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Does IKEA Furniture Have Prop 65 Warning

If you are aware of the requirements in California for warning labels about chemicals that can cause health and developmental problems, you might wonder if IKEA is a safe choice. Thankfully, because IKEA sells products in all states, they are also aware of Prop 65.

IKEA has their own internal views on chemical use that should stand them in good stead with your concerns. As you can buy IKEA furniture in California, the products are labeled appropriately. IKEA is open about chemicals they are willing/unwilling to use, so I have compiled the relevant information below.


IKEA furniture has Prop 65 warnings where necessary based on the chemicals used on the product. However, the company strives to make homes safer by preventing exposure to harmful chemicals by using only necessary substances that are deemed safe and are heavily regulated.

Furniture-Related Chemicals With Prop 65 Warnings

Proposition (Prop) 65 warnings are a mandatory warning label that must be attached to consumer products for California if they contain chemicals (of significant level) that have potential harm to reproduction, to harm fetuses, to cause cancer, or to cause all three.

This warning label is required under the statement that you have the right to know about these chemicals so that you can choose whether to expose yourself or not.

California's Proposition 65 Warning, Prop65 warning

That way, you are making an informed decision about chemicals that can be released into the air and can gather in dust and on surfaces, from where they can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin.

Below is a list (from Prop 65) of the harmful chemicals that can potentially be found in furniture products, the dangers associated with them, and what they can be used for:

ChemicalExposure dangerUse
FormaldehydeCancer (blood, throat, nose, sinuses)Resins (in composite wood), coatings/finishes like paints and lacquers, and fabrics.  
Chlorinated tris/TDCPP/TDCIPPIncrease risk of cancerFlame retardant used with materials like polyurethane foam and textile coatings for upholstery, carpeting, pillows, many baby products, and tents.
Tris(2-chloroethyl) Phosphate/TCEP*Increase risk of cancerFlame retardant added to polyurethane foams and plastics associated with foam padding in items (like mattresses and mats), upholstery, and carpeting.
Antimony Trioxide*Increase risk of cancerAdded to some flame retardants used in upholstery, carpeting, foams, plastics (like bottles and microwave-safe bowls), and fabrics.
Tetrabromobisphenol A/TBBPA*CancerFlame retardant for plastics and synthetic resins.
*January 2020: California banned the use of over 0.1% of this chemical.

IKEA Has Taken Steps to Reduce Use of Chemicals

IKEA is an international brand with a big reputation and a big consumer base. To maintain these, one of the approaches IKEA has is keeping up with the health and environmental awareness that people value.

Part of IKEA’s mission to provide affordable furnishings is to help make those items safer for your home (especially your children) and that comply with their green and sustainability goals. This includes reducing the chemicals used in IKEA products.

The company states they use what they need since some chemicals are necessary for manufacturing but they are very restrictive (to prevent significant exposure levels and toxicity) and selective in what is used.

IKEA also actively phases out harmful chemicals and strives to find better replacements, without waiting for regulations to force the change. This also increases the recyclability of their products.

In terms of the chemicals mentioned above, IKEA’s restricted substance list shows the following:

  • Formaldehyde is allowed in limited use (100 ppm) in textiles, and the emissions on the completed product are regulated. It is banned in paints and lacquers.
  • Antimony compounds (safe exceptions are possible), TDCP (TDCPP), TCEP, and TBBPA (brominated compound) are banned flame retardants for IKEA.

Furniture Product Information Lacks the Warning

IKEA is obliged to include a warning for these chemicals and make it easy to see, according to Prop 65.

In addition, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) from the US Consumer and Product Safety Commission requires that precautionary labeling is present on household products to inform consumers about storage, use, and medical information.

A toxic product is required to have such a label. A toxic product is deemed as such by the FHSA if swallowing, inhaling, and absorption through the skin can cause illness or injury. A toxic substance is also one that can cause long-term problems like cancer and congenital defects.

If the product lacks a warning label, it is probably because it is safe enough to make it unnecessary.

Where Would the Warning Be Displayed?

Generally, the warning is displayed on the back, the side, or the underside of any boxing or container.

Where Would the Prop65 Warning Be Displayed_, illustration of a man holding a package with Prop65 warning on it

It has distinguishable hazard warning symbols (exclamation points in a triangle, often red or yellow) and should be noticeable in size and placement.

It is non-compliant to make these warnings small and easy to miss, which would only cause trouble for IKEA. So, it’s in the company’s best interests to ensure you know if there is a warning label.

If you are shopping online, you can still look for the warning on the website by selecting “product details” and going to the “materials & care” dropdown.

Appliances like the RENGJORD dishwasher, the STJAERNSTATUS refrigerator,  and the TILLREDA microwave have a hazard sign followed by “WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm” with a link to the Prop 65 site.

Outside of California

Items that will never be sold in California might not have the Prop 65 warning. However, since IKEA usually sells the same products everywhere, it’s more than likely that they will merely use the Prop 65 warning on all products.

This is especially true for online shopping, which is accessed in one place by every state, including California where the warning is required.

If there is a difference in any other state that sells a specific product, there is probably still a warning label to be found since consumer acts also require these.

The warning will likely be in a similar format with the hazard symbol and a warning statement; it just might reference a different website and authority.

If there is no label and you are still concerned, you can always look up the piece of furniture online and check for the warning there. If there is none, the furniture is then the result of IKEA’s focus on safety in household items.

Sources

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/products/furniture-products

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/about

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/formaldehyde

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/chlorinated-tris

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/furniture-products

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/tris2-chloroethyl-phosphate-tcep

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/antimony-trioxide

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/tetrabromobisphenol-tbbpa

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/life-at-home/safer-life-at-home-puba448f210

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/files/pdf/e1/12/e11228df/ikea_faq_formaldehyde.pdf

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/files/pdf/5c/df/5cdf003d/ikea_faq_flame_retardants.pdf

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