Chemical Safety: BFR-Free
You use BPA-free bottles, so insist on BFR-free car seats and strollers. Orbit Baby car seats and strollers are free of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs).
As an industry leader in chemical safety for children, Orbit Baby supports the work of leading experts to promote the restriction of unsafe chemicals in children's products. We manufacture strollers and car seats using fabrics that are certified to be free of a long list of potentially dangerous chemicals. Leading experts, including the Swiss Oeko-Tex® Association, agree that there are many chemicals that should be limited in consumer products in the interest of chemical safety.
The 2011 Study by The Green Science Policy Institute
The Green Science Policy Institute issued a study calling attention to flame retardant chemicals, associated with various health problems, which were found to be prevalent in children's products. In The Safe Kids Buyer's Guide, the Institute highlights the hard work that Orbit Baby has done in support of this important safety topic.
Our products meet stringent chemical safety guidelines, and still comply to the California Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) flame retardancy standard discussed in the recent Green Science Policy Institute article. In addition, Orbit Baby car seats also meet the even more stringent FMVSS302 car seat flame retardancy standard. This mandatory federal standard is the strictest flame retardancy standard for any consumer product in the US. Toxic brominated and chlorinated chemicals, like PBBs and PBDEs, unfortunately may still be used to treat fabrics to meet flame retardancy requirements. In contrast, all Orbit Baby products meet these standards without using these harmful chemicals.
Chemical Safety of Orbit Baby Products
Government regulatory bodies provide a baseline for chemical safety standards in consumer products. Because Orbit Baby sells products in many international markets, our baseline for chemical safety already takes into account what international toxicologists have determined to be the minimum requirement for safe materials. Here are some of the steps we take in the interest of chemical safety:
- The certified fabrics used on Orbit Baby G2 and G3 products adhere to limits or bans on nearly 200 potentially harmful chemicals (certified by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100).
- All Orbit Baby G2 and G3 fabrics meet strict heavy metal limits (European standard EN71-3) on harmful elements: barium, lead, cadmium, antimony, selenium, chromium, mercury, and arsenic. Testing is conducted through independent, accredited laboratories.
- Our G2 and G3 products meet the requirements of Canada's Hazardous Products Act, which regulates heavy metals as well as other toxic substances.
- All of our products are compliant to CPSIA (HR4040) lead limits through recurring, independent, accredited lab tests.
- All of our car seat fabrics and foams are tested at independent, accredited labs on a periodic basis to ensure compliance to federal flammability standards as well as "below detection" limits on bromine, TCEP, TDCPP, and TCPP.
Flame Retardant Chemicals
All Orbit Baby products comply with the government's requirements for flame retardancy (NHTSA FMVSS 302, CA TB117) without the use of toxic brominated and chlorinated chemicals, like PBBs and PBDEs. Many of these chemicals are mentioned in the study discussed above as potentially harmful substances.
We go above and beyond to certify that there are no dangerous flame retardant chemicals in our fabrics. All Orbit Baby G2 and G3 products use fabrics certified by the International Oeko-Tex® Association to be completely free of PBBs, PBDEs, TRIS, TEPA, HBCDD, SCCP, and TCEP. Most fabrics and foams require treatment with some flame retardants in order to meet federally mandated car seat requirements. Of our certified fabrics that have been treated, they contain non-toxic flame retardants that have been extensively tested and thoroughly analyzed by the Oeko-Tex® Association. This Association's toxicologists approve only a short list of flame retardants because all of these substances have undergone a thorough assessment by Oeko-Tex® from a human-ecological point of view. Oeko-Tex® has toxicologists in Germany and Switzerland review literature, history, test data, and toxicology reports before approving that the substance is harmless to human health.
Innovations in Chemical Safety
Orbit Baby has always been an innovation leader in responsible design for the baby gear industry.
- We make the only stroller and car seat footmuffs with an interior fabric that meets the FMVSS302 flame retardancy standard without the use of any chemicals at all (using a proprietary OrganicFR™ organic cotton fabric technology).
- Orbit Baby also makes the first stroller and car seat rain shields that are PVC-free and phthalate-free.
As a premium product offering, Orbit Baby gives parents smart value by using some of the best and most expensive materials available; only this high quality can ensure chemical safety in children's products. Since 2008, with the introduction of our first Oeko-Tex® certified fabric, we have added over 60 Oeko-Tex® certified materials to our supply chain and we continue to grow this effort. We know that our customers appreciate that innovation comes at a premium – a typical Oeko-Tex® certified textile costs twice as much as one that is not certified, and we spend tens of thousands of dollars annually on testing at independent, accredited laboratories to ensure our strict chemical requirements are being met.
Chemical safety is one of the many ways in which Orbit Baby is proud to be a leader in innovation, responsible design, and safety in our industry.
- The Green Science Policy Institute's study on halogenated flame retardants (May 18, 2011): http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es2007462
- The Green Science Policy Institute's The Safe Kids Buyer's Guide: http://www.greensciencepolicy.org/sites/default/files/Safe%20Kids%20Campaign%20Report_0.pdf
- USA Today, "Toxic flame retardants found in 80% of baby products" (May 18, 2011): http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/babies/story/2011/05/Toxic-flame-retardants-found-in-80-of-baby-products/47268922/1
- TIME Magazine, "Baby Products Contain Toxic or Untested Chemicals. Are They a Danger?" (May 19, 2011): http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/19/baby-products-contain-toxic-or-untested-chemicals-are-they-a-danger/
- The New York Times, "Chemical Suspected in Cancer Is in Baby Products" (May 17, 2011): http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/business/18chemical.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
- Please read more about our Oeko-Tex® effort here: http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/articles/certified-fabrics/
- More about our industry-leading efforts in fabric safety can be found here: http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/why-orbit-baby/green/