Chlorinated Tris in Furniture Products

[Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate, TDCPP, and TDCIPP]

Why am I being warned about potential exposure to chlorinated tris in furniture products?

  • Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (also known as chlorinated tris,  TDCPP and TDCIPP) is on the Proposition 65 list because it can cause cancer.
  • Exposure to chlorinated tris may increase cancer risk.
  • Proposition 65 requires businesses to determine if they must provide a warning about exposures to listed chemicals.

What is chlorinated tris?

  • Chlorinated tris is a chemical flame retardant. Adding flame retardants to furniture products is one way to reduce flammability.
    • Polyurethane foam treated with chlorinated tris may be used in upholstered furniture.
    • Textiles and plastic treated with chlorinated tris may be used in furniture products.

How does exposure to chlorinated tris from furniture products occur?

  • Chlorinated tris can be gradually released from treated furniture products into indoor environments, including houses, schools, day care centers, offices and cars.
  • After chlorinated tris is released from furniture products, it is present on floors, furniture, and other surfaces and in air and dust. 
  • Young children may have higher exposure to chlorinated tris because:
    • It can be present in children’s furniture products, such as nap mats, travel beds, bassinets, portable crib mattresses, and play pens; and
    • Infants and toddlers often crawl and play on the floor getting more dust on their hands and they often put their fingers, toys and other objects in their mouths.

Main ways you can be exposed to chlorinated tris used in furniture products:

How can I reduce my exposure to chlorinated tris from furniture products?

  • Consider furniture products made with foam alternatives, such as cotton, wool, natural latex, or products made with untreated polyurethane foam. 
  • Look for children’s furniture products that are labeled as not using flame retardants.
  • For upholstered furniture, check the label commonly found underneath the seat cushion, and look for:
    • TB 117-2013 label (Technical Bulletin 117-2013) for furniture manufactured and sold in California beginning in January 2015: The label must indicate whether or not the product contains added flame retardants. Products with this label are less likely to have chlorinated tris.
    • TB 117 label (Technical Bulletin 117) for furniture manufactured and sold in California prior to 2015: The label will not indicate whether or not added flame retardants are present. Products with this label are more likely to have flame retardants such as chlorinated tris.
    • If you do not see a label, ask if flame retardants, and specifically chlorinated tris, have been added to the product.
  • Replace upholstered furniture products that are torn or have crumbling foam.
  • Avoid exposure to dust which can contain chlorinated tris:
    • Wash your and your child’s hands frequently, especially before preparing food and eating. 
    • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop if possible, or a vacuum with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. 
    • Dust regularly, using a damp cloth.

For more information:

Chlorinated Tris in Furniture Products:

Proposition 65:

  • California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
    Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)

Scientific Information on Chlorinated Tris:

Posted March 2016

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