Child Craft, Delta, Storkcraft, South Shore and Jardine Enterprises were sued by the state of California for unsafe levels of formaldehyde in their cribs and nursery furniture, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The chemical is found in particle board, paint and other furniture components—and the state of California has strict laws that require furniture makers to warn consumers of toxics. Tests by independent labs and a non-profit advocacy group Environment California indicated the furniture violated those standards.
Not surprisingly, the companies dispute the findings—and enlisted the support of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to fight the charges. The JPMA admits the furniture has formaldehyde but the products "meet or are below permissible levels."
Read the JPMA statement here. Download Formaldehyde_Emissions.pdf
Read the report from Environment California here. Download Toxic-Baby-Furniture.pdf
Our quick analysis: yes, baby furniture is made with toxic chemicals—paint, varnish, glues, and manufactured wood products all give off toxic emissions. We can argue about is a safe level for baby to breathe—but manufacturers must work to limit or eliminate these hazards from the nursery.
There should be a single national standard for safe nursery furniture . . . and manufacturers should be held accountable to meet these standards.