Flame retardants are found in furniture containing polyurethane foam, baby products made with polyurethane foam (crib mattresses, changing pads, nursing pillows, etc.), home insulation, the plastic casing of some electronics, and in carpet padding made with recycled foam (see this helpful graphic). Flame retardant chemicals escape from these products and end up in household dust. That dust can then end up on your hands and food, and eventually in your mouth. Scientists believe that most people's principal exposure to flame retardant chemicals is through ingestion of dust. In fact, research by flame retardant expert Heather Stapleton found that the amount of flame retardant chemicals on toddlers' hands was a good predictor for the levels in their blood (suggesting that hand-to-mouth may be the biggest exposure pathway).
7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Family's Exposure to Flame Retardants
- Flame Retardants: Toxic, Ineffective, Everywhere
- How to Buy a Sofa without Toxic Flame Retardants
- Avoiding Toxins in Baby Products
- Non-toxic Crib Mattresses
- The Best Free, Online Resources for a Safe & Healthy Pregnancy
- Eco-novice's Top Five Tips for a Healthy Nursery