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2 posts from April 2012


Formaldehyde in children's products bill moves forward in MN State House

By Dan Endreson, Clean Water Action Minnesota

image from Minnesota House of Representatives recently voted to accept language to prohibit formaldehyde in children's products onto a larger Environment Omnibus bill.

During the 2012 Legislative Session, the Health Legacy coalition has been working on a policy to protect our kids from toxic chemicals and prohibit the use of formaldehyde in children’s products. Studies have found formaldehyde in children’s products such as crib sheets, clothing and personal care products. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde causes eye and respiratory irritation, and long-term exposure can cause cancer.

The State House of Representatives made the right decision in voting to accept the language to prohibit formaldehyde in children’s products onto the House Environment Omnibus bill on April 4. The vote was bipartisan, as 74 Democrats and Republicans joined together to ensure children’s products that are sold in Minnesota are free of formaldehyde. Will the Minnesota Senate join their colleagues in supporting this important policy as the Omnibus bill moves forward this week?

Photo by: TBoard on flickr.


In bed with Formaldehyde? A known carcinogen in some textiles

IStock_000012222942SmallLast week, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted in favor of a ban on formaldehyde in children’s products by adding it to the Environment Omnibus bill. And we say: it’s about time! Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that is used in everyday products from composite wood furniture to baby shampoo to clothing.

And (big surprise) it’s usually not on the label, especially in the case of textiles. (In personal care products, you can look for “quaternium-15” which is the preservative that can release formaldehyde over time). So how can we avoid exposure to this harmful chemical? Unfortunately, there’s no way to shop ourselves out of this problem, because the use of toxics in everyday products is widespread. What we really need is comprehensive reform that will ensure the products we buy are safe before they hit store shelves.

In the meantime, though, here’s a tip on how to reduce exposure to formaldehyde in textiles.

Tip: Make sure to wash new clothes and linens before wearing or using to reduce formaldehyde levels.

Formaldehyde is sometimes added to textiles like crib sheets. Wrinkle-free clothing is also often treated with formaldehyde. Washing them before you use them (and washing them frequently thereafter) can help to reduce levels of the chemical.

Does the prospect of formaldehyde in crib sheets make you as frustrated as it makes us? Sign the petition to congress demanding that they protect our families from toxic chemicals.

You can also download our Quick Tips to Avoid Toxins factsheet that has more tips for avoiding the nine Minnesota Priority Chemicals.

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