Toxic fire retardant chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurological and other health problems are prevalent in common baby products, according to a study released by national environmental group Friends of the Earth.
The study, “Killer Cribs: Protecting Infants and Children from Toxic Exposure,” found that these toxic chemicals, called halogenated fire retardants, appear in a high percentage of baby products, including portable cribs, strollers, car seats and infant carriers. Due to their prevalence in common household products, these chemicals have been found in breast milk and in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of these chemicals as they impact development at critical stages of growth.
“We’re poisoning our children, one crib at a time,” said Russell Long, Vice-President of Friends of the Earth. “Given the clear links to learning disorders and reproductive problems, this is beyond foolish. Fortunately, there are fire-safe alternatives, but the chemical industry is fighting hard to keep its profits at the expense of our kids.”
Friends of the Earth’s Sara Schedler, the report’s lead author said, “We sampled a wide variety of children’s products, and what we found was alarming. Toxic chemicals are being put into products that children and babies interact with on a regular basis, endangering their health. The government must act now to limit these chemicals’ use, and companies should immediately phase them of their products.”
The largest state in the nation may soon enact safeguards. A bill sponsored by California Assemblyman Mark Leno (AB 706) would end the use of these dangerous chemicals in many products and has already passed the California Assembly. Action is pending on the California Senate floor.
“Kids shouldn’t have to sleep on or play with toxic products that could cause long-term damage to their health,” Leno said. “Our bill would help ensure they don’t.”
Resource: Newsmax.com, Health Alerts, October 4, 2008.