The Station nightclub fire at 40 seconds. (Photo by Daniel R. Davidson.)

You know brominated and chlorinated flame retardants are bad when when even Walmart bans them from its products. Unfortunately, some fire codes require them. But we’ll see how long that lasts, says Environmental Health News, given that new research indicates burning flame-retardant items makes them emit the same poisons used in Nazi gas chambers.

New research suggests that chemicals that are added to upholstered furniture and other household items to stop the spread of flames are increasing emissions of two poisonous gases. …

[N]ylon containing the flame retardant brominated polystyrene released six times more hydrogen cyanide when set afire than the same material containing a halogen-free flame retardant. Hydrogen cyanide, used in the Nazi gas chambers, is 35 times more deadly than carbon monoxide. During a fire, it can kill in as little as one minute.

Indeed, in one of the most lethal nightclub fires in American history, at a 2003 Great White concert at The Station in Rhode Island, it wasn’t the flames that killed, but the offgassing flame retardant chemicals. These same chemicals, abbreviated as PBDEs, have been implicated in neurological and fertility disorders, even when they’re not on fire.

So if you don’t want to be killed by Nazi death gas, you should probably look for bedding and clothing that’s PBDE-free.