Sunday, May 20, 2012

California Technical Bulletin 117

Recently I started buying only the super "snug" pjs for my little one.  There is something kind of creepy about having your babies pjs soaked in flame retardant chemicals, no?  The reason why the "loose" pjs are coated in the stuff is because "loose fitting garments are more likely to catch fire."  Well, if that is the case, I'm fine with the snugly ones and they are super cute to boot. 

So what of mattresses?  I also recently became aware of California TB 117 in this article.  Now, I sort of understand why mattresses have this chemical in them - for the one in whatever chance that there is a fire - not that I'm okay with it.  But I was a little astonished to flip over my little one's "organic" changing pad, only to see this tag staring right back at me. 

This changing pad had already been the bane of my existence for some time and this was just the trigger I needed to replace it.  For one, it was squished down in the corners, so the pad covers didn't fit it and they were always coming off; for another, the pad was splitting and much to my dismay, this toxic foam was exposed to air. 

It went away.  And I purchased the very expensive Naturepedic one instead (see road test). 

This article, along with Dr. Oz who also discussed the subject of toxins in foam, make note of the importance of something as simple as dusting.  Dr. Oz has three solutions - toss it, cover it, keep your home clean.  The chemicals released into the air collect as dust, which collects about your home.  Sweeping, vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth (collects the dust rather than tossing it into the air and into your nose and mouth) frequently are recommended. 


  1. Hey Pam --

    About sort of understanding why mattresses have this chemical in them...

    Did you happen to see the really horrifying series in the Chicago Tribune these past weeks about flame retardants and the total lack of science regarding their efficacy? Worth a read, though blood pressure control may be necessary!


    1. Thanks Alla! This is really helpful information. I continued on to the study in which flame retardants were found in the blood all 83 children tested (doubled in minority children). It makes me sick to my stomach.

      I was also reading the recent articles about flame retardants found in peanut butter. If you have any more to pass on my way, please do.

  2. I didn't see the thing about peanut butter, sheesh! Not to go off on a tangent, peanut butter really perplexes me and pisses me off. Do you know how hard it is to find a peanut butter that contains ONLY PEANUTS? Almost universally, they've all got sugar, salt, or preservatives. WTF?

    Anyway, this blog is a really great project - I think it's particularly awesome that you are seeking out and slogging through the actual studies, and not just media reports and industry claims.

    1. Thanks Alla! I hear you on the Peanut Butter. There was a health food store, I think it was Broadway Natural, that had a machine where you could make your own. I always wondered how they kept it clean!