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Chemical flame retardants were removed from children's PJ's three decades back, because scientists suspected they could contribute to causing cancer. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology today suggests that does not mean kids are now safe from these flame retardants, which were found in lots of baby products on the market today. They are found in products made with polyurethane foam, and the study's researchers said the offending chemical was present in over a third of the baby gear they tested!

Infant car seats, high chairs, and nursing pillows were among the products that were found to contain the chemical chlorinated Tris. Unfortunately, this is not good news. Almost every parent of young babies owns these products. But, did the presence of this chemical mean that the babies exposed to it also absorbed it into their bodies? That is not clear yet. But babies who used the products the study team looked into were found to have higher levels of the chemical than recommended. When chlorinated Tris was banned for use in pajamas back in the 1970s, it was not disallowed for other uses as well. Now, consumer safety watchdogs say that chlorinated Tris "may pose a significant health risk to consumers".

Of the 101 products for babies that the study team looked into, an overwhelming 80 percent contained chemical flame retardants. Although these are not illegal, they may be toxic, and even carcinogenic. The whole issue is, they are toxic chemicals that are in our homes at high levels; and right now, people don t know much about it, study author Arlene Blum warned. She also questioned the purpose of these flame retardants in, let's say, nursing pillows. If you are shopping for your baby, it may be good to be aware of the new study and the potential dangers of these chemicals.

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