Toxic tots

C&EN is reporting that the first investigation of halogenated fire retardants in baby products reveals that infants could be exposed to multiple retardants, including one at levels higher than considered acceptable by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Heather Stapleton and colleagues at Duke University tested baby products containing polyurethane foam, to which flame retardants are commonly added at relatively high concentration. Mass spectrometry and chromatography revealed tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP) to be present in more than a third of products tested. TDCPP has not been used in children's pyjamas since the 1970s because of its putative mutagenicity; more recent tests show possible neurotoxicity.