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Safer life at home
All IKEA blinds are cordless. When we understood the potential safety risks of cords, we stopped offering them and have thereby substantially reduced risks of injury. This is an example of how we eliminate unnecessary dangers at home through continuous testing and development of our products.
FRIDANS is a new addition to our range of blinds. It uses a rod instead of a cord to position the blind exactly where you want it. Its fabric is made of polyester from recycled PET bottles, therefore reducing consumption of new raw materials as well as lowering the carbon footprint and environmental impact. Also, it has no coating—it’s colored with dope dyeing, a sustainable technique that uses much less water, chemicals and energy than other dyeing methods.
Our test lab in Sweden supports the product development by performing on average 15,000-16,000 individual tests per year.
“We know that babies explore the world around them by chewing and tasting everything. To simulate that, all IKEA soft toys are exposed to saliva enzymes to make sure that no harmful chemicals are extracted when they are chewed on.”
1.Place your baby to sleep on his/her back. To avoid pressure on their breathing, it is not recommended for babies to sleep on their stomach or face down.
2. Remove all unnecessary items, such as extra beddings, toys, and stuffed animals from the cot because they might affect the breathing of your baby.
3. Make sure your baby sleeps in a cot. It is not recommended for babies to sleep with adults because of the beddings, blankets, and other scattered fabrics on the bed that might affect the breathing of your baby.
Babies have a higher body temperature than adults, therefore a simple baby sleeping bag is enough to keep them warm. This also eliminates fabrics that might cover or wrap around their faces. Make sure to keep their arms free so they can move around.
Creating safe sleep environments for babies (Health Promotion Administration website)
We know that play is the key to learning for life. It fuels our development and makes us more creative, stronger and active. In 2014, IKEA developed a circus-inspired swing, GUNGGUNG, to encourage more active play and fun at home. But only a few weeks after the sales launch, the swing had to be recalled. It turned out that the initial tests did not consider the impact and increased loads when jumping on the swing.
After an extensive re-testing process, GUNGGUNG is now back in our stores, improved to withstand all kinds of fun and play.
“When we told the test lab engineers about the test specifications for our GUNGGUNG swing, they laughed: Are you testing the swing for elephants or children?”
Aniol Salvador Soy, Product Improvement Engineer, at IKEA of Sweden
IAs much as IKEA loves colourful products for children, dyes that are known, or even suspected to be carcinogenic or allergenic are out of the question. The paint in our MÅLA series doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients. Just in case a child would make a meal out of MÅLA.
Chemicals play an important part in the production of IKEA products. They give texture to materials and provide beautiful colours through dying or printing. Glues make our products strong. Paint and other coatings protect them from scratches, corrosion, and liquids. In other words: chemicals are unavoidable. However, we are very strict when it comes to selecting which chemicals we use.
Our goal is simple: to do everything we can to make sure that our products are free from any chemicals that can be harmful to people or the environment. We take pride in proactively phasing out harmful chemicals – often before any legislation forces us to do so. And by defining chemicals in groups, we can phase out entire groups of harmful chemicals instead of just replacing one harmful chemical with another.
The IKEA chemical requirements are based on the toughest legal demands. They are continuously updated to respond to new information from government agencies, voluntary organisations, scientific reports and consumers. Which means we often go further than legislation requires to provide safety in the making, handling and use of IKEA products.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used chemical that has been shown to have negative health effects. In 2006, IKEA decided to phase out BPA from all of our plastic children’s toys. And in 2012 we went further and phased out BPA from all our food contact products, such as food packaging, kitchen utensils and bottles.
By not adding harmful chemicals in products and materials we give them a longer life as they become safe to recycle and re-use.
Whenever IKEA explores a new material, it’s evaluated from a safety, quality, and sustainability perspective before it’s allowed to be used in any IKEA products.
For example, perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) that are water and dirt-repellent and commonly used in textiles have been shown to be harmful to people and the environment. IKEA decided to get rid of the whole group of perflourinated chemicals in textiles and instead replace them with safer alternatives that don’t cause harm.