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is it possible to find toddler size fleece pajamas WITHOUT flame retardant? (trying to
avoid chemicals and my understanding is that these pjs will still melt onto the skin) i
want to put my little one into one piece zippers, with or without feet. she will wear
cotton underneath. but everything fleece i have found has flame retardant on it:
gerber, nordstrom, carter's, gymboree, gap, child's place, etc.... i've checked macy's,
mervyn's, target, walmart. does such a thing exist? ideas? thanks!
Fleece garments that are not specifically sold as sleepwear are
unlikely to have fire retardants on them. So you could just get
some fleece top and bottom ''sweats''. if it says ''not to be used
as sleepwear'' on the label, you can be certain it has no added
retardants. (although I'm not sure I'd want my kids sleeping in
synthetics all the time, either).
Just re-read your post, and you mention your concern about fabric
melting onto the child. Yes - any synthetic will melt when
heated. It's plastic You can get some cute cotton, warm,
one-pice outfits (not sold as p.j.'s) from Hanna Andersson
(possibly other mail-orders, too). It won't be ''fleecy'', but the
heavy interlock is quite warm. That's what both my babies slept
in (years ago). You could also try searching ''cotton fleece baby
clothes'', or similar.
We couldn't find fleece pj's without flame retardant. We ended
up buying Petit Bateau fuzzy sleepers for cold nights, but
they're expensive--$50. They last a long time, though. For
warmer weather we buy Hanna Anderssen which are organic cotton
with no flame retardant. It will eventually be phased out in
California, by the way. Pay what you can or what you have to but
keep your kid away from that stuff!
Try Land's End - http://www.landsend.com. Or LL Bean -
After reading the link about this topic, I wanted to throw out a
caveat: my parents had a friend whose daugher stood up on a table
in a non-fire resistant nightgown at the age of 5 or 6. There was
a candle on the table and the gown caught fire. The entire gown
went up in a matter of moments (poly/cotton fiber is like
napalm). She suffered 3rd degree burns all over her body and
years of surgeries to repair damaged tissue. It's NOT just kids
''lounging'' in front of the fireplace, people! Kids do stupid
things sometimes, and though I wouldn't want to poison them with
flame retardants, there is a reason they were used in the past.
Just be careful about the fabrics you dress your kid(s) in.
As someone who works for a children's clothing manufacturer, I can tell you
the short answer to your question is no, you cannot get footed/fleece pajamas
that are not treated with flame retardant. To produce and sell such an item is
against the law. You can check out the website for the Consumer Product
Safety Commission for more details.
Sleepwear without flame retardant is generally made of 100% cotton and is
always labeled ''wear snug fitting'' to adhere to legal requirements. You might
find some that are zippered as opposed to pull over, but I don't think I've ever
seen them. If you can skip the footies, I would just get fleece ''sweat'' type
clothes and have your kids sleep in them with long-johns and warm socks.
We're getting cold too!
We bought very nice fleece sleepers and pj's without flame
retardant online at www.llbean.com --Land's End also has ones
without flame retartant but they don't hold up quite as well
and tend to pill. The L.L Bean fleece sleepers and pj's would
easily hold up well for more than one child.
Does anyone know what makes the sleepwear labelled as ''fire-
resistant'' fire-resistant? My husband won't allow our children
to sleep in anything else. But today I was shopping for fabric
to make a blanket, and when I asked if it was fire-resistant,
the shop keeper told me that no fabric was fire-resistant, and
that I could buy a spray, but that the spray was toxic.
If that's true and fire-resistant fabrics are treated with a
spray, wouldn't the spray just wash off after multiple
launderings? And am I exposing my children to toxins to
prevent the remote chance of their clothing catching on fire???
If you know anything about this, please educate me. Thanks.
It used to be the law that sleepwear had to be fire resistent.
This is no longer the case. My understanding that fire
resistent sleepwear was more of an issue if a parent smokes or
there are other flame dangers such as a fireplace. It is true
that flame retardant fabrics are treated with chemicals, and
the pj's you buy that are fire resistent do become less so with
If no one in your house smokes and your kids aren't laying
around the fire place in their pj's, why expose them to the
The spray they were talking about in the fabric store is
probably the same stuff that is used in theaters to make
scenery fire-resistant per fire code requirements, and I've
also seen it used by caterers to make fabric decorations flame
resistant when there a lot of votives and other open flame such
as sterno. It is definately toxic.
Yes, it's true what the shop assistant told you. And yes, fire
does wash out.
If you think about it, the purpose of fire-retardant pajamas is a bit
If flames get that close to a sleeping child, wouldn't the smoke get
first? And really, all it can do is possibly slow it down - not
then again, only the areas covered by the fabric. And during warm
weather, I find most children (and adults) prefer sleeping with less
coverage (if at all).
It's a nice idea, but one wonders how much is merely marketing and
feeding off a parent's fears.
Going for comfort
Fire-resistant sleepwear fits closely to the body so that when
you are running through a house that is on fire,you are not as
likely to catch on fire as you would if you are wearing a long,
flowing nightgown or a long flappy t-shirt. Those types of
sleepwear actually fan the flames and attract fire to your body.
I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but in addition to what
written about ''fire-resistant'' sleepwear being close-fitting so as
not to easily catch
fire if one has to run past flames, I think it is also true that cotton
is less flameable
than certain synthetics. So that would be why only synthetics are
flame-resistant chemicals. If this is true, then your kids are better
off in close
fitting pjs or night shirts made of cotton than in ''flame-resistant''
(I can't help adding on this topic that it kills me to see some cuddly
onesy for a baby that says on the tag ''This garment is not to be used
I know they only write that because of some twisted logic about legal
what do they expect you to do if the baby falls asleep while wearing
it? Wake her
I've recently become aware that there is significant
controversy about flame retardants in general, and in infant
clothing in particular, that I wanted to pass along. Flame
retardants, made with bromine which is a persistent,
bioaccumulative toxin, have been in question health-wise at
least since 1999 when a Swedish study found a 60-fold increase
in these chemicals in breast milk from 1972-1997. In the San
Francisco Bay area breast milk is tested at an average of 6-10
times higher than the national average in these toxins. They
are related to PCBs and laboratory studies are showing that
they interfere with brain development, can alter hormone
function, and are linked to cancer. Our children are testing
positive for these as well--both from the treated sleepware and
from the flame retardants in co! mputers, TVs, building
materials, etc. that are in the environment. They are also
showing up in the food chain--fish in particular.
The NYTimes (7/6) had an article on how the EU starting to
outlaw flame retardants, especially in children's sleepware
The Cancer Action group in SF is launching a study to test
women's breast milk to see if there is a link between this and
the SF area's highest breast cancer rate in the country. (One
reason for testing breast milk is that these toxins accumulate
in the fatty tissues of the body.)
I thought I'd pass along because I've tossed out EVERYTHING
with flame retardant--crib mattresses, sleepware, etc. as a
result of what I've been uncovering. Great sources of info:
buildinggreen.com, a google on ''breast milk testing san
francisco'' was also helpful.
I'm focusing on up to date smoke detectors, escape ladders,
fire safety, etc. It seems that by the time a kid's nightware
would catch fire you have a much bigger problem -- I want to
prevent fires further upstream (especially as my 7 month old
doesn't smoke in bed...) and eliminate the 100% certain toxic
Someone recently told me you could get out flame retardant
chemicals from clothing and bedding by washing them in Ivory
Snow. With all the negative research coming out about these
chemicals, I would love to be able to remove them. Has anyone
else heard anything?
This is my understanding of the issue (though I am not a
scientist!) Polyester flame-retardant sleepwear is not treated
with additional chemicals for flame retardancy. The flame-
retardant nature of polyester fabric is diminished if washed in
SOAP, rather than DETERGENT, which is why they recommend
washing it only in detergent. Ivory Snow brand laundry soap
USED TO actually be SOAP, BUT the Ivory Snow sold now is
actually a mild DETERGENT! (Which is why it might not work in
old laundry soap craft projects).
In any case, I don't believe the soap actually removes a flame
retardant chemical (although it might), but rather de-activates
the flame-retardant nature of the polyester.
In my past life I was a buyer for children's sleepwear and this
is what I understand about the Flame Retardant issue.
Almost all of the items that are labelled ''sleepwear'' in
childrens' clothes have a very high polyester content. This is
because when lit on fire, polyester melts and extinguishes.
The exception is for expensive 100% cotton items which are
treated with chemicals - supposedly not as toxic as they used
The other thing on the market are 100% cotton pj sets that are
meant to be worn skin tight. They are not flame retardant, the
idea is that if they are very tight, there is not enough air
between the fabric and the child's skin to allow fire to spread.
The statistics show that most children that are brought to the
hospital with burns are burned while wearing their pj's, so the
CPSC put regulations in place for children's sleepwear.
In terms of washing the retardant off, unless you have an item
that is 100% cotton and labelled flame retardant, it is most
likely polyester and not covered with chemicals.
The Environment Working Group has done a comprehensive study of
flame retardants and their toxicity including cancer, info of
on-going litigation, and pending restricted use policy by US
EPA. See their website for full details:
Calpirg, or now called Environment California also has good
info at: www.environmentcalifornia.org/envirocalif.asp?id2=8875
In summary, US EPA announced that it will be studying a
chemical ubiquitous in consumer products, perfluorooctanoic
acid, or PFOA to assess the toxicity in people (now found in
surprising levels of over 90% of population in the U.S and
found to have contaminated wildlife at almost every site tested
even thousands of miles from industry due to drift) and develop
It is a class of chemicals that are used to treat flame-
retardant pajamas, fabric, leather, foam, plastic including
food packaging, upholstry on furniture, carpeting, mattresses,
in the process of making but not in Teflon coating, Gore-Tex,
electronics, construction, and many chemical processing, among
many more uses. Many stain and water repellents in the family
of perflourochemicals (PFO's), besides having a long list of
toxic properties, also break down into PFOA's. These include
Dupont ''Teflon Coating'' stain resistant formulas in carpet
shampoos, and water repellent sprays such as ''Scotchguard'', as
well as hundreds of other products.
this page was last updated: Oct 8, 2006
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