Flame retardants are compounds added to manufactured materials, such as plastics and textiles, and surface finishes and coatings that inhibit, suppress, or delay the production of flames to prevent the spread of fire. They may be mixed with the base material (additive flame retardants) or chemically bonded to it (reactive flame retardants).
Brominated and chlorianted chemicals are added to products such as televisions, computers, textiles, building materials, infant car seats, and strollers, despite a lack of evidence that they actually prevent fires. Laboratory studies show that some of these chemicals can lead to negative birth outcomes, harm the developing brain, hamper sperm development, and impair thyroid function.
Numerous states have taken action on halogenated flame retardants.