Close Video

Editions Available

Share this title

A film by James Redford and Kirby Walker

Runtime: 91 minutes

Closed Captioning not included

Make this film part of your educational program

If you would like to view and purchase EDUCATIONAL STREAMING, please click the button below:

About this film

Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. But do they work as promised? And are they making us sick?

The three chemical companies producing flame retardants would prefer that we not ask these questions, and they've spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers to ensure that we don't. It might remind you of the Big Tobacco cover-up. Which makes sense, since Big Tobacco has had a hand in this, too.

Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series "Playing With Fire," TOXIC HOT SEAT threads together an intricate story of manipulation that details how Big Tobacco skillfully convinced fire safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. The film continues to untangle how the chemical companies obscure the risks to public health and misrepresent chemical safety data by paying "experts" to alarm legislators and the public about the deadly risk of removing chemical flame retardants from our homes.

Through the personal stories of a cancer-surviving firefighter, a renowned chemist whose work helped remove fire retardants from kid's pajamas in the 1970s, and a brave and determined young Maine legislator and mom, TOXIC HOT SEAT reveals the courage of brave citizens willing to fight for the truth against a shadowy nexus of money and politics.



It's easy! To host a screening, simply purchase the Institutional & Public Viewing Edition of the film at the $295 rate that is listed on the upper right side of this webpage. This edition provides you with the licensing necessary to host a film screening outside of your private residence. Possible venues include (but are not limited to) community centers, firehouses, churches, university campuses, libraries, and even commercial theaters!


Once you’ve completed your order, here is what you will receive:


  1. Feature-length version of the film on a DVD
  2. Screening kit that includes poster artwork, supplemental images, press kit, and Toxic Hot Seat widget to share on your website 
  3. Discussion Guide that will make it easy to facilitate a discussion, panel, or Q&A after your screening


And here is what you can do with it:


  1. Host a screening at any venue in your community
  2. Charge a nominal ticket price for attendees or accept donations as a way to offset the cost of hosting the event
  3. Host a fundraiser for your organization!
  4. Show the film as many times as you like, as long as each screening takes place at the same physical location as the original screening.


IMPORTANT: This license is not suitable for corporate or conference use. If you are from a corporation or conference company and are interested in using the film, please contact Kristin Cooney at [email protected] for more details.


Interested in having the filmmakers attend your event? Please contact Kristin Cooney at [email protected] to learn more. Please note that there are honorarium fees involved.



"TOXIC HOT SEAT is environmental filmmaking at its pinnacle—revealing, horrifying, infuriating, compelling, and hopeful." 
CineSource Magazine



Share this Movie:

Sign up to discuss films, get news & host events!