Tips to Avoid Toxic Flame Retardants

Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States
Last updated: 9/16/2013

Tips For Avoiding Toxic Flame Retardants

In the new report, Hidden Hazards, toxic flame retardants were found in 85% of baby products tested, including nursing pillows and car seats. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and nervous system harm. By being mindful with certain purchases, you can try to limit your family’s exposure to these dangerous chemicals and reduce your toxic body burden.

  1. When shopping for furniture, look for companies who avoid chemical flame retardants and instead use naturally fire-resistant materials.
  2. Avoid all products containing polyurethane foam with a label reading TB117, which means it has likely been treated with toxic flame retardants.
  3. Buy nursing pillows, car seats, and baby carriers made without Tris – better brands for baby items include Baby Bjorn, Orbit Baby, and Boppy.
  4. Because flame retardant chemicals accumulate in household dust, regularly use a wet mop to clean and remove dust particles and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean your home. This will keep dust from being inhaled or ingested.
  5. Wash hands, especially those of little children, often, to keep dust from attaching to food or fingers and being consumed.
  6. Tell your legislators to support policies that will eliminate toxic flame retardants from consumer products, especially products intended for kids.
  7. Even the most conscientious consumer can’t avoid every toxic chemical— which is why we need policies that eliminate these chemicals once and for all.

For more information on the report, Hidden Hazards, and on how you can protect yourself from toxic chemicals, visit

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