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Health & Baby

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Study: Baby Products Contain Risky Flame Retardants

Researchers Say Chemicals Are in Products Such as Changing Pads and Car Seats

Flame Retardants in Baby Products continued...

Schnoor is a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Iowa. "This would require studies to first determine if volatile compounds are leaching from these plastics that babies could be exposed to through the skin or air," he tells WebMD.

It is also important to determine if these chemicals are showing up in the blood or fatty tissue of babies and young children and if they cause any ill effects when they do, he says.

"That's a lot of testing, and if these chemicals are not in these products to begin with, it stops there," he adds.

Industry Response

In a statement released Wednesday in response to the study, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association noted that all baby products sold in the U.S. must meet federal safety standards.

"Not only do these safety standards contain flammability requirements, they also restrict the use of substances that are harmful or toxic and to which children might be exposed," the group notes. "Compliance with the flammability requirements is often achieved by using materials that are inherently flame resistant."

The chemical industry trade group American Chemistry Council (ACC) also notes that the chemical flame retardants found in the tested products meet federal safety guidelines.

"Flame retardants are well-studied and provide important fire safety benefits in homes, cars and public areas," ACC spokeswoman Kathyrn St. John says in a statement. "This study attempts to examine the existence of certain flame retardants in a small sampling of children's products: it doesn't address exposure risk."

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