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Day 20 of Our 31 Day Series of How Medicine Got it Wrong

Kids Flame Retardant Pajamas and Cancer: A dangerous Pair

As a parent, you want to keep your children safe from harm. That's why you may be concerned about the flame-retardant chemicals that are often used in children's pajamas. While flame retardant chemicals can help prevent burns and injuries in the event of a fire, some of these chemicals have been linked to negative health effects.

Here's what you need to know about flame-retardant chemicals in children's pajamas:

History of Flame Retardant Pajamas In the 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began investigating the safety of children's sleepwear. At the time, children's pajamas were often made from highly flammable materials like cotton and polyester, which could quickly catch fire and pose a serious risk to children. To address this danger, the CPSC developed regulations requiring children's sleepwear to be made from flame-resistant materials or treated with flame-retardant chemicals.

Types of Flame-Retardant Chemicals Several flame-retardant chemicals have been used in children's pajamas over the years. Some of these chemicals have been linked to negative health effects, including:

  • Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP)

  • Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE)

  • Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP)

  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)

  • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

  • Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)

  • Phthalates

Potential Health Risks Some of the health risks associated with exposure to flame retardant chemicals include cancer, developmental delays, thyroid problems, and reproductive issues. However, the risks can vary depending on the specific chemical and the level of exposure.

Natural Fiber Pajama Alternatives If you're concerned about the potential health risks associated with flame-retardant chemicals in children's pajamas, there are natural fiber alternatives available. Pajamas made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and bamboo are inherently flame-resistant and don't require added flame-retardant chemicals. Look for pajamas labeled as "tight-fitting" or "snug-fitting" to help prevent the loose fabric from catching fire.

Here are my recommendations If you're interested in purchasing natural fiber pajamas for your children, check out our Amazon storefront for recommendations. Our children wear all-natural fiber pajamas to bed and we believe they are both safe and comfortable.

While flame retardant chemicals can help prevent burns and injuries in the event of a fire, they also come with potential health risks. Consider natural fiber pajama alternatives to help keep your children safe and healthy while they sleep.

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  1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2018, June). Requirements for Children's Sleepwear. Retrieved from

  2. Environmental Working Group. (2018, February 7). Flame Retardants. Retrieved from

  3. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2018, February 1). Flame Retardants. Retrieved from

  4. Environmental Protection Agency. (2018, February 16). Flame Retardants. Retrieved from