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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2012
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Graco Commits to Banning
Toxic Flame Retardants from Children’s Products
Child Health Advocates Applaud Company’s Commitment to Safer Products
Today Healthy Child Healthy
World, HealthyStuff.org and the Ecology Center applaud Graco Children’s
Products, Inc. for committing to ban the use of four of the most toxic chemical
flame retardants from all of their products. Graco is one of the nation's largest
children’s product manufacturers, selling nearly 1 out of every 3 baby
gear products purchased in the U.S.
Over the last few months, nearly 4,000 parents signed a petition started by
Sara Snow, green lifestyle expert, author of “Sara Snow’s Fresh Living”
and Healthy Child Healthy World Parent Ambassador, asking Graco to eliminate
its use of hazardous flame retardants in their children’s products.
“I started the petition because as a mom, it blew my mind to learn that
toxic flame retardant chemicals were still in the foam of so many of the products
where babies spend the bulk of their time: strollers, car seats, nursing pillows,
and more,” said Snow. “I’m grateful that Graco has responded to
our concerns and can offer moms a little peace of mind.”
Child health advocates have been urging Graco to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals since 2008, when the Ecology Center first started testing products for their consumer database, HealthyStuff.org.
“Our 2011 car seat report showed that Graco manufactured one of the
most toxic car seats and one of the least toxic,” said Jeff Gearhart,
the Ecology Center’s Research Director and founder of HealthyStuff.org, which
has tested hundreds of popular car seats for toxic chemicals. “We thank
all of the parents who expressed concern about this inconsistency, and Graco
for taking the initiative to make all of their products safer.”
Graco told advocates it has committed to ban and monitor four Tris and related chemicals, specifically:
- “Tris,” chemicals including TDCPP (Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate)
and TCEP (Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate).
- TCPP (Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate) is structurally similar to the
- All three Tris chemicals are either carcinogens or suspected carcinogens.
- Firemaster 550, a chemical mixture containing ingredients that have been
targeted for review by EPA due to widespread exposure and potential health
risk, is also on Graco’s ban list.
Read more about these chemicals
Download Graco Hazardous Flame Retardant Ban Statement
RECENT PEER REVIEW STUDY ON THESE CHEMICALS IN BABY PRODUCTS: “Identification
of flame retardants in polyurethane foam collected from baby products”
While recognizing that eliminating these toxic flame retardant chemicals puts
Graco ahead of most other children’s product makers, advocates urged
the company to take additional steps to ensure their products no longer contain
any hazardous chemicals. Graco is also being asked to disclose chemicals contained
in their products and develop an alternatives assessment system to ensure chemicals
are inherently safer and lower hazard.
Previously promoted as necessary lifesavers, according to federal researchers
and independent scientists, flame retardants added to foam and cushions actually
provide no meaningful protection from fires. The Chicago Tribune’s blockbuster
investigative series revealing the deception behind flame retardant chemical
standards has generated new momentum to phase them out and better regulate
their use. California Governor Jerry Brown has directed a state agency to revise
that state’s flammability standards, which could eliminate the need for
flame retardant chemicals in furniture nationwide. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s
(D-IL) Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee is holding a
hearing Tuesday on the effectiveness of federal government flame retardant
Still, due in part to increasing pressure from consumers, manufacturers are
taking action in advance of regulation and Graco is just the latest example.
Orbit Baby was the first to market children’s car seats free of hazardous flame
retardants and Britax followed suit with a commitment to eliminating all hazardous
flame retardants that contain bromine or chlorine by the end of 2012.
car seats have been a welcome development in protecting our babies from the
injuries associated with car accidents,” said Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of
Healthy Child Healthy World, a national non-profit empowering parents to protect
children from toxic chemicals. “But protecting our children from one
involve introducing them to another. As we wait for Congress to enact more
meaningful chemical reform, we applaud companies like Graco for stepping up
and protecting our children’s health.”
Since 2007 researchers at the Ecology Center have performed over 20,000 tests for toxic chemicals on over 7,000 consumer products, including pet products, vehicles, women's handbags, jewelry, back-to-school products, children's toys, building products and children's car seats. All of this information can be found at www.HealthyStuff.org.
For more information on non-toxic fire safety please visit the Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety. The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety is a diverse coalition of groups dedicated to improving public health and safety by advocating for non-toxic alternatives to hazardous and untested chemicals.
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