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Fireproofing Baby Stuff Could Be a Thing of the Past

flameretardantsymbolThey’re loaded with nasty chemicals, and yet fire retardants are still being applied to thousands of baby products. But maybe not for long.

A new bill has been introduced in California to do away with the state’s demand that manufacturers load cribs, strollers, changing tables and more with fireproofing.

And in this case, as California goes, the rest of the country really will go!

The reason? The state has the strictest laws in the fifty states regarding fireproofing kids products, and manufacturers have long gone with the strictest rules rather than making two separate lines. It’s cheaper for them – and worse for our kids. A study last year by the Environmental Working Group found toddlers and preschoolers “had levels of the chemicals that were on average three times higher than their mothers’.”

Considering the chemicals have been linked by the Environmental Protection Agency to possible brain damage, growth issues and hormone imbalances, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has come out to discourage their use, isn’t it high time someone started getting them away from our kids?

That’s the reasoning behind the bill introduced in the California State Senate.

It sounds reasonable that the retardants were introduced in the first place – who wouldn’t want to protect their kids from fire? But the chances of kids being exposed to fire are much greater less than the danger of these chemicals. What’s more, an interesting factotum arrived in my e-mail inbox courtesy of a grandmother friend recently. Seems washing your kids’ fireproofed clothes (sleepers are generally atop this list) using certain products, such as fabric softeners, counteracts the efficacy of the fire retardants anyway. She was quoting straight from the box of fabric softener, but how many parents take the time to read that thing . . . in other words, their kids are being exposed to the toxic side without any of the so-called benefits.

Adding more fuel to the fire (pun totally intended) the firefighters associations in California are in support of this bill. So let’s hear it for California – rescue the rest of us from the flames of toxic smoke.

Image: PACON

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