Lead, bromine, antimony, mercury, cadmium, BPA and arsenic. Now chemical flame retardants have been added to the list of toxins that are still being found in products for kids.
After being banned for the use in children’s pajamas some 30 years ago, Duke University scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton has found flame retardants in a staggering number of products used by children.
In the study, she analyzed the foam of more than 100 items including: bassinet mattresses, crib wedges, breast feeding pillows, changing pads, baby carriers, car seats, high chairs, strollers, portable cribs and walkers and more. She found that more than 80 percent of the products contained flame retardants, some that cause cancer and neurotoxicity. In one case, a changing pad was made of 12 percent flame retardant, with the average containing about 4 percent.
To lessen your children’s exposure to chemical flame retardants, avoid products made with polyurethane foam. Instead buy products filled with cotton, polyester or wool. Another way to ensure your children are not exposed is to check the Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys, which is put out, in part, by the Michigan non-profit, Ecology Center.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of action items regarding lead and arsenic dating back to 2006, and yet these chemicals are still being found in toys.
Dr. Stapleton added, “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.”
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