Parents beware – the very things that keep your children safe can also be harming them. A study by ACS’ Journal Environmental Science and Technology and Heather Stapleton revealed that products such as car seats, high chairs, strollers and other baby products that contain polyurethane foam could contain potentially toxic flame retardants. The study detected these chemicals in 80% of the products tested, and plans to further test the toxicity of these chemicals.
Up until 2004, a flame retardant called penta brominated diphenyl ethers (pentaBDE) was commonly used, until studies showed that its toxicity caused health risks. In turn, companies starting using new chemicals on polyurethane foam, which is common to child and baby products. The new flame retardants have less information available on their effects on health, as comprehensive studies have yet to be performed.
The ACS study found that of 101 tested products, 80 of them contained these potentially hazardous flame retardants. Some of the chemicals detected contained compounds of pentaBDE, which could have the same effects as the banned compound. Other potential carcinogens found were TCEP and TDCPP, which the EPA considers a moderate cancer hazard.
Flame retardants are added to products after manufacture, which means they aren’t chemically bonded to them, but instead float on their surface. This means that they don’t necessarily stay put where they should – and could leech into our homes, cars, air and bodies.
Although Stapleton’s preliminary study has only identified that there are possibly toxic carcinogens present in baby products, it has proven that further, and complete, studies on the chemicals’ effects on children and infants need to be performed in the near future.
Via Science Daily