Test: Which chemicals are in your children’s pushchair?
7 pushchairs tested for unwanted substances
Have you considered which chemicals hide in the fabric, the belts and the handle of the pushchair that you take your children for a stroll in?
The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has tested 7 pushchairs in a laboratory for content of substances which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic.
The test measured content of selected problematic chemicals in the seat of the pushchairs, for example in the fabric, the belts, the bumper bars, the hood and the handles, which are used by the parents, by the siblings and at some point also by the child itself. The pushchairs all had a pram mode which is also included in the test.
2 out of 7 pushchairs receive a red mark due to content of chemicals that are suspected to be endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic. 2 products are without any of the tested problematic chemicals and 3 have smaller amounts of problematic substances.
“We know that children encounter problematic chemicals from many sources in their daily life, for example personal care products, electronics and textiles. Even though we do not know how big the risk is when you use the single pushchair, the substances can contribute to the children’s amassed exposure. That is known as the cocktail effect, and can constitute a health risk. Consequently, we recommend that these chemicals should be used in pushchairs,” says Stine Müller, project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.
Endocrine disrupting substances are for example suspected to lead to low sperm count in boys and early puberty in girls.
The problematic chemicals are not banned, but unwanted
The test from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals reveals content of the substance chlorinated paraffins in the handles of 2 pushchairs, Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle and Hauck Air. In the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle the substances were also present in the materials surrounding the child in the pushchair.
Chlorinated paraffins are a group of substances which can be used for different purposes. In plastic and rubber they can be flame retardants and used for softening.
Back in 1994 the Danish Environmental Protection Agency concluded that companies ought to use other substances than chlorinated paraffins which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic. Chlorinated paraffins are also on the agency’s list of unwanted substances.
Mountain Buggy has not wished to comment on the results on the basis of the information provided. Hauck points to the fact that the found content is legal.
Stokke and Emmaljunga receive top mark
The best marks in the test go to the pushchairs from Emmaljunga and Stokke. They received the A label since the test did not show any content of the examined problematic chemicals. Stokke receives the best mark in the test for the second consecutive year, whereas Emmaljunga was not tested in 2015.
3 other pushchairs (Bugaboo, Trille Viper 4 and Mutsy Ivo) had content of tar substances (PAH’s), which primarily was found in the handle. In 2 of the products, Trille and Bugaboo, the PAH naphthalene was among the problematic chemicals.
Naphthalene can be carcinogenic, but is not among the 8 PAH’s which are banned in a number of consumer products.
Bugaboo wants to remove as much tar substance as possible
Bugaboo says that the company makes an ongoing effort to remove as many PAH’s as possible from its products. At the same time it examines where the substances come from.
That announcement is very positive, says The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.
“The consumers need strong companies that pay attention to the problematic substances and strengthen the demands in their production – even though the use of the substances is legal,” says Stine Müller.
For more information:
Mrs Stine Müller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Officer, Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals