STATE AGENCIES WARN PARENTS: AVOID CHILDREN’S FURNITURE AND OTHER PRODUCTS CONTAINING FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS
HARTFORD - The Connecticut Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Public Health (DPH) and Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today warned parents and others purchasing children’s products to avoid any product containing one of three flame retardant chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state agencies have identified as highly toxic. Today’s warning is part of an increased effort on the part of the three state agencies to educate the public on toxic chemicals found in children’s products.
One prioritized chemical, Tris- (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), was previously removed from children’s sleepwear in the 1970s because of cancer concerns. Despite continued cancer concerns, it is still widely used in products designed for young children, including crib bumpers, changing table pads, and children’s foam padded sleep mats. Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), a related Tris flame retardant, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a flame retardant that can build up in a child’s body over time and potentially affect the endocrine system and brain development, are the other two flame retardants that have been identified as being of high concern for continued wide use in children’s products. TCEP is found in many of the same products as TDCPP. HBCD can be found in some children’s car seats and soft furniture. When shopping for these children’s products, consumers should ask retailers any questions they have, check product labels, and consult manufacturers if need be.
More detailed information on the three chemicals and toxic substances in children’s products can be found on a new webpage created by DCP and DPH by clicking here.
“The scientific and medical communities’ understanding of the risks to health, especially for young developing children, posed by flame retardants continues to evolve and we are proud to work with our sister agencies to educate the public on the dangers of these chemicals to young children,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “We want parents and others to make informed, safe choices when purchasing products for their children.”
“DCP has a vital role under the Child Protection Act to make sure that the toys, clothing, bedding, furniture and accessories purchased for children do not pose health risks,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull added, “We are pleased to join with our sister agencies to highlight chemicals of concern in children’s products. This effort is just one step forward in supporting the marketplace as it works to find safe alternatives for these children’s products.”
“We appreciate the important work of our partners at DPH and DCP to identify and make parents aware of chemicals in products that could cause harm to young children,” said DEEP Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Quality, Bob Kaliszewksi. “DEEP is also committed to making certain that the use of chemicals in manufacturing processes is properly regulated – and ensuring compliance with requirements limiting the discharge of chemicals into our air, water, or lands.”
The educational campaign announced today by DPH, DCP and DEEP grew out of a provision in the state’s Child Protection Act requiring the State to inform the public about potential dangers associated with children’s products. Previous educational campaigns in Connecticut have focused on children’s exposure to arsenic in pressure-treated wood, infant ingestion of bisphenol A from baby bottles, and the safe consumption of fish during pregnancy. The current effort increases the focus on emerging contaminants in children’s products.