Going Toxin-Free is Healthier & Eco-Friendly
Many of us go camping, in part, to breathe in the fresh forest air and experience the sort of quiet renewal that can only be found in nature.
You may be surprised to learn that the tents and shelters you’re spending your nights outdoors in contain chemicals that may have negative health effects. In fact, due to long-standing tent safety standards, most camping tents on the market today are coated with flame retardant chemicals that can have negative effects on human health and the environment. We do not claim any expertise on the science of the matter, but we wish to offer solutions to campers seeking a flame retardant-free option.
Many people are searching for chemical-free camping tents for their family, and fortunately, the industry is changing. Diamond Brand Gear is proud to be one of the pioneers offering camping tents and gear that are flame retardant-free.
Fire-Retardant Chemicals in Tents: A History
The majority of toxic chemicals found in camping tents are flame retardants. In fact, almost all tents in North America contain flame retardant chemicals in order to meet fire-retardant specifications and flammability standards that were initially set by the federal government in 1976. Although the standards were revised in 1995, they are still years behind the game and greatly in need of another revision.
During the 1970s, tents were frequently made with highly flammable paraffin-coated materials, much different from the far less flammable synthetic materials of today. However, even as materials changed, flammability standards did not. The flammability standards that were at one time necessary for protecting unwitting campers from losing their shelters to a stray spark, are now long outdated, even unnecessary. So, what does this mean for you today?
Although your tent with flame-retardant chemicals will still be less likely to go up in smoke if you pitch it a bit too close to the flames, we now know that this extra protection comes at a risk. In fact, flame-retardant chemicals have been linked to several negative health effects.
Environmental and Health Implications
According to a recent study from Duke University, exposure to high levels of organophosphate flame retardants through inhalation occurs during setup, break down, and use of tents. This means that the fresh air you came to the woods in search of, might not be so fresh after all.
According to the CDC, these organophosphate flame retardants pose serious health risks. Symptoms range from headaches, dizziness, and nausea to seizures, slow pulse, and difficulty breathing, even coma. Long-term exposure can lead to muscle weakness, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.
But the adverse effects go beyond human health. According to the NCBI, brominated flame retardants also pose serious environmental risks. These chemicals can linger in the environment for years, bioaccumulating in plants, soil, animals, and even humans, with untold consequences.
Non-Toxic Camping Gear Options
Diamond Brand Gear, along with several other leaders in the outdoor industry, is making big moves to use current knowledge and updated fabrics to build eco-friendly tents without the use of any flame-retardant chemicals.
Our two-person Freedome 2 ½ and Free Spirit tents are made without flame retardants or other toxins. These roomy tents are built with plenty of space, DAC poles, and micro-innovations to put a modern twist on classic tents. This makes the Freedome 2 ½ and the Free Spirits the go-to for car campers who are looking for a domestically made tent that will last decades.
Diamond Brand is committed to cultivating legendary camping experiences for individuals and families. This is why we continually strive to improve our canvas and other raw materials so that you can enjoy the freshness of nature without chemical interference.