Parent and Family Guide to Flame-Retardants in Baby Products

FRBabyCarrier&DadIn February and March 2014, the Center for Environmental Health surveyed leading baby product manufacturers on their use of flame retardant chemicals in their products. For the last 38 years, many children’s products containing foam were required to meet an ineffective flammability standard that led to the widespread use of toxic and untested flame retardant chemicals.

As of January 1, 2014, 15 baby products* were exempted from having to meet flammability standards since regulators found the products do not pose any fire safety risk. As a result of the exemption, baby product companies can now maker safer products without harmful flame retardant chemicals.

CEH’s survey asked four simple questions:

1)  Does your company currently sell baby products made with intentionally added flame retardants?
2) If some products still contain flame retardants, which ones?
3) What is your timeline to removing these flame retardant chemicals from your products?
4)  How will you let consumers know that your baby products do not contain flame retardants — through labeling or (for web-based companies) information offered online at the point of purchase, or via product websites?

Company responses are graded as follows:

Green: Products do not contain flame retardants and are labeled online and at the point-of-purchase.
Yellow: Products do not contain flame retardants, but are not labeled.
Orange: Some products still contain flame retardants, companies are in the process of eliminating flame retardants.
Red: Products may contain flame retardants (no response).

*This report card does not include children’s mattresses and car seats as these products are regulated by separate federal flammability standards.

Company

Products

Flame Retardant Free

Labels?

Info on Website

Website URL

MamaDoo Kids

Play yards/play yard mattress topper

Yes

Yes

Yes

www.mamadookids.com

Naturepedic

Changing pads

Yes

Yes

Yes

www.naturepedic.com

Baby Bjorn

Infant bouncers

Yes

No

No

www.babybjorn.com

Britax

Strollers

Yes

No

No

www.britax.com

Carters

Changing pads, high chairs, strollers, play yard

Yes

No

No

www.carters.com

Inglesina

Strollers, high chairs, hook-on chairs

Yes

No

No

www.inglesina.us

Kolcraft

Bassinets, walkers, strollers

Yes

No

No

 www.kolcraft.com

PegPerego

High chairs, booster chairs, strollers

Yes

No

No

www.pegperegousa.com

Summer Infant

Changing pads, bassinets, infant seats/bouncers, play yards, swings, high chairs, booster seats, strollers

Not All Products

No

No

www.summerinfant.com

EduShape

Floor play mats

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

www.edushape.com

EvenFlo

 Play yards, high chairs, strollers

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

www.evenflo.com

RC2/The First Years

Play yards, strollers, bassinets

Unknown Unknown Unknown

www.thefirstyears.com

Fisher Price

High chairs, floor playmats, infant seats/bouncers, bassinets, infant swings, booster seats

Unknown Unknown Unknown

www.fisher-price.com/

Graco

Changing pads, infant swings, highchairs, bassinets, bouncers, play yards, strollers

Unknown Unknown Unknown

www.gracobaby.com

Kids II/ Bright Starts

Infant swings, infant seats/bouncers, high chairs, play yards

Unknown Unknown Unknown  www.kidsii.com/brightstarts

Munchkin

Changing pads

Unknown Unknown Unknown

www.munchkin.com

Skiphop

Floor playmat

Unknown Unknown Unknown

www.skiphop.com

* Exempt products include infant walkers, booster seats, infant seats, changing pads, floor play mats, highchairs, highchair pads, infant swings, bassinets, infant bouncers, nursing pads, play yards, playpen side pads, and portable hook-on chairs. Three other baby products (carriers, nursing pillows and strollers) were exempted in December 2010 from having to meet a flammability standard.  This report card is not assessing car seats as these products must still meet a different standard which is being met with flame retardant chemicals.

Room for Improvement CEH applauds companies that have eliminated flame retardants and those that are committed to removal of these toxic chemicals. To help consumers make informed and healthy choices for their family, companies should clearly label products as “flame retardant free” so consumers can identify safer products made without these harmful chemicals. As companies progress, we will update this chart. While flame retardants are one group of problematic chemicals, we believe companies should work to know all the materials and chemicals in their products, evaluate these materials for their safety chemicals and then disclose this information to consumers.  When companies work to make safer products, we all benefit.

Tips for Consumers

  • Avoid baby products made with polyurethane foam when possible and prefer products made with cotton, wool or other natural fibers.
  • Check CEH’s website regularly as we will keep an updated list of which products are free of flame retardant chemicals and which manufacturers have removed them.
  • For other tips on how to reduce your exposure to these toxic chemicals click here.