Testing Finds 7 out of 10 Baby Products Contain Toxic Flame Retardants

Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Chicago –Illinois PIRG released the results of testing of baby products from the Chicago area for chlorinated Tris, a flame retardant that is a proven mutagen and likely carcinogen.  Seven out of ten products found at popular chains contained the chemical, and two of those products had no label indicating its presence.  These products included diaper changing kits, car seats and cradle pads.   

“Parents expect the products they buy for their babies to be safe, and this testing proves that we can’t take that for granted,” said Hailey Witt, Field Director for Illinois PIRG. “The exposure of infants and children to toxic flame retardants that do nothing to make them safer is a failure of our nation’s toxics policy.”

Exposure to chlorinated Tris has a myriad of negative health implications, including hormone disruption, infertility, and developmental problems.  Children are at a greater risk for harm from this toxin because their brain and immune systems are still developing.  The most disturbing thing about the use of this chemical, as the Chicago Tribune reported last spring in its “Playing With Fire” series, is that these toxic flame retardants aren’t even effective in stopping fires.  

Chlorinated Tris has a long history with children’s products, having been voluntarily removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because of its health dangers.   After the flame retardant pentaBDE was banned, chlorinated Tris served as a replacement and is now commonly used in products that contain foam.  

“PIRG’s study shows this dangerous chemical compound on bassinet pads, crib pads and more products intended for our very youngest and most vulnerable consumers,” said Laura Nikolovska, program associate with Kids in Danger.  “I am sure that the parents using these products have no idea what their sweet babies are laying their heads on.” 

#                   #                 #

Illinois PIRG Education Fund conducts research and public education on behalf of consumers and the public interest.  Visit us at www.IllinoisPIRGedfund.org.