses of the chemicals aren’t that effective in slowing down fires.

Now, we are left with a legacy of ineffective toxic chemicals in our bodies, environment, and homes. While policymakers are beginning to take action to remove some of these chemicals from the market, it’s a never-ending battle as chemical makers keep producing new hazardous chemicals.

TCPP: A toxic flame retardant

TCPP (tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate) is a flame retardant commonly used in polyurethane foam in consumer products and in home insulation, and in electronics. It is used as an additive to polyurethane foam and is not chemically bound, and it escapes from products into the indoor environment. Learn more 

TBB: A toxic flame retardant

TBB (tetrabromobenzoate) is a flame retardant used in polyurethane foam for furniture and children’s products, as the major component in the product known as Firemaster 550, as well as in electronics. TBB is mixed into rather than chemically bound to the foam, and can escape into the indoor and outdoor environment. Learn more 

TBPH: A toxic flame retardant

TBPH (bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate) is a flame retardant used in polyurethane foam for furniture and children’s products, as a component in the product known as Firemaster 550, and in wire and cable and other plastics. TBPH is mixed into rather than chemically bound to the foam and plastic, and can escape into the indoor and outdoor environment. Learn more 

TPP: A toxic flame retardant

Triphenyl phospate (TPP or TPHP) is a flame retardant used in polyurethane foam for furniture and children’s products, as a component in the product known as Firemaster 550, and in electronics casings and other plastics. It is also used as a plasticizer and is used in other types of products, including nail polish. Learn more 

V6: A toxic flame retardant

V6, or 2,2-bis(chloromethyl)-propane-1,3-diyltetrakis(2-chloroethyl) bisphosphate, is a flame retardant commonly used in polyurethane foam in consumer products and automobile foam. Learn more 

PBDEs (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers)

PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are industrial toxic chemicals, used for more than 30 years, to retard flame in consumer electronic plastics, furniture, and mattresses.

There are three common mixtures of these chemicals—penta, octa, and deca. Learn more 

TCEP: A toxic flame retardant

TCEP is flame retardant added to polyurethane foam and is found in furniture and baby products, as well as some plastics and carpet backing.  In a 2002 study examining stream contaminants near industrial facilities, TCEP was one of the most common. Learn more 

TDCPP (Chlorinated Tris)

TDCPP was a flame retardant used in children’s pajamas in the 1970s until it was eliminated from that use due to adverse health effects.  Now, TDCPP is a widely used flame retardant added to polyurethane foam in furniture and baby products. Learn more