The Checkup: Watch Out—Your Couch May Be Poisoning You


• Not to get you all freaked out or anything, but guys? That amazingly comfortable, insanely cool Dream Couch you spent months saving for might actually be really, really bad for your health. A new study out of Duke University, which analyzed the chemicals in cushions from 102 couches, found that a whopping 85 percent contained potentially toxic or untested flame-retardant chemicals that could be toxic to humans. According to, “Among the chemicals detected was ‘Tris,’ a chlorinated flame retardant that is considered a probable human carcinogen based on animal studies.” I don’t like the sound of that one bit. Oh, and just because got a vintage couch off Craigslist doesn’t mean you’re safe, either—the cushion samples dated between 1985 and 2010, so this clearly isn’t just an issue for newer couches. Check out what other chemicals researchers turned up here.

• Well, this is just weird: Did you know some medications don’t mix well with grapefruit? NPR reports on a study which found that some medications have severe side effects if you take them with grapefruit juice (or, say, with a breakfast of grapefruit), including causing super scary overdose-like symptoms. Read more here.

• Uh-oh, looks like the other white meat is in some hot water. A new study of pork products in the U.S. revealed that 69 percent were contaminated with a pathogen called yersinia enterocolitica. Symptoms include fever, cramps and bloody diarrhea. More here.