‘Green’ products for kids and teens contain toxic chemicals: study
Many parents prefer “eco-friendly” products for their children, but are these products really free of potentially harmful chemicals? A team of researchers has just discovered that many of these “green” products actually contain toxic substances.
PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) are a large group of chemicals that are widely used in the manufacture of many products that we use every day. For example, they can be used to make stain-resistant clothing or nonstick cookware.
However, PFAS have also been linked to various health effects such as cancers, low birth weight, asthma and thyroid disease, Silent Spring Institute Noted in a press release Wednesday. There is also evidence that it can suppress the immune system, which may impact the effectiveness of childhood vaccines. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), previous studies have found PFAS in people’s blood and urine, indicating widespread occurrence.
For their study, published In the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Wednesday, researchers tested 93 items that are “marketed or often used” by children and adolescents. They included furniture, clothing, and bedding that had “water and/or stain resistance and ‘green’ (including ‘non-toxic’) assurances”.
“Since product labels rarely list chemical additives, including PFAS, we assessed whether other information on product labels can be used by consumers to select PFAS-free products,” the researchers wrote. .
However, rapid screening tests revealed that 54 of the products actually contained detectable fluoride, which is a marker for PFAS. Additional testing revealed the presence of 36 different PFAS chemicals in products bearing “water-resistant” or “stain-resistant” labels.
“Products labeled as water- and/or stain-resistant had more frequent detections and higher concentrations of targeted methanol-extractable PFAS than products not labeled this way,” the researchers wrote.
PFAS were most commonly detected in upholstered furniture, clothing and pillow protectors, with clothing and pillow protectors “generally” having higher levels of PFAS than other products. Additionally, a chemical that has already been phased out in the United States – PFOA – has been detected even in products labeled as “green”. Most of them were from China.
“These are products that children come into close contact with every day and over a long period of time,” study co-author Kathryn Rodgers of the Boston University School of Public Health said in the release. hurry. “Given the toxicity of PFAS and the fact that the chemicals do not perform a critical function, they should not be permitted in products.”
The results of the study show that green certifiers should add PFAS in their criteria and reviews should be more thorough. Their work shows that “current green insurances do not consistently indicate the absence of PFAS”.
“The ability of PFAS to migrate out of consumer products used by children or adolescents raises concerns about exposures to these toxic chemicals during sensitive developmental times,” the researchers wrote. “The toxicity of many PFASs and the potential for long term exposures children and adolescents from intimate contact with these products support the removal of non-critical uses of PFAS from products used by children or adolescents as a means of protecting their health.