Question

Do infant swings have fire retardants? And what is resinated polyester?

Asked by Tracy
Branford, CT

I recently bought an infant swing that has a cushion of 100% resinated polyester. What is resinated polyester? Also, I am trying to avoid fire retardants around my baby, and I read that infant swings may be treated with fire retardants. Is this true?

Answer

Susan Davis

Answered by Susan Davis

Mountain View, CA

Spectrum Fine Homes, Inc.

February 27, 2011

Tracy, these are some really good questions, and it sounds like you are taking steps to being aware of chemicals in your home environment that could potentially have harmful effects for your baby.

Resinated polyester is the fiber filling used for the cushion of your infant swing.

  • Like foam, this is a manmade cushion material, but probably not your biggest worry for the health of your baby, since it's probably sealed up within whatever is covering the swing seat.
  • If that covering material is vinyl, then that is more of a worry, since vinyl will offgas vinyl chloride, and you don't want the baby around this VOC.

If the cushion is covered in fabric, chances are it has been treated with fire retardants. You are absolutely right in trying to avoid fire retardants, as there have been studies done with links to a variety of major and minor health issues from exposure to these chemicals. Check out the Friends of the Earth website for some good information along with consumer protection tips. There are good links there to other sites for more information.

In the future, when buying for baby, look at the labels carefully and ask questions.

  • If the supplier can't answer your questions about the product, and you are unsure of the safety, don't buy it.
  • There are resources like Organic Baby University that research and educate concerned parents and care about the health and well-being of families and our planet.

Armed with good information and good resources, parents can make Good and Green choices!

 

For more information:

Read "Do BFRs (brominated flame retardants) offgas or persist in upholstery? Would they be in the stuffing of a sofa, or in the fabric cover?" a Q&A answered by Mary Cordaro.

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.