Test: These problematic chemicals are found in prams

11. nov 2019

Prams for babies can contain unwanted chemicals in the pram body and in the handle. 1 pram receives the best assessment in the test.

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Test: These problematic chemicals are found in prams
Photo: Getty Images

Test: Several baby carriages contain unwanted chemicals

A test from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals shows, that baby carriages may contain problematic chemicals in the pram-body and handle.

In the pram-body, in materials surrounding the child, the brand “Stork” contained an unwanted substance that is suspected to be carcinogenic. It is a so-called flame retardant (TDCP). The chemical is banned in toys, but not in prams, strollers and similar baby and children products.

In the handle of several of the tested prams the test shows content of a PAH (naphthalene) which is also suspected to be carcinogenic.

The test also reveals content of unwanted fluorinated substances in the pram-cover or front-cover on the majority of the tested prams. Fluorinated substances are among other things suspected to be endocrine disrupting and to affect the immune system.

See the test with product pictures (link to test in Danish)

Unwanted chemicals in the prams do not constitute a health risk

The test shows findings of a number of unwanted substances. However, all of these substances are allowed in prams, strollers and similar baby and child products and the single product does not constitute a health risk.

Therefore, If you already own one of the tested prams, you do not have to discard it.

But in general these suspected endocrine disrupting or cancer-causing substances are unwanted in children’s products. Avoid them when possible.

1 pram receives the best assessment

The pram of the brand Odder is the only product in the test that receives the best chemical assessment. It is without any of the unwanted substances in question.

If you buy a new pram, you can:

  • Leave it unpacked outside the house a couple of days to allow evaporation of chemicals before the child begins to use it.
  • Wash the textiles from the pram body, if removable. For other materials wipe it with a cloth.
  • Ask the retailer for prams without problematic substances. By requiring baby- and children products without problematic substances you send an important signal to the retailer and manufacturer that you do not want problematic chemicals in your children’s products.

See all our tests of the chemicals in consumer products

How we tested

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has tested 6 different baby carriages which fit children up to the age of 3. All products are from the Danish market.

We tested the products for the following chemicals:

  • PAH’s (tar substances which can be carcinogenic)
  • Flame retardants (which can be carcinogenic)
  • Chlorinated paraffins – short and medium chain (suspected to be carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting)
  • Phthalates and other plastic softeners (can be endocrine disrupting)
  • Fluorinated substances (suspected to be endocrine disrupting and to affect the immune system)

The test has examined the material found in the carrycot around the child and the handle which parents and siblings are in contact with. Material from the carrycot is for example the mattress, the lined inside the carrycot, the leather uppers and the hood (kaleche).

The test searched for specific substances in the groups PAH’s, flame retardants and phthalates.

The analysis of fluorinated substances is more general. It does not focus on specific substances but provides a general overview of the content of fluorinated substances in the textile. The analysis shows whether it is likely that the substances have been used to impregnate the textile.

We tested for:

  • Flourinated atoms on the leather upper’s inside and outside with an XRF screening.
  • Volatile organic fluorinated substances released from the inside and outside.

What we found

  • 1 baby carriage was without the problematic chemicals and receives the best assessment in the test (A).
  • 5 baby carriages contained unwanted substances and receive the lowest score (C). They contained for example PAH’s in the handle or carrycot, fluorinated substances in the leather upper or the flame retardant TDCP in the material from the carrycot.

Of the examined substances there was no - or only very small – findings of phthalates and chlorinated substances.

For further questions contact project manager Stine Müller on sm@fbr.dk

What the companies say

Trille:

The company says that even though the found problematic chemicals are below existing limit values, the manufacturer strives to eliminate them completely. The manufacturer had tests conducted which did not show content of PAH’s in the handle. The company now examines the mounting.

Ønskebørn (Stork):

The company Ønskebørn who is responsible for the baby carriage “Stork” says that it complies with all standards in the chemicals legislation. The company’s external tests have not shown content of substances which are harmful to the child.

The most severe requirements for PAH’s, flame retardants and water repellant substances have been complied with, and the baby carriage only contain textiles from the supplier with the most severe requirements in regards to the Oeko-Tex Class 1-certification.

Eichhorn:

The company says that the used substances comply with the legislation, but they work on eliminating unnecessary substances. Consequently, the handle and leather upper are improved.

Babysam (Scandia):

Babysam, who is responsible for the Scandia baby carriage, says that the material in the leather upper will be changed. They also examine how the handle can be without the unwanted substances.