Flame Retardant Chemicals in Baby Mattresses

Flame Retardant Chemicals in Baby Mattresses are not always necessary.

Consequently, these nasty chemicals should be avoided if possible.

With Pure Zees it is possible!

By law, all baby mattresses in the USA & Europe have to be flame retardant. This means that if the cot mattress is exposed to a naked flame, it won't instantly go up in flames, and as a result increasing the danger to those around it. Thankfully, the USA & Europe have safety standards in relation to this. In theory all baby mattress manufacturers should subject their mattress models for smoldering & flammability testing to recognised Test & Certification laboratories. 

In Europe, the test houses use cigarettes like their US counterparts for the smoldering test. But for the flammability test, Europe uses a Bunsen burner type flame as opposed to the USA who use what I can only describe as being close to a flame thrower. In fact, you gotta admire the Americans.  

Cancer Risk

In order to slow the burning and any spontaneous combustion of a mattress, manufacturers normally add flame retardant (FR) chemicals to the mattress. The bad news here is that these FR chemicals are quite nasty. And furthermore, they are not good for our health. 

In 2018 the European Chemicals Agency identified a risk for children from exposure to the flame retardants TCEP, TCPP and TDCP1 in flexible polyurethane (PUR) foams in childcare articles. Based on the screening assessment, they identify a risk for carcinogenicity from exposure of infants to TCEP, TCPP and TDCP.

  • Baby mattresses have the highest identified risk.
  • The large contact surface area and a long duration of contact (approx 14 hours a day) explains the high risk level for baby mattresses
  • Furthermore, a risk for reproductive effects from TCEP and TCPP in mattresses are identified.

And due to the predominant use of foam, almost all mattresses contain FR chemicals.

This is the Good News Part

Pure Zees baby mattresses are inherently flame retardant and require no addition of obnoxious FR chemicals. We have undergone FR tests in the UK, the EU, and the USA and passed them all. It's our modern components that allow us achieve this amazing and satisfying result. We know other manufacturers will eventually follow our example but for now they are being slow about it and persist with foams that require the chemicals. But we predict that soon enough more and more concerned consumers will drive these companies to rethink their manufacturing process. 

See here an image of our US 16 CFR 1633 flammability open flame test after 16 seconds. And the one below that after 30 minutes - it did not go up in flames.

 baby mattress flammability test

baby mattress flammability test after 30 minutes

And done successfully without the FR chemicals - Happy Days!

The Tests