Three popular brands of baby mattresses that were marketed in recent months to families and day care centers contained toxic flame retardants linked to increased cancer risk, according to laboratory tests conducted for the Chicago Tribune.
One member of that family of chemicals was removed from children’s pajamas over cancer concerns a generation ago. Yet that same flame retardant turned up in significant amounts in 11 baby mattresses sold recently by national and local retailers under the Babies R Us, Foundations and Angeles brands.
While furniture-makers often add flame retardants to the polyurethane foam cushioning in sofas and upholstered chairs, the test results on infant mattresses surprised and alarmed some scientists who have studied the chemicals.
The response to the test results from manufacturers, importers and retailers varied. Wayfair, the retailer that fulfilled the Tribune’s Wal-Mart order through the retail giant’s online marketplace program, halted sales of the Angeles crib mattress, which fits cribs that are popular at child care centers.
One importer, however, vigorously defended its product. Summer Infant Inc., the importer of the Babies R Us branded crib and bassinet mattresses that contained the flame retardant chemical, noted that the mattresses “are in a sealed impermeable plastic covering,” which “ensures no exposure of the inner mattress foam to the child.”
For all the test results, go to the graphic.
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