Archive for August, 2009

Is a Latex Crib Mattress Really Safe for My Baby?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

When you consider that a baby spends 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping, it’s a wonder that the use of latex in crib mattresses hasn’t been restricted. Here’s a brief summary of what the experts have to say:

A study, one of many, conducted on over 1,000 health care workers found that nearly 22% had symptoms related to wearing latex gloves. Most of the problems were skin related, but some had asthma and cold symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, ears, and throat, runny noses, nasal congestion, or worse. Some reactions have been so severe that health care workers have had to change professions, and some have been fatal.

More than 10 years ago (in September, 1997), the FDA issued a ruling stating that the labeling of medical devices containing natural rubber latex (if the device is likely to come in contact with humans) must state, in bold print: “Caution: This Product Contains Natural Rubber Latex Which May Cause Allergic Reactions.” At the same time, they also said those products could not be labeled as “hypoallergenic.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an estimated 10% of health care workers are sensitive to latex – although, as above, some studies indicate that number could be more than double.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology calls latex allergy a serious health risk. Find out more about latex allergy on their site.

Is there any reason to think the risk may be less for babies? Hardly; a body still in development is even more susceptible than when fully grown.

Unless you’re going to test a baby for latex allergy, which, even if you wanted to, is a little hard to do before the baby is put into his crib for the first time, you don’t know whether your baby is going to react to it or not. Nor is there any way to know if a sensitivity will develop over time – also a common occurrence.

At Naturepedic, we make our crib mattresses without latex foam. And we also don’t use any materials like coir (crushed coconut husks) that traditionally require a significant amount of latex to mold and hold it in a form like a mattress. If you’re looking for something 100% latex-free, you’ve found it.

Why We Use Organic Cotton in Our Crib Mattresses

Friday, August 7th, 2009
Why We Use Organic Cotton in Crib Mattresses

Why We Use Organic Cotton in Crib Mattresses

We use organic cotton in all our crib mattresses because we want babies and kids to sleep on something that is safe and healthy. No synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals – nothing harmful whatsoever. But it’s not only babies who are affected by these toxins.


My father, for example, just turned 81 and was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. He’s on chemo and responding quite well.


The type of cancer he has is called multiple myeloma. It starts in the blood cells and collects in the marrow and other parts of the bone. Like other cancers, it can kill you. But many people with multiple myeloma live for a long time – although the condition generally roller-coasters between long periods of apparent remission and acute episodes.


What’s different about multiple myeloma is that it is acknowledged as being related to pesticide and herbicide exposure. As with all cancers, there are several other risk factors but, according to The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, pesticides and herbicides are high on the list of those stemming from the environment.


The Collaborative for Health and the Environment

The Collaborative for Health and the Environment

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, by the way, is a very useful resource. It’s a network of 3000 individuals and organizations in 45 countries, including representation in 48 U.S. states, which has as its mission to “advance knowledge and effective action to address growing concerns about the links between human health and environmental factors.” Check out their database for information on the strength of the evidence connecting multiple myeloma, pesticides and herbicides, as well as links between other diseases and their environmental risk factors.


My father has lived for years in a community that controls pests and weeds with regular use of chemicals. I have never once seen a mosquito at my father’s house, even though he lives right on a canal which should be a strong breeding ground. Nor have I ever seen a weed in my father’s lawn.


If just a few years of living in that kind of environment can contribute to a healthy and robust adult getting cancer, imagine what your baby is up against.


At Naturepedic, we help you avoid the sometimes disastrous effects of pesticide and herbicide exposure by using organic cotton in our crib mattresses and other products. But we also hope to influence the use of toxins overall. If we can accomplish that, more babies and children will be safe, and more grandparents will be around to see them grow up.


The Naturepedic Blog Maven

Back to School Supplies without PVC?

Monday, August 3rd, 2009


You’ve been working hard to keep your child healthy – maybe they’ve even slept on a Naturepedic organic cotton crib mattress! Now it’s time for school, and you’re faced with PVC-laden school supplies. Everything from pretty pink backpacks with images of their favorite characters to Spidey lunchboxes and modeling clay. Chances are they’re made with PVC or PVC/vinyl – one of the very things you’ve been trying to avoid!


PVC-Free School Supplies

To help you keep up all the good work you’ve been doing to keep your kids safe, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) has just released a new handy wallet guide (although you have to fold it quite a bit to fit it into your wallet) listing the types of back-to-school supplies that are likely to contain PVC.


Even better, the CHEJ took things a step further and also made us a great list of PVC-free school supplies. It contains just about everything – pens and pencils, binders, lunch bags, food wraps, and a lot more. Even cell phones, computer monitors, rain gear and sneakers.


The CHEJ is also a great resource for information on PVC and other toxins that may be harming our environment and our health. Check them out.