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Advocates are asking the state to tighten up a new law on toxic flame retardants that are being used in children’s items like changing pads, car seats and high chairs.
Although the state Legislature last year banned the use of chlorine-based chemical called tris, more particularly a form called TCEP, other varieties of the chemical continue to be legal. The chemical is being utilized in children’s products that are commonly found on store shelves. This includes another form of tris that was recently classified as carcinogen in California.
This variety of tris, called TDCPP, was utilized in an infant car seat bought in New York. The same car seat was included in the twenty child products that were tested in New York, Maryland, Michigan, Washington State and Connecticut by two public health advocacy groups, the Washington Toxics Coalition and the Clean & Healthy New York.
Tris, which is used to prevent foam from quickly igniting, can be released overtime from the material and into the air. The chemical can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
This particular chemical was already banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from being used in children’s pajamas nearly forty years ago. The agency found that the chemical, which is known to cause cancer among lab animals, could be absorbed by infants and children through the skin or just by “mouthing” treated children’s clothes.
According to Bobbi Chase Wilding, Clean NY’s deputy director, the new law is insufficient because there are some forms of tris that can still be sold legally in children’s.
She said, “We can’t just do these one at a time. We would be here for years. Product makers need to stop moving from one toxic chemical as it is banned to another. It’s a toxic shell game.”