Toxic Chemicals Found in Baby Products, Strollers, Cribs, etc…
August 15, 2011
Eighty percent of baby products, from nursing pillows to car seats and strollers, contain chemical flame retardants that are either untested or known to be toxic.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, focused on flame retardants because the chemicals have been linked to increased risks for thyroid impairment, reproductive problems, endocrine disruption, cancer and other health issues. Some of the chemicals have been banned or voluntarily removed from some products but not others.
Researchers tested more than 100 foam samples from products sent by volunteers in California and 10 other states, Washington, D.C., and Canada. The products, which were not identified by brand name, included baby carriers, changing pads, portable cribs, rocking chairs and other items.
The most common flame retardant detected in the samples was chlorinated tris, which was found in more than a third of the products. Though the chemical was removed from children’s pajamas more than 30 years ago, it persists in other products, including furniture, carpet padding and baby products.
Another once-common flame retardant, pentaBDE, was found in only five products, probably a result of a decision by manufacturers to stop making the chemical in the United States in 2004 because of health and environmental concerns.
To reduce chemical exposure in your home:
Foam: Check products that contain polyurethane foam for a label stating they meet the flammability standard. Products with the label are likely to contain toxic or untested flame retardants.
Fire retardants: Consider buying baby products that contain polyester, down, wool, cotton and other materials unlikely to contain added fire retardants.
Clean well: Wash your hands frequently, vacuum often and use a wet mop to reduce dust that may contain toxic chemicals.