…and her car seat, and her high chair, the changing table pad, sleep positioner, and your baby carrier and rocking chair. That’s what a report published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found. The chemical, chlorinated Tris, is “prevalent in baby’s products made with polyurethane foam,” the New York Times reports.
The researchers suggest that infants who use the products containing chlorinated Tris “have higher exposure to the chemical than the government recommends,” and the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the chemical “may pose a significant health risk to consumers.” According to the Times, “more than a third of the 101 baby products that were tested contained chlorinated Tris” and “80 of the products contained chemical flame retardants of some kind, some of which are considered toxic, though legal to use.”
And – get this: “In one instance, flame retardants represented 12 percent of the weight of the foam in a changing pad.” Yuck. 14 of the products tested by the ES&T researchers also included TCEP, “which the State of California describes as a cancer-causing agent.” Additionally, “Four of them contained Penta-BDE, a flame retardant that builds up in human tissue and that manufacturers voluntarily phased out in 2004; it is banned in many countries, but not the United States, and in some states, including New York.”
Chlorinated Tris’ evil cousin, brominated Tris, was banned by the US government years ago. It’s important to note that other chemicals used in flame retardants are suspected carcinogens, “and studies have linked the chemicals to variety of health issues, including problems with fertility and neurological development.”
Lead author of the study, Duke University’s Heather M. Stapleton, “complained that current federal oversight of chemicals is so weak that manufacturers are not required to label products with flame retardants nor are they required to list what chemicals are used.” She says, “We can buy things that are BPA free, or phthalate free or lead free. We don’t have the choice to buy things that are flame-retardant free. The laws protect the chemical industry, not the general public.”
Source: New York Times