Cleaner Living: Toxin #6- Fire Retardants

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I know I said Parabens were next, but after yesterday’s press event here in CT , and Michelle’s post a few days back about fire retardants in popular childrens products, I thought it was a better idea to go with this toxin first.

The use of the chemical fire retardant, Tris (which was banned for use in childrens sleepwear in the 70’s) has been making a comeback, much to the outrage of mom’s and activists nationwide. Exposure to Tris has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and nervous system harm. It’s use in popular products such as the My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow and (my now un-favorite thing) the Arms Reach Co- Sleeper has been reported in the Washington Toxics Coalition’s report, Hidden Hazards In The Nursery.  You can go to their website to see a list of the products tested and to read the full report.

Even worse than companies sneaking toxic chemicals into our kids stuff is the fact that there are no government regulations for warning or even notifying consumers that your baby will be sleeping on toxic fire retardants.   Thankfully, we have legislators like Sen. Terry Gerratana and Rep. Diana Urban who will propose a bill to ban baby products that contain Tris from being sold in CT.

But what can i do now?  

Here is the list of what to look for from Washington Toxics Coalition:

  • When shopping for furniture, look for companies who avoid chemical flame retardants and instead use naturally fire-resistant materials
  • Avoid all products containing polyurethane foam with a label reading TB117, which means it has likely been treated with toxic flame retardants
  • Choose a safer mattress, ideally made without polyurethane foam. Wool is the best option; cotton and latex are runners up.
  • Buy nursing pillows, car seats, and baby carriers made without Tris – better brands for baby items include Baby Bjorn, Orbit Baby, and Boppy
  • Regularly use a wet mop to clean and remove dust particles and to keep them from being inhaled or ingested
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean your home
  • Wash hands, especially those of little children, often, to keep dust from attaching to food or fingers and being consumed
  • Support the Toxic-Free Kids Act, which will protect kids by banning two Tris flame retardants, TCEP and TDCPP, from children’s products
  • Here’s one from me: Contact the companies who are making these harmful products and tell them you are angry.  They all have websites and Facebook fan pages- make comments and demand that they answer what they will do about it.

You have the power to NOT BUY their toxic waste!

Up Next: Toxin #7- Parabens (on Monday, since this Working Mom has a 2 year old’s birthday party to put together!)

1 comments on “Cleaner Living: Toxin #6- Fire Retardants”

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