With no standard from their own states, most manufacturers producing baby products abide by the 1975 California safety rule that “requires polyurethane foam in upholstered furniture to be able to withstand an open flame for 12 seconds without catching fire,” an article in The NY Times notes, and with flame retardants being the most cost efficient way to go, it is not wonder that most products contain them.
At the same time, the rule restricts exposure to substances that are considered dangerous to children, the article explains.
So poses the question, do children actually absorb the flame retardants making up these products?
That answer has yet to be determined but looking at the fact that “toddlers have levels of flame retardants in their bodies three times higher than adults,” mainly due to the fact that children put their fingers in their mouth, it would not come as a surprise if the answer is yes (http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/babies/story/2011/05/Toxic-flame-retardants-found-in-80-of-baby-products/47268922/1).
According to The NY Times, a recent study found the chemical chlorinated tris, a carcinogen, to be in 1/3 of products tested, as well as TCEP, another carcinogen, in several nursing pillows.
All together, researchers distinguished a minimum of “eight different flame-retarding chemicals” in various baby accessories (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=chemical-flame-retardants-lace-baby-products).
But there is a bright side to all of this. The majority of products in the study were manufactured in 2002 or earlier. Since then, many manufacturers chose to eliminate flame retardants from their products. This includes companies such as Boppy and Baby Bjorn.
And with California’s safety rule changing to eliminate certain baby items from their list of products that need to coincide with fire safety standards, researchers believe that a lower risk would be found when testing today’s baby products.
Road Scholar Transport is involved in the effort to keep our children and babies safe. That’s why we have several brightly-colored tractor trailers dedicated to awareness campaigns including The Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, Autism Speaks, Stop Bullying, Children’s Tumor Foundation, and many more.
Help spread awareness by booking your freight today at www.roadscholar.com.
Do you feel that flame retardants should be permanently banned in products?