Fire is dangerous, and we know it kills a bunch of people.
Fire retardants may be dangerous, they may harm a bunch of people, but we're not sure how many, nor how they are harmed. Research is sometimes conducted poorly, or good research is interpreted poorly by reporters.
We need to balance risk and cost. People dying in fires is bad. People getting a bunch of diseases is also bad. We need to find out which is more likely.
Having worked in the insurance industry, I can tell you there are less and less fires. The main cause are that there are less people who smoke and that old electrical wiring are replaced by the newer standards.
In urban areas, at the level of units or buildings, aren't improved regulations leading to better fire containment, and/or improved firefighting response and techniques, likely to be contributors as well? There are still apartment fires in Manhattan and Chicago, but they seem much more contained than in the past, with whole-building and especially multi-block conflagrations now quite rare.
I am not sure on that point this reality didn't affect the area I was working on. What I do know is that the number of fires has severely decreased (nearly halved just in the last 5 years). If the number of fires, the ammount claimed per fire has increased dramatically, part of that is the price of building material, work hours and just the value of the insured assets. But it doesn't seem that having fire retardant makes fires any smaller.
I did not mean to assail? The original comment was lengthy and I did not understand what the overall message was (is the author of the article a fraud? Or not?). So I asked for a TL;DR which seems to be "maybe there is a problem or maybe there isn't", which for me condenses to zero content. How is that assailing?
Perhaps my tone came across as snarky because the person providing the TL;DR actually "assailed" me for asking for a TL;DR. Sorry about that.