Archive - April 2010

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Keeping Your Baby Safe at Bath Time
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How Many Coils Does a Baby Crib Mattress Need?
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New Safe Chemicals Act Shifts Accountability and Burden of Proof to Industry
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How Firm is Firm Enough for a Baby Crib Mattress?
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More Mainstream Media Coverage Brings the Dangers of Toxics to the Forefront

Keeping Your Baby Safe at Bath Time

Having your baby sleep on a Naturepedic baby crib mattress prevents exposure to many harmful chemicals, but exposure doesn’t end there. Check out this information on bath and personal care products. While not every personal care product for babies and children contains harmful ingredients, two notable carcinogens that are by-products of the manufacturing and storage process are showing up in a majority of products tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition with several notable founding and sponsor members, including the Environmental Working Group. Parents should be aware of what these products are and how to avoid them. The chemicals of concern are 1,4-dioxane (aka dioxane) and formaldehyde. They are not listed on labels because they are by-products, not ingredients. Here’s the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics explanation of how they contaminate the products: “Formaldehyde contaminates personal care products when common preservatives release formaldehyde over time in the container. Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include quaternium-15, DMDM[…]

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How Many Coils Does a Baby Crib Mattress Need?

Based on some of the blogs and forums I’ve read, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the number of coils needed in the innerspring of a crib mattress. Some say more coils means more support, others say too many coils make a crib mattress too hard and uncomfortable. How are parents supposed to decide what’s best? Although there are no hard and fast rules about coils, there are a few guidelines that might help. First, let’s clear up the difference between ‘coils’ and ‘coil count’. A crib mattress, for example, may contain 150 coils. But the ‘coil count’ is listed as 420. What’s the difference? The figure ‘150’ is the number of actual coils in that crib mattress; the coil count, 420, is the number of coils that would be found in an equivalent mattress of full size. So, really, the only number you really have to pay attention to is the “150” coils. Next, there are[…]

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New Safe Chemicals Act Shifts Accountability and Burden of Proof to Industry

Many people have complained about needing a degree in chemistry to understand which products are safe and which are not. New Safe Chemicals Act may enable the protection we need. In February we wrote a blog about The Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, a new health report from Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. See Toxic Chemicals Are Putting Your Children at Risk. The tireless efforts of many people have finally paid off – landmark legislation that completely overhauls the broken system used by government to protect us from toxic chemicals has been introduced in Congress. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) are the authors of the new Safe Chemicals Act, formerly known as the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act. Here are some of the highlights to give you an idea of what the new law would do: (Finally) empower the EPA to regulate toxic chemicals, and act quickly when necessary.   Ensure the[…]

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How Firm is Firm Enough for a Baby Crib Mattress?

I’ve seen several blogs and forums where people talk and ask questions about how firm a crib mattress should be. One person said “If it feels good to me, it’s okay for my baby.” Is that a good rule of thumb? In fact, it’s not – unless you like a very firm mattress. Because babies are still growing, their spines and bones need more support than we do. While there are no precise rules about crib mattress firmness, there are solid enough guidelines to help you choose the right one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that a baby mattress be firm and flat. Consumer Reports recommends buying the firmest mattress you can find. In fact, they address the exact comment made by the person on the forum: “Don’t worry that it may feel too firm. If it feels good to you, it’s too soft for your baby,” To test a crib mattress to determine whether it’s firm enough,[…]

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More Mainstream Media Coverage Brings the Dangers of Toxics to the Forefront

The truth about the effects of toxic chemicals in our everyday lives is getting more mainstream media attention now than ever. Just last week, Time magazine published a list of ten common household toxins that ‘mounting evidence’ shows may be linked to health problems. Here’s the list, along with where these chemicals are commonly found: Bisphenol A (BPA) – food wrap, water bottles and other plastics Oxybenzone – moisturizers, sunscreens, lip balm Flouride – toothpaste, tap water Parabens – moisturizers, hair care and shaving products Phthalates – skin care treatment products, crib mattresses, toys, shower curtains, just about everything made with pliable PVC/vinyl Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – chewing gum, snack foods, diaper creams Perflouroctanoic Acid – tap water, teflon and non-stick pots and pans Perchlorate – drinking water, soil Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DECA) – flame retardant in electronics, furniture, carpets Asbestos – insulation, drywall, artificial fireplace logs, toys The Time article doesn’t give a lot of information on each chemical and,[…]

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