Every Other Pushchair Contain Problematic Chemicals

10. jul 2015

Pushchairs contained problematic chemicals in four out of eight cases when the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals conducted a test.

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pushchair stroller buggy
Photo: Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

Pushchairs contain problematic chemicals

Pushchairs with suspected endocrine disrupting phthalates have been a relatively rare sight in tests in recent years.

However the results change dramatically when you include a number of other substances in the test – substances which are not illegal in pushchairs but which nevertheless can produce a number of unwanted effects.

In four out of eight pushchairs the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found chemicals suspected to be either cancer-causing or endocrine disrupting.

“We know that children will encounter the substances in other instances in their everyday life. It is not the single buggy that constitutes the problem – it is the amassed exposure to problematic chemicals. Consequently we are of the opinion that we ought to reduce children’s exposure to these chemicals to a minimum,” says Stine Müller, project manager in the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

Prohibited in toys, found in pushchairs

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals tested the materials around the children – the fabric, straps, the bar and the folding top – and the pushchair handles. The child is in close contact with the materials in the actual pushchair and the handles are used by parents, siblings and at some point most likely by the child itself.

In the pushchair from Chicco Urban the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found the phosphorus flame retardant and plastic softener TCPP in the materials around the seat. The same substance was found in the handles on the pushchair from Silver Cross Pioneer.

TCPP was recently banned from toys due to its harmful effect on the ability to reproduce. TCPP is also suspected to be cancer-causing. The ban becomes effective in December 2015. The substance is not prohibited in baby items.

The new limit for TCPP in toys is 5 milligram per kilo. However, in the pushchair from Chicco Urban the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found 100 times as much TCPP in the materials around the child. In the pushchair from Silver Cross Pioneer the finding was 6,000 times higher than the new limit.

Several manufacturers have commented that they abide by the rules and regulations and that they continuously work on improving the safety of their products.

Not banned, but unwanted

In the handles of two of the pushchairs the test revealed findings of chlorinated paraffins. Once again the finding concerned the buggy from Chicco Urban, this time alongside the one from Concord Wanderer. In the latter the substance was also found in the material around the seat.

Chlorinated paraffins are on the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s list of unwanted substances. The substance is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and can be cancer-causing.   

“In our opinion there is no reason to risk that children are exposed to these substances when clearly it is possible to produce a pushchair without these problematic chemicals,” says Stine Müller.

One pushchair stood out

The pushchair from Stokke stood out by showing no indications of problematic chemicals. Three other buggies from Bugaboo Bee, Nuna Ivvi and Mountain Buggy only contained small amounts of PAH – a tar substance – in the handle.

The PAH’s were found in the handles of most of the pushchairs. Several PAH's can be cancer-causing, for example naphthalene which was found in the handle of the pushchair from Mamas & Papas.

The eight pushchairs were:

  • Chicco Urban
  • Silver Cross Pioneer
  • Concord Wanderer
  • Mamas & Papas Sola 2 MTX
  • Bugaboo Bee3
  • Nuna Ivvi
  • Mountain Buggy Nano
  • Stokke Xplory

If you have any questions concerning the test, please contact project manager in the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals, Stine Müller on phone (0045) 41 94 79 06 or email sm@fbr.dk.

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