Are IKEA Curtains Flame-retardant?
Once upon a time, flame retardant was used in everything that might be subject to fire. Children’s clothing, furniture, and curtains all contained chemicals that would (hopefully) stop people from being burned. It came at a price.
The price was the fact that “better living through chemistry” can mean toxicity to the humans who use them. Science has found that most flame retardant chemicals come with problems with the developing nervous systems of children and are, indeed toxic.
That doesn’t mean there is nothing that can be done. IKEA phased out chemical flame retardants years ago. That doesn’t mean their products aren’t flame resistant. They are. That’s because, rather than cotton, they use wool.
You may wonder about the difference. Cotton burns easily, are very dry and have a low ignition temperature. Wool has a much higher ignition temperature, partially due to the amount of water it holds.
Wool can hold up to thirty percent of its weight in water. This makes it much less likely to burn without the use of harsh chemicals. It also contains a great deal of nitrogen, which contributes to its flame resistance.
Wool is also a sustainable crop. Done correctly, it doesn’t hurt the animal. Sheep can also provide other products for the farmer, which can only help improve the farm. Once sterilized, sheep manure can be used in the garden and on the lawn.
Ewes provide milk, and those who are lactose intolerant find the cheeses a nice alternative to cow’s milk cheese. Manchego is a good example of sheep cheese. With these benefits, IKEA’s choice to go with wool fits its IWAY protocol.
Wool is also warm and thick. This allows for blackout curtains that block light from coming in and disturbing a sleeper. It can stop drafts from coming through, thus lowering gas and/or electric bills. In the summer, it can keep the heat out.
IKEA is committed to protecting our planet and the people who live on it. Part of that effort is banning materials that are harmful to the consumer, employee and those who manufacture the products. Fire-retardant chemicals are not the only things banned by the company.
While many companies depend on PVC for their products, IKEA has phased it out. There are a few electrical components that require it, but other than that, PVC plastic is not used in their products. Most people are familiar with PVC pipes, such as those used in sprinkler systems.
Another substance that IKEA has banned is BPA. This is a synthetic chemical found in a lot of plastic. BPA was banned from children’s products first but has expanded to food products and even cash register receipts.
BPA has been linked with infertility and other health problems. While it is still widely used by other companies, IKEA has chosen to err on the side of caution. It is especially careful of anything that might come into contact with children.
Are IKEA curtains flame retardant? Not exactly, but they are flame resistant and safe for use in the home.