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Crib Mattresses: 72% of Models Use Suspect Chemicals

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Nearly three-quarters of crib mattresses in this country contained "suspect or dangerous" chemicals, underscoring the need to reform the federal laws that govern chemical use, according to a report scheduled to be released Thursday.

The report by Clean and Healthy New York, an environmental health advocacy group, surveyed 28 companies that make most of the standard-size crib mattresses and found that 72 percent of mattress models use one or more chemicals of concern, including certain flame retardants, antibacterials and waterproofing additives.

Only three firms - Vivetique, White Lotus and Naturepedic - make some or all of their crib mattresses without using risky chemicals or allergens, according to the group.

The results come as efforts aimed at better regulating chemicals in household products have gained traction. The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of six types of chemicals called "phalates" in children's products starting in 2009. The Food and Drug Administration is investing in research on the health impact of bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastics. And within a few weeks, the Senate plans to hold a hearing on a measure authored by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would for the first time require chemical makers to prove that their products are safe.


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