Sara Snow, green advocate and new mama, appalled by all the toxic flame retardants found in baby products, recently started a Change.org petition asking Graco to eliminate chemical flame retardants in their children’s products. What’s sad is that only 4,000 parents signed said petition. What’s good though, is that apparently Graco has responded to Snow with some positive news. According to Snow, Graco has “Clarified that they have committed to ban and monitor hazardous flame retardants that have been used in children’s products.” Snow notes that during a discussion she had with Graco and partner organizations Healthy Child Healthy World and the Ecology Center, Graco has committed to ban and monitor four different flame retardant chemicals. If Graco pulls this ban off, it’ll be HUGE news, and will make a very positive impact, as they’re one of the largest children’s product manufacturers in the USA. In fact, nearly 1 out of every 3 baby gear products purchased in the U.S. is Graco.

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Image by Flickr User Collin Harvey

As you may be aware, scads of baby products contain chemical flame retardants, which by the way, have been shown to create deadlier fires than normal. From strollers to infant car seats to nursing pillows to clothing and other baby products, you’re hard pressed to find non-chemical baby goods. On top of this, flame retardants are everywhere else too – in food, furniture and more, and have been linked to eczema, allergies, birth defects, cancer, impaired learning, breastfeeding problems, liver toxicity, autism and a slew of other health problems. As Snow applauds Graco for planning to phase out many toxic chemicals from their products, she also points out that other important steps are necessary, such as Graco should…

  • Offer full disclosure of chemicals contained in their products.
  • Implement new assessments to assure that new chemicals used by the company are safe.
  • Consider environmental and human health impacts while developing new products.

What you can do to help: It is great news that Graco says they’ll be cutting chemicals, but we’ve all seen how often companies say they’ll do something, and fail to follow through. Take Campbell’s Soup for instance. The Campbell’s company has made a huge fuss about how they’re going to “ban BPA” from their soup cans, yet so far they’ve got zero official plans in place to do so. As parents, it’s up to us to make sure that Graco’s not simply using the idea of eliminating toxic flame retardants as a media stunt. Send an email message to Graco Children’s Products CEO, Kristie Juster today and let her know that you’ll be watching to make sure Graco does follow through and really eliminate harmful flame retardants in their products.

Lead image by Flickr User bradleygee