The American government has banned the sale of pyjamas that contain Tris, a fire retardant chemical, after it was found to cause kidney cancer in animals.
Although nobody knows if the chemical can cause cancer in children, researchers have discovered that children are absorbing it through their skins. One doctor found high levels of Tris in children's urine and fat cells, even though the pyjamas had usually been washed several times.
Up to 51,000 American children could be carrying Tris in their systems and while none has yet gone on to develop cancer, the chemical tends to be very slow acting.
!ATownsend Letter for Doctors, June 1996.