Hi MiniMum97 and everyone else.
I am Terry Edge - just picked up this site via a Google search. There is a small group of us here in the UK trying to bring about change, but it's difficult. The chemical industry is incredibly rich and has all sorts of people in its pay including fire brigade union officials, unfortunately - despite those officials knowing that toxic flame retardants are giving their own people cancers in much larger amounts than normal.
Regarding the match, or small flame, test the UK and Ireland (who copied our Regulations) are the only two countries in the world who use it. Which means our cover fabrics are stuffed with toxic brominated FRs. As you say, this is despite the fact that the government itself proved that this test doesn't even work in the vast majority of cases.
About five years ago I became aware of the problems with FRs and set about changing the Regulations to cut out as much of them as possible. I worked with a genius technician called Steve Owen who is full of integrity. We worked with all leading experts for a year and a half to produce a new test that would have cut FR use in covers by 50% overnight and allowed new technologies that would have removed them altogether. The only problem was that the chemical industry would lose £50m plus per year. You can probably guess the rest!
I ended up fighting my entire Department over it. My managers were too weak to stand up to the chemical industry and in one case had almost certainly been bought by them (the same companies did the same thing in the US). Eventually, they pushed me out of the job. Which was bad enough but the management rats all deserted the ship, so that there is no one there now with any experience to bring in the changes. Which means the status quo will remain, and that will suit the chemical industry very nicely. Meanwhile, the entire UK public is consigned to continue breathing in toxic FR house dust and risking instant death from hydrogen cyanide (among others) within a minute or two of our sofas catching fire.
Anyway, I won't go on too much now. Happy to answer any questions/give advice, and please do check out my website: toxicsofa.com.
Yes, it is very difficult to find furniture in the UK that is both FR-free and legal. Unfortunately, many producers of 'organic', 'natural', 'FR-free' furniture cheat - either by using FRs anyway or testing to the wrong test. I only know of one company that produces FR-free, legal, furniture.