Finding Children’s Nap Mats Without Flame Retardants
In the spring of 2016, CEH tested 12 nap mats from a variety of manufacturers and retailers for the presence of flame retardant chemicals. Flame retardant chemicals are not needed in these products, and there are no flammability regulations that require them. In addition, the use of flame retardants has not been shown to provide any added fire safety in these products.
We found no detectable flame retardants in the following naps mats:
- Community Play Things (FR-Free and PVC-Free)
- Creative Colors (Made by Colgate)
- Happy Child (FR-Free and PVC-Free)
- Kaplan (Made by Children’s Factory)
- Kindermat (Made by Peerless Plastics)
- Lakeshore Learning Materials (Made by Children’s Factory)
- Rest Assured (Made by Marlo Plastics)
- School Outfitters (Made by Mahar)
We found high levels of flame retardants in the following nap mats:
- ECR 4 Kids (Made by Early Childhood Resources)
- Safety First (made by Venture Products LLC)
It is important for parents and childcare providers to select nap mats that do not contain flame retardant chemicals. Flame retardants don’t stay put inside products, instead they escape out into the indoor air and dust. Young children, who play on the floor and constantly put their hands in their mouths have much higher levels of flame retardants than their mothers. Many flame retardant chemicals have been associated with cancer, reproductive problems, obesity, neurodevelopmental problems and more.
- Avoid purchasing second hand nap mats, products that are labeled “Meets Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117),” or those from discounted websites and retailers as these are often older products that contain these harmful chemicals.
- In addition to purchasing flame retardant-free nap mats, try to find nap mats made without PVC (vinyl), since vinyl often contains harmful additives. Also avoid nap mats that contain antimicrobials, which have not been found to reduce the spread of infection.