Thursday, October 13, 2005

U.S. PIRG Response to American Chemistry Council's Comments on Toxic Chemicals in Baby Products

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Yesterday, the state PIRGs and Environment groups released a report, "The Right Start: The Need To Eliminate Toxic Chemicals From Baby Products," coauthored by U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment California Research and Policy Center. The report documented phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers found in bath books, teethers, sleep accessories and other baby products.

Today, an independent panel of scientists convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released the findings of their review of one type of phthalate, di-ethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP). The panel reconfirmed that DEHP poses a risk to reproductive and developmental health. PIRG's research found DEHP in 13 baby products.

METHODOLOGY

The authors of the report purchased 25 common baby products from a variety of stores, selecting products intended for a variety of uses and from a variety of manufacturers.

The authors then sent the products to two EPA-accredited laboratories, Paradigm Environmental Services in Rochester, NY, and STAT Analysis Corporation in Chicago, IL for analysis. These two laboratories used EPA-accredited methodology to determine the presence of the chemicals of concern in the products.

FINDINGS

-- Three of the seven infant sleep accessories, including sleep wedges and mattress pads, tested positive for PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). These chemicals have been linked in scientific tests to learning and behavior disorders and other health concerns.

-- Fifteen of the eighteen plastic children's products, such as bath books, teethers, bath toys, and other products, tested positive for phthalates. The labs looked for seven different types of phthalates. These chemicals have been linked in scientific tests to reproductive defects and other health concerns.

"Toxic chemicals don't belong in baby products," said U.S. PIRG Environmental Health Advocate Meghan Purvis. "Parents and caregivers deserve a regulatory system that requires chemicals be proven safe before they are allowed in our children's products."

For the results of the product testing, a description of the methodology, tips for parents, and a survey of the scientific studies documenting the problem, please visit http://www.safefromtoxics.org.

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U.S. PIRG is the national advocacy office of the state Public Interest Research Groups. State PIRGs are non-profit, non- partisan, public interest advocacy organizations.

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