Beware of chemicals in children furniture


A recent scientific report advises consumers to beware of chemicals in children furniture.  This latest report co-commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California confirms that major retailers are selling children’s furniture that contain toxic chemicals and substances that have unidentified health effects.

Recent findings of chemicals in children furniture

Tests performed by a Duke University scientist found flame-retardants in 42 children’s furniture products.  Some of the products are decorated with cartoon characters, like Spider-Man, Elmo, and Minnie Mouse.  In essence, children’s chairs filled with foam may be hazardous to their health and the well-being of people sharing the same environment.  Additionally, the fixtures are sold in stores like Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, and Target and in other stores in New York, Oregon, Michigan, California, Maine, Kentucky, Vermont, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.

Beware of chemicals in children furniture

Over half of the products tested contained a mixture of chemicals known as Firemaster 550.  This collective mixture of chemicals is linked to hormone disruption and obesity in lab animals.  In addition, 15 furniture products contain the chemical TCPP and two items have the carcinogen chlorinated Tris.  TCPP causes genetic damage to human cells.  One furniture product has butylated triphenyl phosphate, a chemical that concerns the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it is potentially linked to abnormal menstrual cycles and decreased fertility.

Motivation to be cautious 

Our environments our filled with many anthropogenic-made chemicals that have not been evaluated enough to warrant putting them on a dangerous or hazardous chemical list; nonetheless, they could potentially be harmful to our health.  Moreover, in order to meet fire safety standards, many manufacturers coat their products with layers of flame protection.  Consumers will achieve very little by covering products to protect themselves and their family from contaminants in polyurethane foam; the chemicals will eventually travel out of the product.

Chemicals drift in and around our homes–in the air and dust; they are not firmly attached to the products that surround us.  We touch a myriad of items in our homes, as well as breathe in the air within our atmosphere.  However, children tend not to exercise caution in the items around them.  They touch many objects and without washing their hands, they put their hands in their mouths making them vulnerable of getting diseases and other ailments.

More attention is required in order to protect children from toxins within our homes.  Beware of chemicals in children furniture.  For your family safety, avoid products with polyurethane foam and consider purchasing furniture products made of canvas, cotton, wool, wood, or polyester fiberfill.

You can read more of George Zapo’s articles about public, global, and environmental health at his website:

George Zapo, CPH on EmailGeorge Zapo, CPH on FacebookGeorge Zapo, CPH on LinkedinGeorge Zapo, CPH on PinterestGeorge Zapo, CPH on TwitterGeorge Zapo, CPH on WordpressGeorge Zapo, CPH on Youtube
George Zapo, CPH
George Zapo, CPH is certified in Public Health Promotion & Education. George focuses on writing informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles. Read more of George's articles at his website: