Non Toxic High Chairs – Which High Chair Is Non Toxic?

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Non Toxic High Chairs

Non Toxic High Chairs – Could High Chair Have Harmful Chemicals In Their Materials?

 

When baby starts eating solid food, it could be a really exciting time. You get a high chair and other feeding stuff ready for your baby. Since baby sits and eats right off the tray of the high chair, the material of the high chair is important. You would want to avoid any harmful chemicals touching the food or your baby.  A lot of high chairs in the market are made of plastic or wood. Could they be toxic? A high chair must also be easy to clean since baby feeding can be messy. It should also be safe since baby can fall or get injured.  Which high chair is non toxic, easy to clean and safe? In this post, I share with you how high chairs can be toxic, what safe, easy to clean, non toxic high chairs are available. 

 

 

How High Chairs Can Be Toxic

 

Plastic Material

Many high chairs are made of plastic. Plastics in general are not environmentally friendly and some plastics can be toxic. Plastics can contain BPA, phthalates and some harmful chemicals.  Certain plastics are worse than other type of plastics.  You should definitely avoid  #3 (PVC), #6 (polystyrene), and #7 (polycarbonate) plastics. #7 (polycarbonate) plastic is derived from BPA Bisphenol-A (BPA).

Some high chairs contain polyurethane foam or PVC (polyvinyl chloride or vinyl) in the seat pad. Almost all trays in the high chair are made of plastic. Since baby’s food comes in contact with a tray directly, the tray shouldn’t contain any harmful chemicals such as BPA or Phthalates. Both BPA and phthalates can be leached from plastic into food or liquid.  Baby can also touch some parts of the high chair so check out materials used in the high chair.  Let’s take a look at harmful chemicals that can be found in some high chairs.

 

 

BPA (bisphenol A)

BPA (bisphenol A) is used to harden certain plastics. We are exposed to BPA mostly from food or beverages stored in canned food, plastic containers or bottles. More than 90% of us have BPA in our bodies. However,  BPA is an endocrine disruptor and it may also cause infertility in men and women. Also, BPA exposure during early life may influence birth weight, hormonal development, behavior, and cancer risk in later life. It is also linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Although more research is needed, it is also linked to issues with brain, liver, thyroid, and immune function. With all potential negative effects, you would want to avoid BPA. 

 

Phthalates

Phthalates are often used as plasticizers to increase plastic’s flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. They are often used soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are called The Everywhere Chemical since we could be exposed to them from so many products. We can be exposed to phthalates by ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption.  Phthalates are linked to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. Therefore, they also should be avoided especially for young babies and children.

 

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride, or Vinyl)

PVC (polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl) is often used in the lining of a high chair (padding cover). PVC material makes cleaning easy. However, PVC is the most toxic plastic. According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, vinyl chloride which is used to make PVC is a known carcinogen. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has also classified that vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen. In addition, The International Agency for Research on Cancer and EPA have determined that vinyl chloride is a human carcinogen. Phthalates or dioxins from PVC are also endocrine disruptors.  PVC‘s high chlorine contents and phthalates release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air we breathe in. PVC can’t be recycled and it also leaks harmful chemicals when it is burned and buried during use and disposal. It is one of the worst material for our environment. We can be exposed to PVC by ingesting, inhalation and skin contact. 

 

Polyurethane Foam

Foam-padded high chairs may contain polyurethane foam in the cushion. Polyurethane foam is petroleum-based and includes toxic chemicals such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and other toxins. Polyurethane foam is commonly placed in foam-furnitures such as crib mattresses or chairs. Polyurethane foam contains Isocyanates which is derived from crude oil.  Isocyanates include compounds classified as potential human carcinogens and animal carcinogens. Most commonly used diisocyanate compounds (an organic compound that with two isocyanate groups) to produce polyurethane foam are toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). TDI is a possible a human carcinogen. Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) can also have respiratory effects such as a decrease in lung function. Toxic chemicals from polyurethane foam can release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air where we breathe in. Polyurethane exposure can cause cardiac arrhythmias, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, coughing, asthma and allergic reaction, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, and reduced pulmonary function according to EPA manufacturer material safety data sheets for polyurethane foam. 

In addition to the toxic ingredients, polyurethane foam is also highly flammable so it is often treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals. Some of flame retardants are carcinogenic and they also have harmful health effects such as endocrine disruption, heart disease, infertility and reduced IQ and poor attention span in children. Flame retardant chemicals can escape from products and settle in the air with dust. Children can easily touch the furniture or floor that contain flame retardant chemicals, put their hands in their mouth and ingest them. You can avoid polyurethane foam by choosing a high chair with no foam padding.

 

 

Wood Type And Finish

Wood is a great material option for a high chair. It is actually a lot better material than plastic. However, wood material can also be toxic. If wood is not 100% solid wood and it is engineered or manufactured, it will emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the wood especially a toxic chemical called formaldehyde. Engineered wood is typically made with glue that contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and serious home air pollutant. 

Some wood finishes can also be toxic. Wood finish is applied to wood to protect the wood from scratches or damages. Paint or stain is also a wood finish with pigment or dyes. Traditional wood finish is petroleum solvent-based and contains high VOCs. It can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air we breathe in. One of the most toxic finish is lacquer.  Conventional lacquer often contains the solvents. Solvents include a variety of toxic chemicals such as xylene, toluene, benzene, petroleum distillates, gasoline, kerosene, etc. Some of these toxic chemicals are linked to cancer and reproductive harm. Therefore, you would want to choose a wooden high chair with non toxic finish such as linseed oil or tung oil, shellac or low or no voc, water-based wood finish.

 

 

Safety Compliance

These are some technical standard for baby and children products you can look for when purchasing a high chair. Although all of these safety compliance do not guarantee safety of a product, a product that is compliant with these standards would be better than the ones without certification.  

 

CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission)

CPSC is a federal agency that tests products to eliminate any dangerous or unsafe products from consumer. They coordinate recalls, develop uniform safety standards and conduct research into product related injury or illness. CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) is a law signed in 2008 to prevent risks and hazards associated with toys and other products intended for use by children. Lead-Free Toys Act was also  incorporated into this act later. Lead limit is set for surface coatings or paint at 90 ppm (although there is no safe level of lead according to The World Organization of Health). It also prohibits children’s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1% of certain phthalates such as DEHP, DBP or BBP. 

Some of CPSC’s safety standards are mandatory and some are voluntary. In 2018, CPSC approved a new standard for high chairs.  Federal law requires that high chairs comply with the Safety Standard for High Chairs, 16 CFR part 1231 (Effective June 19, 2019), and with additional requirements, including those of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).  The new standard is the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F404-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for High Chairs). It includes requirements for rearward stability and warning labels and requires that high chairs have a passive crotch restraint and a three-point restraint system. This is to prevent injury from falls when a child attempted to climb into or out of the high chair; when the chair tipped over as a child pushed back or rocked back and forth while seated in the high chair; or when a component (such as the restraint, tray, or lock) of the high chair failed.

 

 

JPMA ( (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association)

JPMA tests safety for baby products. JPMA certification seal means that a baby product has been tested and met the guidelines set by standards developer ASTM International. The product also has to meet federal and state laws and some retail requirements in order to meet ASTM International standards. Their certification goes beyond existing requirements set by federal and state governments and adds more standards for safety. JPMA certification is voluntary. Not all babies’ and children’s products are included in the certification program.

 

ASTM (Formerly Known As American Society for Testing and Materials) International

ATSM International certifies children’s products to ensure they meet safety requirements in ASTM international standards. ASTM standards are also the foundation of the JPMA certification 2.0 program. ASTM F963 is also toy safety standard required by US law. According to ASTM International, over 12,000 ASTM standards are published each year. More than 6,700 ASTM standards have been adopted as the basis of national standards or referenced in regulations in countries outside the United States. ASTM F404 is Standard Consumer Safety Specification for High Chairs. 

 

 

Easy To Clean

Feeding session can be really messy. Food will be spilled and dropped on the chair all the time. Since you would have to clean the chair every meal time, you would probably want a high chair that is easy to clean. There are high chairs that have a fabric cover on the chair. You could wash the fabric cover in the laundry machine. However, I personally feel washing a high chair cover is another chore to do.  I just want to wipe the table and chair clean. It is possible that the fabric may have some chemical treatments such as water-proof, stain resistant, etc. anyway.  Think about what you are comfortable with on a daily basis. Check out if a high chair can be easily cleaned and has little nooks that food may get stuck.

 

 

Non Toxic High Chairs

When choosing a high chair,

  1. Wood material would be a much better option than plastic since plastic can have harmful chemicals such as BPA or phthalates. However, there are some high chairs that are made from better plastic such as recycled plastic.
  2. I would avoid a high chair that contains a PVC material in its seat cover.
  3. I would also avoid a high chair with foam padding in the seat which can contain polyurethane foam.  
  4. Almost all trays are made with plastic so I would be sure a tray is BPA and phthalates-free.  
  5. Engineered wood and wood finish can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) so I would also check if a high chair uses solid wood and low or zero VOC finish. 
  6. See if a high chair complies with mandatory CPSIA and 16 CFR part 1231 (Effective June 19, 2019) for its safety compliance. If the company took an extra step to become ATSM or JPMA certified, that would be better.
  7. Choose a high chair that is also easy to wipe clean so it doesn’t create extra work for you.
  8. See if your baby fits well in the high chair and feels comfortable.

You can check out some non toxic high chairs in the list below.

 

 

STOKKE TRIPP TRAPP -Non Toxic High Chair

Material: 100% Solid Beechwood

Wood Finish or Paint: Water-based paint

Tray: Plastic (BPA and phthalates-free)

Made In: Europe

Safety Certification:  Stokke Tripp Trapp® as a high chair complies with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) F404-17 and16 CFR part 1231, when used in combination with harness and baby set. JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified.

Easy To Clean: Yes, just wipe it down with a clean damp cloth

More Info

 

 

KEEKAROO HEIGHT RIGHT HIGH CHAIR – Non Toxic High Chair

Material: 100% solid Rubber wood

Wood Finish or Paint: Standard plant based lacquer

The finish on their chairs is a standard clear nitrocellulose lacquer with no pigments and no lead. They use a water-based lacquer made from cellulose solids. Water-based lacquers are less toxic and more environmentally friendly compared to petroleum solvent-based lacquers.   

Tray: Plastic (BPA and phthalates-free)

The tray is made from the same wood that the chair is from. 
The Keekaroo Plastic Tray cover is made from Polypropylene (PP). Polypropylene is food grade plastic.  The Plastic tray is BPA, phthalates, PVC and Lead Free.  The Recycling symbol on the tray is #5 which is one of the better plastics.

Made In: Taiwan

Safety Certification: JPMA certified to the highest ASTM standards for children up to 3 years

Easy To Clean: Yes, just wipe it down with a clean damp cloth

More Info

 

 

BABYBJORN HIGH CHAIR -Non Toxic High Chair

Material: Plastic and painted steel

Their materials continuously undergo rigorous testing for Bisphenol A (BPA) and other hazardous substances. The BabyBjorn High Chair is PVC-free and contains no bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, cadmium, lead, bromine or chlorine. The plastic parts of the chair are recyclable.

Tray: Certified food-safe plastic (BPA and phthalates-free)

Safety Certification: The BABYBJÖRN High Chair complies with the European National Standard organization’s EN14988:2006 (European safety requirements for children’s high chairs, but this one is from 2006) and ASTM F404 safety standards.

Easy To Clean: Yes, just wipe it down with a clean damp cloth

Made In: made and manufactured in Sweden. All of their plastic feeding line is made in Sweden.

More Info

 

 

Bloom Fresco Chrome High Chair -Non Toxic High Chair

 

Material: The chair is made with recycled plastics and stainless steel finishes. The tray is made of FDA-food grade plastic. Their chair is free of lead, BPA, phthalates, PVC, formaldehyde and MDF.

Tray: FDA foodgrade plastic

Safety Standard: CPSIA and ASTM compliant

Easy To Clean: Yes, just wipe it down with a clean damp cloth

Made In: designed in Australia and manufactured in China

More Info

 

 

Final Thoughts

When you pick a high chair, there are a lot of things to consider. Not only its material should be non toxic but also it has to be safe and stable, and very easy to clean. There are also other things to consider. You may want a certain size, color or style high chair that is suitable for your home.  Some high chairs may fit your baby  better than others. You may find one tray removes faster and easier than other high chairs. You may also want a chair that can grow with your baby. Personally, I really like Stokke Tripp Trapp and Keegaroo high chairs. Whichever high chair you choose, keep in mind that not all high chairs are made of non toxic materials.  They can contain and release harmful chemicals which is hazardous to our health. Therefore, you may want to check what materials a high chair is made of before choosing a high chair.

 

If you are interested in non toxic cribs, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Crib Buying Guide – Buying A Truly Non Toxic Crib‘.

If you are interested in non-toxic car seats, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Car Seats Without Flame Retardant Chemicals‘.

If you are interested in non toxic strollers without flame retardant chemicals, please read my previous post, ‘Non Toxic Strollers Without Flame Retardant Chemicals‘.

If you are interested in non toxic play mats without flame retardant chemicals, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Play Yard Without Flame Retardant Chemicals.’

If you are interested in non toxic toys, please read my post, ‘Best Non Toxic Toys – What Are The Best Non Toxic Toys?

 

 

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