Archive - December 2009

1
Going Green in 2010 – A Few Simple Things With A Big Impact
2
Update on Phthalates Ban in Crib Mattresses
3
Planning on Refreshing Your Nursery with a New Coat of Paint? What Paint is Safe, and What’s Not?
4
New Phthalates Research Indicates Male Children Less Male in Play
5
Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out.
6
You Have a New Organic Crib Mattress – But How Do You Get Your Baby to Sleep?
7
Beware Phthalates: They’re Not Just in Crib Mattresses

Going Green in 2010 – A Few Simple Things With A Big Impact

New Year’s Day is the traditional time to turn over a new leaf. It’s that time when we decide to lose a little weight, go for that promotion at work, or make some investments that will pay off. This year, a lot of people will be putting more effort into going green. Getting your child a new toddler or crib mattress that has been certified by GREENGUARD is a good start, but there are many other things you can do for your children and your entire family. Here’s a brief list. Buy organic products. Everything from food to bed linens and carpets. In addition to protecting your family, organic food and organic products made in green facilities cause much less damage to the environment than other products. No pesticides for the food, and the potentially harmful chemicals used in other products and in the production process are significantly reduced if not completely eliminated.   Clean the air in your home[…]

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Update on Phthalates Ban in Crib Mattresses

First, a brief recap: (If you don’t know about the chemicals called phthalates, read our blogs Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out and New Phthalates Research Indicates Male Children Less Male in Play. As of February 9, 2009, certain products made for children – including crib mattresses – could no longer contain more than 1,000 parts per million of any of three types of phthalates. That’s 1,000 PPM per phthalate per item. The ban on those three types of phthalates is permanent. A temporary ban was also put on three other phthalates, but only in products a child could put in his mouth, suck or chew. More research is to be done on the additional three phthalates to determine if they should also be permanently banned like the other three. The Commission was supposed to post its procedures for accrediting labs to test for phthalates in June 2009 and, as of September, 2009, manufacturers[…]

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Planning on Refreshing Your Nursery with a New Coat of Paint? What Paint is Safe, and What’s Not?

The subject of ‘safe’ paint can be pretty daunting. There are so many types of paint available, and so many varying degrees of safety, it’s hard to get to the bottom line. While there’s a lot to know about the subject, one of the most important health concerns is the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are the solvents used in paint that carry the pigment. As the paint dries, the VOCs evaporate and give off that recognizable new paint smell. But the smell is not just a smell, it’s also an indication that the VOCs are in the air we breathe. VOCs have been linked to asthma attacks, throat and eye irritation, nausea, headaches, and a number of other health problems. Long term exposure can lead to cancer and kidney and liver disease. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations about VOCs, many experts think they don’t go far enough. For example, the EPA allows 250 grams[…]

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New Phthalates Research Indicates Male Children Less Male in Play

A new study shows that kids don’t have to sleep on crib mattress with phthalates in them or play with phthalates-laden toys to suffer the consequences of these dangerous chemicals. It’s getting into their bodies while they’re still in the womb. Phthalates are in a long list of products: perfumes, fragrances, cosmetics, scented lotions, shampoos, aftershaves, nail polish, hair spray, food packaging, adhesives, car interiors, medical devices like blood IV bags and tubing, vinyl flooring, vinyl wallpaper, vinyl shower curtains – the list is very long. So long, in fact, that it would be hard to find a mom who wasn’t exposed to phthalates during or before her pregnancy. The new study, published in the International Journal of Andrology, tested the urine of women during the 28th week of pregnancy and divided them into four groups based on the concentration of phthalate metabolites or breakdown products. Then they assessed the play behavior of their 145 children when they reached age[…]

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Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out.

As of February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) banned the manufacture of child care articles and toys containing phthalates (pronounced “thalates”). Phthalates are plasticizer chemicals commonly used in crib mattresses and mattress pads: they soften PVC/vinyl to make it pliable so it can be used as a waterproof surface. They’re also used in many kids’ toys. Although we’ve never used phthalates in Naturepedic crib mattresses, they have been used for decades by just about every other crib mattress manufacturer out there. So why the big hullabaloo over chemicals that have been used in baby and child products for decades? Because we now know (have for many years, actually) that phthalates leach out of vinyl over time where they can reach your baby or child. And that is dangerous with a capital D. Research has linked phthalates to hormonal and endocrine system problems, especially in boys. In 1997, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer[…]

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You Have a New Organic Crib Mattress – But How Do You Get Your Baby to Sleep?

People have come up with literally hundreds of ideas on how to get babies to sleep through the night. Everything from teddy bears that breathe and vibrators that make a crib feel like a moving car to just letting the baby “cry it out.” Some experts feel that these techniques – called ‘sleep trainers’ – actually undermine your relationship with your child and prevent you from understanding what’s really going on with them. If a baby is crying, for example, it could be because he’s hungry, needs changing or something’s too tight. Or, he’s frightened. Maybe he has nothing to be frightened about, but that doesn’t mean he’s not frightened. Or he might be lonely. He might even be reacting to something in his environment (an allergy to the latex in his crib mattress, new paint or carpeting that’s off-gassing), or a sense of turbulence in the home. He could also have a medical condition that hasn’t yet been diagnosed.[…]

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Beware Phthalates: They’re Not Just in Crib Mattresses

In case you’re not up to date on this, changes have been made in the EPA. Finally, it looks like the agency is going to have the resources and power necessary to do something about hazardous chemicals like phthalates. This is not the only chemical the agency will focus on in the near future, but it certainly is one of the most widely used, and dangerous. Why? Our Stolen Future, a book about phthalates, outlines the animal and human studies that have been done – and the picture is bleak. But, there’s good news as well – it looks like some of the health concerns that have become more common over the last few decades may actually be caused by phthalates, which opens the door to a possible reversal of the prevalence of these conditions. The effects on the male reproductive system are fairly well known at this point, and they are serious and have very serious implications, but did[…]

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