Tag - flame retardants

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Ask Naturepedic: Aren’t You Required to Have Flame Retardants By Law?
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Preschools and Flame Retardants: An Unwanted Connection
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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet
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Flame Retardant Chemicals: Here, There and Everywhere
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California’s SB1019 Requires Disclosure of Flame Retardants in Furniture
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The Irony of Flame Retardants in Water: How They Get There
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Chemicals in Consumer Products Linked to Breast Cancer
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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses
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Flame Retardants, Polyurethane Foam and Flashover
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Flame Retardant Soup

Ask Naturepedic: Aren’t You Required to Have Flame Retardants By Law?

This is a common misconception. We are required to pass all State and Federal testing, but we are not required to use a flame barrier to do so. The primary filling material used in most mattresses (but never Naturepedic) is polyurethane foam – a highly flammable petroleum-based material. In fact, the National Association of State Fire Marshals refers to it as “solid gasoline.” Due to its high flammability, polyurethane foam is typically treated or wrapped with fire retardant chemicals. Some of these chemicals introduce health and toxicity concerns. In fact, most manufacturers don’t even disclose their fire retardant ingredients. At Naturepedic, we don’t like harsh chemicals, and we certainly don’t like fire retardant chemicals! We consider the best form of fire protection to be superior product design that avoids the need for these chemicals in the first place. Organic cotton, for example, is a far superior filling material and is significantly less flammable. Through extensive research and creative product design,[…]

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Preschools and Flame Retardants: An Unwanted Connection

Flame retardant chemicals show up everywhere, and in places never intended: rivers, wildlife … and children. Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to a variety of potential health and developmental problems that include cancer and damage to the bodies’ hormonal systems. Children appear to be at particularly risk for a variety of reasons. Not only do they spend large amounts of time laying down on mattresses, pads and floors, they also have frequent hand-to-mouth contact which hastens the introduction of rogue chemicals into their systems. Parents are now beginning to seek safer products for the home, like Naturepedic mattresses that are made without flame retardant chemicals. Still, what about nurseries and preschools? Babies and young children can spend as much as 50 hours every week in preschools or childcare. Recognizing a lack of available scientific data on the preschool environment, a group of researchers from key institutions including the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH), Batelle Memorial Institute,[…]

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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet

The daunting chore of spring cleaning marks an opportunity to make your home less toxic. There are many hidden hazardous chemicals in common cleaning products and household items—from glass cleaner to hand soap to your living room sofa—so we’ve compiled a short to-do list to help make your home safer. This list is not extensive, but it’s a start. And, by completing these three simple tasks you can start removing many questionable chemicals from your family’s abode. Alright, let’s detoxify: Ditch antibacterial & toxic cleaning products: Did you know that products labelled “antibacterial’ or ”antimicrobial” contain pesticides? Or that many common cleaning products contain ingredients like ammonia and coal tar dyes? Unfortunately, American manufacturers are not required to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with long-term exposure to chemical ingredients in cleaning products. Preventative measures: forgo cleaners with a laundry list of chemical ingredients. Try ones with simple, non-toxic ingredients. Some reputable brands to consider are Method,[…]

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Flame Retardant Chemicals: Here, There and Everywhere

Chemical flame retardants: we at Naturepedic don’t like them or use them and we’ve worked to ensure our mattresses pass flammability standards without them. Depending on the specific compound, flame retardants have been connected to neurobehavioral issues, developmental disorders, endocrine disruption, reproductive health problems, diabetes, and even cancer. Additionally, many of these chemicals can sneak past waste water treatments and pollute our streams, rivers and lakes. For these reasons, ALL Naturepedic products are free of chemical flame retardants. Recent initiatives in California and elsewhere are attempting to reduce the use of flame retardant chemicals in couches and other upholstered furniture. These efforts have not yet been extended to mattresses, however, which use different testing standards. Nonetheless, did you know that chemical flame retardants can be found in a lot more everyday products than furniture and mattresses? Cell phones and other consumer electronics, toys, carpeting, building materials, paints, even paper products (yes, paper) can all contain these problematic chemicals. BizNGO, an[…]

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California’s SB1019 Requires Disclosure of Flame Retardants in Furniture

On September 30, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1019, an important step forward in helping consumers avoid toxic flame retardants in their furniture. The new law, which goes into effect in 2015, will require furniture sold in California to clearly disclose if chemical flame retardants were added in order to meet flammability standards. The new law follows up last year’s update to California’s Technical Bulletin 117 (a 1975 standard which required furniture sold in California to pass flammability tests). The update, known as TB117-2013, changed the way flammability is tested on furniture, foregoing the previously required open flame tests on the inner cushion to instead requiring a cigarette smolder test conducted on the outer fabric.  Because the majority of furniture cushioning is made from highly flammable polyurethane foam, open flame tests basically guaranteed the addition of flame retardants … and often a substantial amount. Unfortunately, TB117-2013 did not require companies to disclose the use flame retardants, nor[…]

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The Irony of Flame Retardants in Water: How They Get There

Naturepedic mattresses don’t contain chemical flame retardants, compounds with suspected connections to human health and developmental problems. Jillian Pritchard Cooke, an interior designer specializing in healthier designs and founder of Wellness Within Your Walls, has connected flame retardants to poor indoor air quality. But what about water quality? Scientists have been finding chemical flame retardants, particularly PBDEs, in rivers and waterways throughout the world. The question has been why? A recently released peer-review study published Sept. 17, 2014 by the journal Environmental Science & Technology offers some answers. The report was co-authored by Erika Schreder, science director with the Washington Toxics Coalition, and Mark J. La Guardia, senior environmental research scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The study examined 20 homes in the Vancouver and Longview areas of Washington state, testing for 22 chemical flame retardants in common household dust. The study found 21 chemical flame retardants in the dust in varying amounts, with 72% of total flame[…]

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Chemicals in Consumer Products Linked to Breast Cancer

On May 12, 2014 the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a new peer-reviewed study identifying seventeen types of chemicals specifically linked to breast cancer. Of the 102 chemicals in the study, many are ones women may be exposed to on a daily basis from everyday products. The study was conducted by researchers at the Silent Spring Institute (named after Rachel Carson’s influential book) and the Harvard School of Public Health. While it may not come as a surprise that a number of the chemical types can be found in tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust, some of the priority chemicals are found in common consumer products like ink jet and laser jet printers, hair dyes and paint. These are all chemicals legally used and virtually unregulated. The study also identified flame retardants used in foams found in mattresses and furniture cushions and chemicals found in certain textile dyes as priority threats. Under current laws, manufacturers are not required to disclose the flame[…]

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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses

A recent study published February of this year by a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses. Below, Naturepedic founder Barry A. Cik explores aspects related to this report to provide a greater understanding of the overall topic of chemicals in crib mattresses. Friends and Colleagues, I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the University of Texas study regarding chemicals in crib mattresses.  In particular, people want to understand the practical implications of chemicals in crib mattresses.  I’ll use a Q & A format. Are Chemicals Really a Problem? The chemical problem is quite well established.  For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics says the following: “Over the past several decades, tens of thousands of chemicals have entered commerce and the environment, often in extremely large quantities…A growing body of research indicates potential harm to[…]

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Flame Retardants, Polyurethane Foam and Flashover

The Risks There’s a lot of discussion over health concerns associated with chemical flame retardants, particularly those found in mattresses and furniture. One of the most common classes of flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which was widely used for decades before the environmental community focused attention on it, and pressured manufacturers to stop, has been linked to an unsettling smorgasbord of issues including thyroid disruption, developmental issues in children, memory and cognitive problems, lower IQ and reduced fertility. Studies of other flame retardants are seeing links to cancer. Groups representing firefighters in various states are raising concerns about the toxicity of flame retardants, arguing they increase the risks for cancer in first responders while doing little to retard fires. So with these types of risks, why in the world are chemical flame retardants so prevalent? The question lies less with the flame retardants themselves and more with the polyurethane foam in the furniture and mattresses. Then vs. Now Travel[…]

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Flame Retardant Soup

Do you like soup? I do. You can put all kinds of vegetable and spices into soup. When I make soup my kids ask, “What’s in it?” to find out if I’ve added a veggie they’ve identified as one they don’t want.  My youngest has dug in his heels against broccoli and the older one against mushrooms. They ask because they can’t tell if the offending food is in there.  Do I always tell? No. I sometimes sneak those veggies past them. Not too many parents will fault me for my sneakiness. If, however, I was intentionally sneaking really, really unhealthy, even dangerous, ingredients in that soup, opinions would be different. Synthetic fibers are in one way a lot like soup. A manufacturer can put all types of different ingredients in there and the consumer is probably not going to know. Take polyester. There are different formulations for polyester just like there are different ways to make vegetable soup. When[…]

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