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Household poisoning

Think a bumped knee or discomfited buttocks is the worst damage your furniture could inflict on you? You wish. THE INDEPENDENT reports that a new study by the UK consumer guide Health Which? suggests that furniture, appliances and other household accoutrements could release dust into the air containing a variety of chemicals linked to cancer, asthma, and even genital malformations.

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The three main culprits are brominated flame retardants found in furniture and electrical goods, phthalates used in toys and food packaging, and artificial musks that are used to make perfumes and cosmetics. The problem is a process called bioaccumulation, in which harmful chemicals build up in the environment and body without being broken down; that means that even after you’ve stopped handling that chemical-dusted toaster, the nasty substances from it linger in your surroundings, and in your body if you’ve ingested them.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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