ISLAMABAD-School spaces with newer furniture show significantly lower level of hazardous exposures. There are good reasons to be worried about indoor air quality right now, in light of COVID-19. In addition to transmitting infectious agents, indoor spaces can also be a source of harmful chemicals in consumer products. A new analysis of indoor spaces on college campuses finds dust in classrooms and lecture halls harbors high levels of toxic flame retardants used in furniture raising health concerns from everyday exposures. “The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that indoor spaces have an enormous impact on people’s health,” says lead author Kathryn Rodgers, MPH, a staff scientist at Silent Spring Institute. “So, it’s critical that we find ways to reduce harmful exposures and create the healthiest indoor environments we can.” 

Scientists have long raised concerns about the use of flame retardants in products because the chemicals are linked with a range of health problems including thyroid disease, infertility, decreased IQ, and cancers.