Unsafe design of consumer products

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Unsafe automobile design and construction
Hazardous products

According to the Workgroup for Safe Markets, "Hazardous chemicals in consumer products pose unnecessary and avoidable health hazards to children and consumers, communities, workers and our environment". 


Examples of hazardous consumer products that can cause injury or death include, but are not limited to: unvented gas space heaters; rotary lawn mowers; aluminium electrical wiring; architectural glass used in homes; children's toys, specifically play equipment such as swings, slides, and seesaws; babies night dresses; tyres; medical products; electrical blankets; washing machines; and irons.

Most mattresses contain diisocyanates such as MDI and TDI, which may be carcinogenic and have been linked to respiratory disorders. Other common chemicals used in mattress production include the suspected carcinogens formaldehyde (a potent sensitizing agent and carcinogen), methylene dianiline, vinilideine chloride, methylene chloride, dimenthyl formamide and methyl benzene, a nervous system disruptor. The risks from these chemicals are mostly from exposure during off-gassing, but gases usually are still emitted at low levels even years later as the mattress breaks down.   Both memory foam and innerspring mattresses get sprayed with flame retardants; among the more common varieties used today are chlorinated tris (TDCPP), which is a possible neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor and carcinogen; modacrylic fiber, another carcinogen, and melamine resin, which contains formaldehyde.

Reduced By:
Consumer boycotts
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST