A new study to alert you to that says many common baby products contain toxic chemicals that could be harmful to your children. That study has women's groups fired up and pushing for legislation to overhaul the chemical industry.
Crissie McMullan stayed up Wednesday night thinking about her 9-month-old daughter Rasa.
"As a mom, you have enough things that keep you up at night, like teething, so you expect to lose sleep," McMullan said. "But, I didn't expect to have to lose sleep over what kind of Mattress she's sleeping on for example."
Earlier in the day, McMullan heard about a study published in Environmental Science and Technology Journal that found toxic chemical flame retardants in 80% of 101 tested baby products. That included car seats, strollers and even a local woman's baby Boppy, a popular nursing pillow. Those chemicals have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
"It's really horrifying to think that the Boppy pillow may actually have cancer causing ingredients," McMullan said.
"You should be able to pick a product off the shelf for your baby and know that it is safe," Women's Voices for the Earth representative Cassidy Randall said.
Here are the facts of the study: It found four products that contained pentaBDE, a toxic substance already banned in 172 countries. 29 products had chlorinated Tris, a possible human carcinogen banned from children's sleepwear in the 1970s.
"The law that is supposed to regulate the more than 80000 chemicals on the consumer market place is broken," Randall said.
That law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976. That's why groups like Women's Voices for the Earth want lawmakers to get behind a new bill that would overhaul the chemical industry and require more testing before a product is released.
They've reached out to Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Tester's office says he's looking into it.
Chemical manufacturers oppose the bill, because they say the issue needs more research. They also think it would cost companies too much money to comply with stricter regulations.
"Everybody wants fire safety," Randall said. "But we want to make sure that these chemicals are actually evaluated for safety before they're placed in these products."
"Rasa's safety is my biggest job. It's the most important thing I do every day," McMullan said.
Representatives from the Boppy Company reached out to NBC Montana after our story initially aired. They say the Boppy pillow meets flammability requirements without adding flame retardant chemicals. In a statement, reps said, "All bedding items containing filling material must meet certain flammability standards to be sold in the U.S. The State of California has the strictest standards and so all Boppy® pillows are manufactured to meet the flammability requirements of the California Bureau of Home Furnishings."
For now, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 is in committee and has already been through a few hearings.
Parents like McMullan hope something's done before other parents have to worry.
Women's Voices for the Earth says there are things you can do to protect your child while the bill is in committee.
There's a website that lists baby products that are considered low risk. The site also lists products that contain high amounts of chemicals.
Experts recommend limiting your child's exposure to polyurethane products. That can be as simple as covering it with a cloth.
You can also call the product info line on the back of a product. Ask them what kind of fire retardants they use, and make sure it's not pentaBDE or chlorinated Tris.