As I have been digging through the information about exactly where toxic fire retardants are found in our homes, I continue to be shocked about where they can be found! Places that just don’t make sense! Nursing pillows, strollers, high chairs and toys are common items that will contain these chemicals. When you are looking for them think polyurethane foam typically (think Pottery barn cute baby lounger chairs, baby swings, car seats, baby and crib mattresses, gliders and more. Testing has shown that the most common chemical used in these items is Chlorinated Tris, a chemical that was used in children’s sleepwear in the 1970′s until studies showed its extreme toxicity and link to cancer. It was then removed from children’s sleepwear, but since then has been secretly added to almost everything else your child may come in contact with! Crazy! For more information on the toxicity of fire retardants click here. You can also watch our fun, animated, short video here!
So here at Organic Baby University, we are going to go through item by item to try to let you know what companies are toxifying your children and which are not….therefore allowing you to make safer choices for your children. There is no reason for a stuffed animal to be loaded with toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer! KEEP IN MIND THESE DO NOT HAVE TO BE LABELED AS CONTAINING THESE CHEMICALS AND ALMOST ALWAYS ARE NO!
Here is a start to our list of plush toys and whether they contain flame retardants. This is not a list of toys that do not contain ANY chemical such as lead, mercury, etc. This is simply a list of companies that have responded to the request for whether they treat their toys with flame retardants. As always, we always recommend you search HEALTHYSTUFF.ORG to find out what may be in your specific toy! We also recommend purchasing products from environmentally safe and chemical free companies whenever possible. We have included some links to our favorites at the bottom. We have also found that the addition of electronics, batteries, etc seems to increase the likelihood that chemicals like bromine or chlorine will be found.
Keep in mind that what you purchase is YOUR VOTE! The only way to get rid of toxic chemicals is to NOT SUPPORT companies who believe adding these chemicals to our children’s toys are ok…and some even spend millions fighting the banning of these chemicals in children’s products. Among some of the most evasive and/or adamant about continuing to use these chemicals include Playskool, Fisher-Price, Leap Frog, Hasbro, Kids II and more! Beware of the larger manufacturers as they have a tendency to be the offenders.
Be aware that plush toys with electronics may contain flame retardants and are not included in this list!
We have highlighted the company name in our color code according to our view of the safety of chemical choices the company has made or the information they have provided.
- Green is for companies that have answered all of our questions and do not use harmful chemicals.
- Orange is for companies that may have given us partial answers or use no flame retardants but do use PVC for example. We will change these colors as we receive more information from the company.
- Red is used for companies that use chemicals that we believe are harmful to children.
Plush Toy Companies and Their Reponses:
Kids II: (This company also manufactures Baby Einstein plush Toys)
(This company does continue to use phthalates in their toys as seen in the email resulting in the red rating)
I understand you are inquiring about the flame retardant material makeup of our products. The materials in our products do not contain any flame retardant and meet global requirements.
The materials in our products are latex free, meet global phthalate requirements and are currently BPA free.
Kids II, Inc.
Consumer Services Representative
To the best of our knowledge, our materials are not treated with chemicals to retard flammability. My understanding is that the polyester and acrylic fibers used to make the plush extinguish quickly enough to pass the flammability tests. This understanding comes from my discussions over the years with the plush mills. We do not have a test on every item specifically checking for these chemicals. All of our toys do pass the USA and EN-71 testing, which include a breakdown of harmful chemicals they feel we need to be testing for.
Thank you for your interest in our toys!
DOUGLAS CO INC.
(Unclear response) Say it does not use FR “like” bromines but does not flat out say they do not use FR at all
Our plush toys pass all flame testing requirements but are not treated with flame retardants such as bromides.
Did not answer the question and it has been several weeks of emails trying to get answer. Stay tuned
Yes, our Gund items are flame retardant. Flammability testing forms part of ASTM testing which all our children’s items are subject too.
There are no chemicals added to our plush toys for flame retardant purposes. The combination of the polyester and acrylic materials used in the manufacture of these items produce naturally low burning characteristics.
The use of PBDE’s is banned and none exist in our products.
Antimony is not used, and testing for the presence of such is conducted on all plush toys for compliance with both US and European toy safety regulations.
All our toys fully comply with both US and European flammability regulations.
Thank you for allowing us the time to research the issue for you.
Ganz does not treat plush toys with flame retardants. Ganz plush toys are made of materials that meet regulations for flammability.
We trust the above satisfies your inquiry. Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.
Enza La Corte
Customer Service Manager
Toys R Us:
(Easily the most evasive company-later found out they are treated with Chlorinated Tris)
As requested, we have gathered more information regarding our plush toys being treated with flame retardant materials. While our products are treated with a flame retardant material, we would like to assure you that the our products comply with both the CPSIA and ASTM F963 testing standard for flammability.
Thank you for contacting the “R” Us family.
The “R” Us Team
Follow up Email Produces:
Thank you for contacting RUs.com regarding Chlorinated Tris.
While we certainly understand and appreciate a parent’s concern about a
product’s potential for being unsafe for children to use, nothing has
actually been determined and we are not accepting any returns for
products that may have this chemical in them at this time.
We appreciate your concerns relating to our plush toys being treated
with a fame retardant. I have forwarded your email to the appropriate
team for their prompt review, and you may expect a response from a Guest
Service Specialist within 3 to 5 business days.
(This company is giving me a typical run-around saying they need a specific product. I make the assumption that by doing so, that some of their products ARE treated…because if all were not then this would be an easy answer. I certainly do not have time to ask them about every single product they make so I will buy none. They also treated my questions about BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead in the same manner.)
Thank you for your email and I am sorry for any misunderstanding with the last email. I would need you to advise of the specific product you are inquiring about to provide the content information. Our products use a wide range of materials, so I would not be able to give a generalized statement without knowing the specific product in question. For example, if you are inquiring about our Lamaze Jacques the Peacock, I could advise that this item is BPA free, PVC phthalate free, and lead free and is not treated with flame retardants.
Our products use a wide range of materials that are proprietary to the Learning Curve Brands; therefore, no details on any particular material can be provided.
If you have concerns about a specific item please advise and we will provide the information you need.
Marie/ Consumer Service
(This company does use phthalates and other chemicals in their products which is why they have a red rating)
Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate the opportunity to respond.
We do not add flame retardant to any of our plush toys.
Mattel Consumer Relations
This is our list to date. We will continue to add products are we get responses from the companies. Companies like Hasbro, Playskool and others have only responded that they follow government requirements and have refused to answer the question. We will continue to try to get this information. Keep in mind that you are much more likely to find flame retardants in toys with electronics in them. If you want truly safe products stick to products/ websites/ companies like:
FOR OTHER BLOGS IN THIS SERIES: