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Photo of Senator Terry Gerratana.


Terry Gerratana

Healthy Families, Healthy Communities

Helping Parents Keep their Children away from Dangerous Chemicals

I recently joined officials from the Connecticut Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Public Health (DPH) and Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to warn parents and others purchasing children's products to avoid any product containing one of three flame retardant chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state agencies have identified as highly toxic. As Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee, I have worked to pass legislation ending the use of toxic chemicals in products made for children, but some still remain in use.

Detailed information on three toxic substances used in children's products can be found on the DCP website. One chemical of concern, Tris- (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), was previously removed from children's sleepwear in the 1970s because of cancer concerns. Despite continued cancer concerns, it is still widely used in products designed for young children, including crib bumpers, changing table pads, and children's foam padded sleep mats. Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), a related Tris flame retardant, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a flame retardant that can build up in a child's body over time and potentially affect the endocrine system and brain development, are the other two flame retardants that have been identified as being of high concern for continued use in children's products. TCEP is found in many of the same products as TDCPP. HBCD can be found in some children's car seats and soft furniture. When shopping for these children's products, consumers should ask retailers any questions they have, check product labels, and consult manufacturers if need be.