Safe Kids Campaign
Flame Retardants in Baby Products:
What’s the problem with flame retardants?
Flame retardant chemicals are added to the foam of baby products and furniture to meet the California Furniture Flammability Standard Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117).
They have been linked with:
• Reduced IQ
• Learning disorders
• Reduced fertility
• Thyroid disruption
The average American home can contain pound levels of these chemicals. They have been detected in the bodies of nearly all North Americans tested.
How are we exposed?
(1) Chemicals leak from products into dust
(2) Dust gets on hands and food
(3) Hands and food get put into mouths
Do they prevent fires?
The California standard TB117 has not been shown to improve fire safety and is thus presenting an unnecessary health hazard.
• Baby products do not pose a fire hazard
• According to the National Fire Protection Association, flame retardant use in California has not led to a measurable improvement in fire safety
• Flame retardants may actually decrease fire safety since they increase the amount of carbon monoxide and toxic gases produced when a product does burn
Why are they still used in baby products and furniture?
The producers of the flame retardant chemicals spend millions of dollars lobbying at the state and federal levels to create and maintain regulations like TB117 which are favorable to their industry.
Products we tested
80% of the baby products we tested contained toxic or untested flame retardants
Products with these retardants detected included:
nursing pillows, car seats, sleeping wedges, portable crib mattresses, baby carriers, strollers, and changing table pads
Learn more on our Safe Kids project page.
How to Protect Your Family
Reduce toxics in your homes.
Consumer Information Page
Demand toxic-free products for your family.
1. Tell the California Bureau that implements the TB117 furniture flammability standard the standard needs to be updated so home furniture and juvenile products are fire-safe and non- toxic.
- Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair,
Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation
Phone: (916) 574-2041
2. Urge California Governor Jerry Brown to change our problematic California law to align with the federal standard for fire safety without toxics. Please sign our petition for the Governor for "No More Toxic Flame Retardants in My Furniture and Body".
3. Ask your Senator to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2012 to update TSCA and create a comprehensive chemicals policy that protects public health and the environment.
4. Write to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Urge them to move forward with their draft federal furniture flammability standard which will provide fire safety without the addition of toxic chemicals to products.
Your voice does matter.
- GSP Blog
- For Consumers
- In the News
- About Us
- Sign Up
Mobilizing scientists, industry, government and consumers to reduce toxics