Here is an interesting video by Arlene Blum and the Green Science Policy Institute with a good introduction into the world of Fire Retardants. It is also worth mentioning that in the USA flame retardants are used in the fillings, but not the outer cover material. Here in the UK we use far greater amounts in our furniture.
Terry Edge was a senior civil servant who was given the job of re-writing the UK Furniture Fire Regulations. This was after the Government department responsible realised the current regulations did not work.
MP Mary Creagh is the chair of a parliamentary inquiry into toxic chemicals in the home with growing concerns about the use of flame retardants in mattresses and sofas. She has recently released a podcast on the subject titled "Emergency on Planet Earth", which you can hear below.
The award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative ‘Playing With Fire’ Toxic Hot Seat threads together an intricate story of manipulation that details how Big Tobacco skilfully convinced fire safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants.