New Study Finds Hazardous and Untested Flame Retardants
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study of baby products found that 80% of items tested contained chemical flame retardants that are either considered toxic or are untested with unknown effects, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Journal.
The study analyzed 101 products designed for newborns, babies, and toddlers – including car seats, breast feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges, bassinet mattresses and other items made with polyurethane foam – for the presence of halogenated flame retardants. Interior foam samples were submitted for testing from purchase locations around the United States.
The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety (ATFFS), a new national network of health, consumer, and environmental groups, said the study raises alarms bells. They pointed to an obsolete California furniture regulation called Technical Bulletin 117 and a failed federal law called the Toxic Substances Control Act as reasons why now nearly all Americans carry flame retardant chemicals in their bodies.
"The chemical industry is replacing banned chemicals with other chemicals that may be harmful," said Kathy Curtis, coordinator for ATFFS.
Mike Schade, from Center for Health Environment & Justice, part of the ATFFS, said, "Many retailers, including Wal-Mart, are not waiting for government regulations to make changes. The Washington Post reported that Wal-Mart informed its suppliers and customers it will no longer carry products with certain harmful flame retardant chemicals."
"Toxic and untested flame retardants like those in this study can migrate out of products and end up in our homes and our bodies. They are associated with adverse human health effects including reduced IQ, reduced fertility, and endocrine and thyroid changes," says Arlene Blum, Ph.D., a study co-author, and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. Blum's early research contributed to the removal of brominated and chlorinated tris flame retardants from children's pajamas in the 1970's. The American Chemistry Council claims its industry members are not using the same flame retardant as was used then. However, the current study did find the same chlorinated tris flame retardant that was used in pajamas in the 1970s was in more than a third of the baby products tested and at levels up to 12% of the weight of the foam in the products.
Experts with direct contact info, and other studies: The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, http://www.toxicfreefiresafety.org
SOURCE Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety