flame retardants

Ask and You Shall Receive

imgresAs moms, we have a right to stand up for the health of our families.  In fact, it’s more than a right, it’s a responsibility.  I’ve built a career (one that is mostly sidelined right now as I stay home with Silvia) around promoting, educating about, and helping people fight for healthier, more natural products and ways to live our lives.

Which is why a few months ago I posted a petition asking people to demand that Graco remove harmful chemical flame retardants from their children’s products…things like stroller and car seats.  They listened!  All it took was the ask.

Then this week because the people at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics asked, Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will reformulate its products and remove some of the “chemicals of concern” found in their adult and baby personal care and cosmetic products.

Now, inspired, Seventh Generation is calling on all personal care and cosmetic companies to “follow the Precautionary Principle” and remove all hazards from all products.  They say there’s no reason it can’t be done since, “we’ve been providing parents and others with products that supply peace of mind for 25 years.”

And now, it’s up to you!  What will you ask for?  Safer parks in your neighborhood?  Cleaner air in your city?  Purer drinking water in your state?  Stricter ingredient and labeling standards  in your country?  More love in your world?

Just ask!  You’ll be surprised by what you’ll get.


Graco to ban chemical flame retardants

Today I have a reason to celebrate!  A few months ago I launch a Change.org petition asking Graco to eliminate its use of chemical flame retardants in their children’s products, and nearly 4,000 of you signed it. 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.

I started this petition because after the birth of Silvia, it blew my mind to learn that toxic flame retardants are in the foam of so many of the products where babies spend so much of their time: strollers, car seats, nursing pillows, and more. I strongly believe no mother should have to wake up and realize that she bought, or was given, the wrong item. And that the very thing she thought was keeping her baby safe, is in reality harming her child’s health.

The really good news today is that Graco heard our concerns and responded with positive news.

Graco clarified that they have committed to ban and monitor hazardous flame retardants that have been used in children’s products, including cancer-causing Tris and Firemaster 550, ingredients no parent wants their child to come into contact with.  I learned this during personal conversations I’ve had with them and partner organizations Healthy Child Healthy World and the Ecology Center.

Together we applaud Graco Children’s Products, Inc. for taking critically important steps to make their products safer for children by phasing out the use of a number of toxic chemicals from all of their products.

Graco 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 “Tris” compounds.
  • 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.

At the same time, we are challenging Graco to take additional steps to become an industry leader by making healthier and safer products that no longer contain any hazardous flame retardants and implement a system to assure that safer chemical or non-chemical alternatives are being used now and in the future.  As next steps, Graco should:

  • move to provide complete disclosure of chemicals contained in their products;
  • implement an alternative assessment practice to assure that new chemicals which go into their products are inherently safer and lower hazard; and
  • fully consider the environmental and human health impacts as new products are conceived of and designed.

Please join me in thanking Graco for their leadership in eliminating these toxic flame retardants and encourage them to take additional steps to make their products safer from chemical hazards. Send an email message to Graco Children’s Products CEO, Kristie Juster today!

Since the petition launched in April, the Chicago Tribune has published a blockbuster series of articles detailing the deceptive campaign by the tobacco and chemical industries to require furniture and baby product manufacturers to saturate foam with toxic flame retardants, even though they don’t effectively prevent fires. As a result, millions of pounds of chemicals linked to problems including lower IQ, reproductive disorders, learning disabilities, and cancer are used in our sofas, car seats, mattresses and more each year.

The situation is intolerable for parents and anyone who cares about healthy children and healthy families.

Thanks to you, we now know we no longer need to be concerned that Graco products contain four of the most toxic flame retardant chemicals. And that’s a victory we should all savor!

Here’s to healthier families everywhere!