Health

Are Fire-Retardant Baby Products Safe For Infants?

| by Reason Foundation

Governments everywhere love to do things "for the children." And no government loves kinder guarding more than California. But the Golden State seems to have hoisted itself on its own petard while trying to fight the flammable baby menace:

For decades, California has been the only state in the nation to require the use of highly toxic fire-retardant chemicals on cribs, infant carriers, strollers, nursing pillows, changing tables, high chairs and other baby products....

Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued statements strongly discouraging the use of fire retardant in home furniture, including baby products. The federal agency's scientists cited numerous studies linking fire retardant exposure to cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems, thyroid disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities and a plethora of other health concerns.

Which raises the question: Do fire retardants make babies retarded? (Sorry. So very sorry. That was completely inappropriate. But it had to be done.)

It's not just Cali babies who have gotten screwed by overcautious state legislators who prefer to have their babies rare instead of well-done:

California's law has meant that baby products are often treated with the chemicals even in states that don't require such treatment. To avoid manufacturing two separate lines, one for California and another for other states, many manufacturers make their products sold in other states to California standards.

More on dumb legislation aimed at protecting tots, this time with CPSC on the wrong side, here.