Do you know if a particular item in your home, or your baby’s room, has flame-retardant chemicals? Chances are, they do, only you aren’t aware of it. Furniture and baby products are often made with common flame retardant chlorinated Tris, but now California is considering listing it as a carcinogen.
California has the strictest standards for flammability in the nation and implemented the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65, in the 1980s as a result. Proposition 65 is designed to guard against chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive issues going in the water, and yearly, a list of all chemicals meeting Proposition 65’s standards is published.
As far as flame retardants like chlorinated Tris are concerned, they leach out of the foam in baby crib mattresses or furniture and end up in dust. As a result, you and your baby end up inhaling and ingesting the chemical. In the past, chlorinated Tris was added to children’s pajamas, but because of fears it would cause cancer, the chemical was banned from pajamas in 1977. Additionally, the chemical has been associated with cancer in factory workers and lab animals.
Manufacturers, however, state that not enough evidence supports labeling chlorinated Tris as a carcinogen. If the chemical does end up on the list, all products with it would have a warning label.
How does this apply to you and your baby? If you live in California, mattresses and other baby products containing chlorinated Tris would clearly be labeled. Because many parents want a chemical-free environment for their child, steering clear of flame retardants like chlorinated Tris is recommended, and labels would make this easier. On the other hand, parents can find products free of synthetic flame retardants, such as Naturepedic crib mattresses, to create a chemical-free environment for their children.