Fire retardant chemicals (also known as PBDEs) are released when humans and pets sit on furniture that contains them; they are toxic, volatile and travel widely into the air. These toxic chemicals have been linked to numerous serious health problems, including cancer. There is no scientific evidence in peer-reviewed journals that confirm these fire retardants in our sofas, beds and chairs really slow fires down enough to save lives. These chemicals present significant risks to human health and well-being so if they do not definitively slow or retard fires, then why are they in our furniture? The HBO documentary ‘Toxic Hot Seat’ exposes the nexus of money, politics and power behind the answer.