V6, or 2,2-bis(chloromethyl)-propane-1,3-diyltetrakis(2-chloroethyl) bisphosphate, is a toxic flame retardant commonly used in polyurethane foam in consumer products and automobile foam.
V6 is used as an additive to polyurethane foam and is not chemically bound, and it escapes from products into the indoor environment and vehicles.
V6 is structurally similar to the cancer-causing flame retardant TCEP and contains it as an impurity: TCEP has been measured in the V6 product at a concentration of 14%. Laboratory research found V6 affected reproduction as well as organs including thyroid and liver.
The Washington State Legislature passed a law in 2016 directing state agencies to assess the compound for possible restrictions.
Manufacturers should choose safer materials and chemicals, including materials that do not require chemical flame retardants to meet flammability standards.
You can reduce your exposure to V6 and other flame retardants used in polyurethane foam by making sure furniture you purchase is labeled as free of flame retardants. Make sure any children’s products you or your childcare provider use are not labeled as meeting the California TB 117 flammability standard.