Study Finds Toxic Flame Retardants in 80% of Baby Gear Made with Foam

Baby Car Seat Contain Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals

We recently delved into toxic flame retardants used in foam in part 2 of our series on the topic.   And now a new study confirms that we are literally surrounded by these chemicals, from cushions to pillows, strollers, nursing pillows and rocking chairs.

The study authors raised concerns that babies are at risk of greater exposure than anyone else:

Exposure to chemical additives in baby products is of even greater concern for infants, who are in intimate contact with these products for long periods of time, at very critical stages of development.

Based on exposure estimates conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), we predict that infants may receive greater exposure to TDCPP from these products compared to the average child or adult from upholstered furniture, all of which are higher than acceptable daily intake levels of TDCPP set by the CPSC.

80 of  the 101 polyurethane foam samples tested contained at least one flame retardant, with all but one being either chlorinated or brominated – the two most toxic types in use today.  And shockingly, some products had levels of the chemicals that made up as much as 12.5 percent of the foam’s weight!

How Do Parents Know Which Products to Avoid?

We don’t.  Once again, parents are left wandering the aisles of baby stores just hoping to locate a safe product for their little ones.  We count ourselves lucky if we’re able to run into the rare label indicating what materials and treatments are used in the products we buy.

And that’s not acceptable when we’re looking at a laundry list of health risks like cancer, damage to the liver, kidney, brain and testes, immune suppression, altered sexual development, delayed brain development, lower IQ, and behavioral problems.

The Good News

Not all baby gear manufacturers use toxic flame retardants in their foam parts.  Top-notch companies like OrbitBaby and Naturepedic provide safer products by using alternative fill materials (such as flame retardant-free polyester) or non-halogenated flame retardants.

  • Ashley Long

     oh dear god, nevermind that the safe carseats like orbitbaby cost 400 BLEEDING DOLLARS!!!! what?!!  oh good grief. who on earth can afford a $400 carseat? not me! not most people. all ranting and raving aside, its really starting to seem like perhaps the wealthy and affluent are the only people who can buy this special gear for their wealthy and affluent babies. and the rest of us are stuck with poison for our children. i hope to see a shift in these practices, because its completely ridiculous. certainly its possible to construct a nontoxic carseat that doesnt require taking out a loan to purchase… sheesh…

  • bluenude3

    I’ll add this to my list of things to worry about…

  • bluenude3

    I’ll add this to my list of things to worry about…

  • bluenude3

    I’ll add this to my list of things to worry about…

  • mapsgirl

     Thank you for looking out for us.  As a mom and a car seat technician, I’m very interested to read your findings on chemical-free seats.

    (However, as a car seat tech, I’m very worried as to why the harness is loose enough for the child to chew on.  That should be tight and then it can’t get in their mouth.)

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