Move over BPA there is a new outlaw in town!

Move over BPA there is a new outlaw in town!

The most frightening thing I have read all week is this article from Scientific American: Chemical Flame Retardants Lace Baby Products, New Study Finds.   The title basically says it all.  I knew flame retardants were abundant in crib mattresses and pajamas but I didn’t realize how prevalent they really were.  The article discusses the study of 101 different baby items from car seats to breastfeeding pillows and found 80 of them with at least one flame retardant.  Even worse the article states:

More than one-third of the tested products contained the same carcinogenic chemical that was removed from children’s pajamas in the late 1970s.

ONE THIRD!  I am sure I am not alone by saying that I am overwhelmed by thought of how to avoid these possibly harmful substances from my children. What are your thoughts?

Read the Scientific American article

Read the full Study

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Melissa Jarotkiewicz, Editor Melissa received a BS degree in Civil Engineering and is the proud stay at home mother of thing 1 and thing 2. Being the wife of an Air Force pilot means being the only parent for days, weeks and even months at a time. This chaotic and unpredictable life of a military mom calls for some serious retail therapy and Melissa puts her focus on baby gear and unfortunately for her husband the deal-a-day baby sites. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Melissa has lived in FL, OK, WA and just recently moved to Germany. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and watching college football in the fall. Go Irish!


  1. @Jennifer N: No, if a pajama does NOT contain flame-retardant chemicals, then it has to be sold with a hang-tag that says “wear tight-fitting” and “not flame-retardant.” Only sometimes will the interior (materials/size) tag include something about it as well. Hanna Andersson is an excellent source for untreated, cotton pajamas. Bonus: they’re organic so they don’t pollute the planet with pesticides (cotton is a horribly polluting crop), and don’t contain dyes featuring heavy metals and other nasty chemicals.

    To all:
    The real answer is toxic chemical legislation on the federal level. There is a bill in congress that would require manufacturers to prove that chemicals are safe BEFORE they use them. This is the European model: it’s called the “precautionary principle.” It would fundamentally change our lives, because we would no longer have to examine every purchase we made for our kids with a microscope. We could be reasonably assured that what we were buying was safe. The American chemical industry is dead-set against it—they don’t want anyone restricting their ability to sell ANYTHING.

    An added bonus to the legislation is that the companies using the chemicals would have to pay for the testing on the front end. No longer would our federal government have to prove something was unsafe, spending millions of taxpayer dollars! What a concept!

    I just found this:

  2. Quote from the Scientific American article :
    “The chemicals are added to furniture cushions to meet a California flammability standard adopted in 1975, which requires them to withstand a 12-second open flame. Although it is not a national standard, much of the nation’s furniture contains flame retardants to comply with it.”

    Perhaps this law should be repealed so companies don’t have to use flame retardants in their products at all.

  3. Ugh this is very frustrating! I’m going to check all my kids jammies now to see what the label says. I think it’s usually the ones that fit very tight that are treated with flame retardants?

    Also, for those looking for a safe crib mattress, I think I remember researching retardants when I bought my crib mattress at Ikea. Of course look it up before buying, but I remember I got my crib mattress for around $79 and it comes with an organic zippered cover. I think it’s free from flame retardants.

  4. This is very frightening! I don’t understand why the companies even allow these chemicals in their products! This is our children’s lives we are messing with. It truly saddens me that I can’t completely save my kids from such unnecessary BS like this… now I’m getting mad!

  5. yes its very scary! There was also an news article via NPR several months ago about the fact that many different chemicals when headed have similar properties to BPA. So basically avoiding BPA doesn’t really matter if the substitute chemical used acts just like it due to the manufacturing process! And we wonder why there are higher rates of autism, cancer and other behavior/physical problems in our children!


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