WARNING

Okay folks, it’s Friday night and I should be hitting the sack soon, but I’m just so (pardon my French, gentle readers) fracking outraged by something that just happened that I have to vent and share my outrage with others!

My daughter is having her sixth birthday on Sunday. This afternoon my wife did a bit of last-minute shopping at Walmart to buy a Rapunzel doll for her, and she happened to see a purple bean-bag chair thingy that she thought Fiona would like. It was $15. She had left it in the trunk of her car when she got home and I just went out and brought it up to our bedroom. I was thinking to myself that $15 is awfully cheap for a bean-bag. We bought one a few years back for 3 or 4 times that much at a furniture store; but hey – it’s Walmart and it’s a kid-sized bean-bag, right?

Then I noticed a couple of large tags on the bag (it was made in China, of course; but assembled in the good ‘ole USA). One of the tags read: ‘Warning: this product contains a chemical that is known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm’ (!) That was it! And my wife noticed that a sticker on the bean-bag read: ’13 years old and up’.

Now let me tell you, I’m generally sick and tired of seeing the following three-letter abbreviation, but really; WTF!!!!!

What the hell kind of country do we live in where it’s okay to sell products that cause cancer and birth defects to children?!! I know we’ve all heard about the Tobacco Industry, and Chinese toys made with lead paint; and Monsanto can introduce genetically altered corn into our food supply that no-one knows what the long-term effects on our health and the environment may be without really telling us. But now Walmart is allowed to sell something my child will sit on that causes cancer?! And our government allows this??!!!

This is just unbelievably absurd! If California didn’t recognize that whatever this mystery chemical is, it can have deadly health effects, would there even have been any kind of warning tag on this product?

I’m still totally blown away by that damn tag. I still can’t believe what this world has come to! Why would anyone use a cancer-causing chemical to make anything, anyway? Because it’s cheaper? Is our health care system cheap? What’s the cost of treating cancer? The way things are going, in a few more years there won’t even be any more warning labels like this absurd thing I saw tonight. Some corporation will pay off who ever is supposed to be protecting our health even more money to ignore this shit. But I’m glad that tag was there.

The bean-bag went immediately back into my wife’s car trunk and will be going back to Walmart in the morning. But will someone else buy it for their child? Where will that chair and all the others like it eventually end up?

Gosh, I’m noticing a pervasive theme in my recent posts lately. We all have a hell of a lot to think about.

Please just remember to read the labels while we still have them. Good night.

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Categories: General Ramblings, Health
  1. Donna
    November 4, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’m totally with you! I looked at the bean bag chairs in my Walmart for my triplets 6th birthday too. I pick one up and read those HUGE warning tags before deciding to purchase them. I was beside myself and still am, I wanted to talk to someone right then & there and ask them WTF!? Then I actually saw a woman purchase one that night. I wanted to yell out to her…did you read the tags?! AHHHH! I’m so disappointed and utterly amazed by what stuff is out there. No matter if it’s harmful to people, pets or that it’s just totally junk…they still sell it! I just tried researching that bean bag chair. That’s how I stumbled upon your blog. I wish someone would do something about this crap. All I can find is that bean bag chairs should have a good, strong zipper so kids can’t open them to suffocate themselves. Some talked about breathing the chemicals inside too. I am sick and tired of all this stuff! Who knows what my bean bag chair had in it 20 years ago? All I know is that I enjoyed having it until all the beans started falling out of it. If they want to make things less expensive they NEED to come up with a safer way. Just UNREAL!!!!! Thanks for letting me vent.

    • November 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

      Glad I could be of service. It looks like many people these days (the 99%) need to vent. It really makes me crazy that we’ve come to the point where companies are allowed to sell products that are known to cause cancer and it’s just business as usual!

  2. Concerned Dad
    November 9, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I also bought the bean bag. It’s a great spot to put my 4 month-old while I need two free arms. I was worried about the very scary wording on the tag, but I did some research and also emailed the company asking about what in the bean bags cause cancer. Here was their response:

    “The bean-bag component in question is the vinyl.

    The warning label regarding cancer and reproductive harm on our vinyl bean bags is only there for the state of California to comply with the California Prop 65 requirements. Since our product is sold nationwide we cannot control what products go into the state of California via out of state distribution centers for major retailers.

    California has a law called Proposition 65 that lists over 850 different, naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that when given in huge doses to laboratory mice over very long periods, have caused cancer or reproductive harm in those mice. The law is worded in such a way that if a product contains any one of these chemicals it cannot be sold in California without the labeling you see.

    Industry standards often dictate the need of synthetic materials (common to Prop 65 list) used to produce our bean bags. As a result, we must include the labeling. The vinyl used in our bean bag products contains small amounts of synthetic additives to keep it pliable. Rest assured, however, that our products are compliant to all federal CPSC and CPSIA product safety laws and tested, not only by an independent lab hired by Ace Bayou Corporation but also by independent labs designated by the major retailers, as a pre-requisite to selling products in their stores. Even the zippers are of locking/ childproof design to meet federal requirements to ASTM1912-98.

    Just an interesting side note: Silica is also on the list. Silica is just sand. Evidently, natural sand contains trace amounts of natural lead from the ground, and of course, lead is a heavy metal.

    Finally, our bean bags are tested to insure compliance to CPSC and CPSIA federal standards that are acceptable in the rest of the 49 states. It is only California that requires the labeling. If not in California, a customer should have no reservations about removing the tag.

    For more information, feel free to look up California Proposition 65 or The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

    Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Ryan,
    Customer Service
    Ace Bayou”

    I looked up California Prop 65 and learned that it was mainly established to prevent carcinogenic material from going into landfills, breaking down, and getting into the water supply… not necessarily to prevent people from getting cancer from consumer contact with these products.

    Based on my research and the company’s response, I’m gonna keep using my bean bag. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out my child was exposed to higher levels of carcinogens everytime we drive in highway traffic.

    • November 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      That’s very interesting. I did a little bit of research on that too, and found there are a lot of different chemicals and compounds on the list (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986).
      But of all the numerous products we buy that are made of vinyl, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a Warning label. I guess after all these years I’m not terribly inclined to believe what a Customer Service representative says about one of their products. In this country it seems that profit wins out over consumer safety a great majority of the time.
      A few years ago I bought a bean bag chair from a local furniture store that cost a lot more than the Wal-Mart one, but there were no such warning labels. I also looked at a bean bag at a Target store last week that had no warning.
      When it comes to my family’s health, I’d rather spend the extra money.

    • a mom
      January 12, 2012 at 4:31 am

      Concerned Dad,
      Thanks for sharing your research. I didn’t see the label until I had already brought the bean bag chair home. I’ve just started my research, also trying to find out which part of the chair may cause cancer.

      I just wanted to mention though, a caution about putting your 4 month old on any bean bag chair because your baby could suffocate. Many places sell an inexpensive bouncy chair that is vey convenient and designed for baby

  3. concerned daughter
    January 23, 2012 at 8:48 am

    My mom was cleaning after the bean bags she bought me she read the ominous tag stating :Warning The product contains a chemical known to the state of california to cause cancer or birth deffect or other reproductive harm also stated in the above comments. Now we are stuck with this poisinous material and we have no idea what to do with it. Obviously we cannot throw it away due to the harmful affects it may have on are environment and we do not want Walmart to resell this product.Please if you have any suggegstions as to where i may be able to dispose of this item feel free to help. Thank God we have faith in Jesus christ for divine protection upon us when we have a large company such as walmart do not give a dang! My prayers go out to the children who have this harmful item in there possesion.

  4. A college student
    February 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing about the bean bag. I have one to tell as well. I am a college student and bought a Protege Executive Tote (Black in color) to carry or better yet, roll my books in. The tote has wheels and it is a nice sturdy item. However, I came across the label that I was just about to throw away until I read the following warning…
    CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING:
    Warning: This Product Contains Chemicals Known To The State of California To Cause Cancer, or Birth Defects or Other Reproductive Harm.
    This product complies with all state and federal product safety standards.

    I do not live in California, but I could say I was shocked learning this information since I have had the product since this semester began. But, you know what? I’m not surprised as these days, nothing surprises me much. And, you can count on me making a trip back to Wal-mart in the morning as well.
    Since I am a breast cancer survivor of eight years now, I am very careful of what I eat, wear, and buy. Going to the grocery store used to be alright until I had to start reading all the labels on products that I want to eat or drink. I wish these manufacturers would stop putting Aspartame in everything and go back to the basics. What are we supposed to do anymore, starve ourselves because we don’t know what chemicals may be in our food, especially our fruits and veggies? Or, are we suppose to ignore the cries of our little ones when he or she sees a pretty doll on the shelf or a toy they long for, and we are afraid to buy them because we have to protect our children? I have no answers, but I have a lot of prayers that go up each day for a cure of cancer. When these products from other countries enter our stores, what do we do? We shop..and shop…and buy…and buy…and never realizing, that what we are taking into our homes and giving to our kids, could hurt us and them without us ever knowing.
    Well, I didn’t plan for this comment to be a book, lol…thanks for taking the time to read my comment. And, happy late birthday to your little one. I hope things gets better for all.

  5. Jayne
    September 16, 2012 at 5:46 am

    It’s almost a year later! I just went to marshall’s and purchased a rolling tote for my nephew and his wife who are expecting! I thought it would be a great gift, a new mom already has so much to carry, thought a large tote on wheels… How convenient! Then i saw the same tag! Glad i seen it before gifting! The worst gift imaginable! Cancer and possible birth defects to my new niece? Where is the government! Being paid too much making up stupid laws instead of paying attention to what’s really important! I may sound mentally challenged, but am convinced that china is silent, but deadly terrorists! So much is deadly, but a large percent of it seems to be made in china!

  6. A teacher
    September 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Please visit this webcite. It may be helpful (If it is true)? http://architecture.about.com/cs/repairremodel/a/vinyl.htm

    “1. Health Concerns
    Vinyl is made from a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic resin that is thought to cause cancer in humans. Although vinyl may be safe while it is on your home, some scientists believe that manufacturing and disposing vinyl is hazardous to our health and to the environment. Accidental fires in vinyl-sided buildings are more dangerous because vinyl produces toxic fumes when heated. In addition, doctors are reporting a high incidence of neurological damage, respiratory problems, liver and kidney failure, birth defects, and cancer among people who work in or live near factories where vinyl is produced.”

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