By now most of us understand that there are chemicals in many of our daily products but what continues to astonish me is that manufactures continue to risk the health of our babies. I can’t believe that they want to or are allowed to design products that contain harsh toxins. Do they not have a conscious? It always makes me wonder if the manufactures have children of their own and if so would they allow their children to be subjected to these products. It reminds me of the scene on Erin Brockovich where she offers chemical laden water to one of the knowing pollutants of the water. He doesn’t drink it, which says a lot.

We need go Erin Brockovich on some of these manufactures butts and government policies that allow it. A new press release from Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health reports the following scary information:

Michigan families participated in a study of products designed for newborns, babies, and toddlers which found that 80 percent of products tested contained chemical flame retardants that, while legal, are considered toxic or lack adequate health safety data, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal.

Items tested included car seats, nursing pillows, changing pads, crib wedges, bassinet mattresses and other items made with polyurethane foam.

The new study analyzed 101 products from around the United States, including 18 from Michigan retailers and families, for the presence of halogenated flame retardants – chemicals that are associated with adverse human health effects including reduced IQ, increased time to pregnancy, hormone disruption, and impaired child development. The same flame retardants found in some of the products are also found in children’s bodies and are widely dispersed throughout the environment.

What do the professionals have to say about this?

“This is another example of potentially hazardous chemicals showing up in children’s products, without any labeling or parental right to know,” said Alexis Blizman, Legislative and Policy Director for the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health. “The Michigan Legislature needs to pass safe children’s products

“There are no proven fire safety benefits from the use of these chemical flame retardants in this type of product”, stated Jeff Gearhart, science director for the Ecology Center. “Our tests show that some companies are already making baby products without chemical flame retardants.”

“As a nurse, I have seen the health effects of toxic chemicals on our children,” says Joyce Stein, RN, from the Michigan Nurses Association. “Some of the chemicals in this study have been linked to adverse human health effects including reduced IQ, increased time to pregnancy, endocrine and thyroid disruption, and impaired child development.”

Michigan study results:

-18 products were sampled from Michigan. Thirteen were new products and were purchased from retailers, including Babies-R-Us, Meijer’s, Walmart and Target; and five were donated by parents. Brands tested include Dexbaby, Sassy, Summer Infant, Graco, The First Years, Especially for Baby, and Boppy.

-83% (15 of 18) products contained halogenated flame retardant chemicals that are either deemed toxic or that lack adequate health safety data.

-44% (8 of 18) of the baby products tested contained a flame retardant known as TDCPP, or chlorinated tris, which was removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it has the potential to cause genetic mutations. In animal studies chlorinated Tris has been associated with cancer of the liver, kidney, brain and testis, among other harmful effects.

 17% (3 of 18) contained Firemaster 550/600 flame retardants. EPA has predicted toxicity and required additional testing.

This is just a brief report and list of manufactures and products. Please check out the press release for more detailed information.It’s time to go Brockovich on these people/policies.

Photo Credit: Image: photostock /

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