Officials warn of toxic chemicals found in soft toys, car seats - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials warn of toxic chemicals found in soft toys, car seats

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A group of consumer advocates, health officials and environmental experts announced the launch of an initiative to help consumers identify toys made with things that may be hazardous to children.

The Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Public Health and Department of Environmental Protection held a news conference in Hartford on Wednesday afternoon.

They told parents to avoid products containing one of three flame retardant chemicals.

One is called Tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP). They said it was previously removed from children's sleepwear in the 1970s because of cancer concerns. However, it's still used in things like crib bumpers, changing table pads, and foam padded sleep mats.

The others are Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). Both are flame retardants; however, the latter can build up in a child's body over time and potentially affect the endocrine system and brain development, according to health officials.

Those chemicals can be found in anything from children's car seats to soft furniture.

The DCP said it has a website dedicated to providing information on the impacts of certain chemicals, a criteria for listing chemicals and helpful information to guide purchasing decisions. See it here.

“The scientific and medical communities’ understanding of the risks to health, especially for young developing children, posed by flame retardants continues to evolve and we are proud to work with our sister agencies to educate the public on the dangers of these chemicals to young children,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “We want parents and others to make informed, safe choices when purchasing products for their children.” 

The educational campaign announced today by DPH, DCP and DEEP grew out of a provision in the state’s Child Protection Act requiring the State to inform the public about potential dangers associated with children’s products, the DCP said.

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