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Dec 24, 2020

House fires are terrifying. Believe me, I know. So trying to protect our home and family from fires seems entirely understandable. However, chemical flame retardants are not only toxic to our health, but don’t even offer the protection they claim. What is going on, guys?!

Welcome to Fatal Conveniences

This is a bite-sized segment that parallels The Darin Olien Show. In these segments, we get into society's Fatal Conveniences™. I define these as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to. These things save us time and trick us into thinking they're actually good for us. But it's those same things that are breaking down our health, and the health of the environment around us.

I've spent most of my adult life obsessively researching these "conveniences." On every show, I pick one topic, and we dive into it. My goal is to make you more aware of these traps so that you can push back on them. Remember, it starts with you and the choices you make. 

So, if you're willing to look at your world from a different perspective and make little tweaks that amount to big changes, then this segment is for you.

5-10% of the total weight of your living room couch is made up of chemical flame retardants.

Yup, you read that correctly. These toxic chemicals not only exist in your furniture and mattresses, but they’re floating around your entire home. These toxic chemicals like Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) are seeping in the air in our home because of off-gassing. Chemical particles can be found on our carpets, on the walls and even in the dust floating in the air. It’s not just furniture and mattresses these flame retardants are in either. They’re also used in electronics and even kids’ car seats and boosters.

But that’s not the worst of it. In studies, these flame retardant chemicals were found in nearly all of the test subjects’ bodies. They were found in blood, fat, breast tissue and even breastmilk. These toxins aren’t just hanging out in our bodies, they’re causing real, permanent damage to our health. They disrupt our hormone production, mess with our thyroids and even cause cancer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the havoc their wreaking on our bodies. If you have kids or pets at home, this is even more disturbing.

So it’s a small price to pay to save us from fires, right? If these products help us to get out of our homes during a fire and to safety quicker, then it’s worth it. Right? Wrong! They don’t even do what they claim to do! Studies done by fire experts show that flame retardants do not make fires easier to escape, but they actually increase deadly gases during combustion. So they’re killing us two ways? How is this possible?

In this Fatal Conveniences™ segment, I’ll explain how we got to this point, and why it all goes back to Big Tobacco. I’ll go over just what chemicals are used in these products and why they’re so dangerous. And of course, I’ll give ways to rid your homes of this stuff and healthy safe alternatives to buy instead. This one got me incredibly fired up (pun intended) and I hope it motivates you to look a little closer at the organizations and agencies that are supposed to be protecting us.

Other info in this segment:

  • The items in your home that contain flame retardants
  • What are they made from?
  • Where it all started
  • Why the EPA doesn’t do much about it
  • The truth about chemical safety in general
  • The cigarette and Big Tobacco connection
  • The studies that prove flame retardants are killing us
  • What to use instead

Links & Resources:

Playing With Fire Series

Toxic Hot Seat

Human exposure to PBDE and critical evaluation of health hazards

How Dangerous is Your Couch?

Firefighters and Flame Retardants

PBDEs in Human Breastmilk

Prenatal Exposure

Arlene Blum’s TED Talk

Duke Study

Re-think Your Materials

How to Reduce Toxins in Your Home

Netflix’ Down To Earth’ Official Trailer

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The Darin Olien Show is produced by the team at Must Amplify. If you’re looking to give a voice to your brand, and make sure that it’s heard by the right people, head to to see what Amplify can do for you.