Category - Consumer Chemical Education

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How to Choose a Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen
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How Endocrine Disruptors Impact Women
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Safer Products? The EPA Takes First Steps Under New Chemical Law
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Is Your Mattress Naughty or Nice?
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What You Should Know About Mattress Eco-Terms
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Organic vs. GOTS Organic Mattresses
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Lonely Whale: An Interview with Adrian Grenier
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States Ban Chemicals of High Concern from Children’s Products
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12 Common Toxins That Can Harm Your Child’s Health
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Preschools and Flame Retardants: An Unwanted Connection

How to Choose a Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to break out the beach towels and swimsuits for fun in the sun. But make sure you consider sun safety in your summer planning too. Most sunscreens are made with toxic chemical ingredients that you’d really rather avoid. Luckily there are ways to stay safe in the summer sun that don’t involve using harmful chemicals. Read on to find out how to limit your sun exposure and shop for a nontoxic sunscreen that’s healthier for your body. Dress For The Sun When you’re preparing for a day on the beach, camping, or outdoors this summer, dress for the sun. Wear a hat and long sleeves and pants if possible (we know it’s hot, so look for comfortable, breathable fabrics that keep you cool – but you want a tight knit to maximize protection). Children and adults can wear long-sleeved swimsuits or rash guards to help reduce sun exposure. Remember that sunglasses aren’t just[…]

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How Endocrine Disruptors Impact Women

We met Dr. Eva Martin and quickly related to her passion for health, education, and safety. She’s the founder of Elm Tree Medical, Inc., which focuses on women’s health, and she had a lot to tell us about the impact endocrine disruptors have on women and babies. We reached out to Eva with a few questions to get her professional opinion about these chemicals and how to avoid them in daily life. What is an endocrine disruptor? Simply, an endocrine disruptor is a chemical that interferes with a hormone’s action. One example is the EDC diethystilbestrol (DES). DES was prescribed to women to control nausea during pregnancy, but, unfortunately, the world later learned that DES interferes with key hormone actions in gestation, and led to serious birth defects. Should we be concerned about endocrine disruptors? Yes. Research on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is still in the early stages. From what we know so far, EDCs can have long-lasting effects on[…]

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Safer Products? The EPA Takes First Steps Under New Chemical Law

On June 22, 2016, the bi-partisan supported Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) into law. This law amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the federal framework that had been intended to control the use of chemicals in commerce. Intended, because TSCA has widely been seen as ineffective. Driving the new law has been a growing demand by consumers for better regulation over the chemicals found in their everyday products, including housewares, furniture and mattresses. While this is the first substantial update since TSCA was passed in 1976, how much of an impact the update will actually have remains to be seen. Slow Motion Impact One concern is the slow pace of planned chemical review under LCSA, particularly given how many chemicals are found in consumer products. Way back in 2001, the TSCA chemical inventory listed 73,757 chemicals in commercial and since then an estimated 2,000-2,500 in new chemicals applications have been submitted to the[…]

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Is Your Mattress Naughty or Nice?

Santa might see when you’re sleeping, but can he see what you’re sleeping on? Find out if your mattress is a true gift or if it’s worse than a lump of coal! The Mattress Naughty List At Naturepedic, we stick to a very strict list of materials we never use in our mattresses. We consider these unacceptable in our mattresses and accessories and you can trust that we do not use any of them in our GOTS certified organic factory. – Polyurethane Foam: This includes memory foam, bio-based or soybean foam, or “eco” foam blends. These “plant-based” foams are actually just polyurethane foam with a little soybean oil added in. The fact of the matter is that polyurethane foam is highly flammable and comes with a pile of flame retardant chemical ingredients to meet flammability regulations. You definitely don’t want to be sleeping on that. – Flame Retardant Chemicals: Naturepedic meets all federal flammability regulations without the need for flame[…]

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What You Should Know About Mattress Eco-Terms

Organic. I try not to be surprised by what I see labeled as an “organic” mattress. I try. The truth is, though, I’ve seen “organic” used with such reckless abandon on mattresses that I can only shake my head and sigh. With food and unprocessed agricultural products like wool, “organic” requires meeting National Organic Program (NOP) standards of the USDA. Non-food processed items, however, are different; the USDA does not certify finished products like textiles, yarns, shirts or mattresses as organic. Consumers should instead demand Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications for mattresses. Without these third-party certifications, there is little way to know how “organic” a mattress is. Be cautious, however, of a GOTS logo used in reference to only a specific component such as the fabric that the mattress maker presumably purchased from a vendor. Not only is that against the rules of GOTS (a mattress must be GOTS-certified to display that GOTS[…]

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Organic vs. GOTS Organic Mattresses

If someone tries to sell you a shirt and claims it is absolutely organic, how do you know? You probably don’t know the salesperson individually and given he or she has an interest in getting you to purchase the product, is their word enough? An organic t-shirt looks like a non-organic one, after all. Now take a mattress, larger and more complicated. How do you know what’s really inside and outside that product. What does “organic mattress” even mean? Maybe what they are calling organic is different than your idea of organic, so again, how do you know it’s organic? The truth? Without trustworthy verification, it’s pretty much impossible. Got GOTS? That is why the Global Organic Textile Standard, or GOTS, is essential. GOTS certifies textiles and fabrics, apparel and mattresses. With GOTS, a trained, independent examiner ensures everything adds up and meets an established standard viewable by anyone. The books, systems, and physical manufacturing facility and its processes are[…]

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Lonely Whale: An Interview with Adrian Grenier

At Naturepedic, we’re big fans of customer and friend Adrian Grenier, whose charity work with The Lonely Whale is changing the way people think about our world’s oceans. He has been making small changes in his life and inspiring others to do the same, including sleeping organic on a Naturepedic! Those small steps add up to a big environmental impact. In honor of Earth Month, we got in touch with Adrian to ask him some questions about his commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. Why do you sleep on a Naturepedic mattress? When I joined the Lonely Whale team I started studying how products we use every day affect ocean health. One of the biggest was mattresses. I learned that most commercial mattresses use flame retardants. These chemicals show up in sea creatures, particularly dolphins and killer whales who collect the chemicals in their blubber. What’s even more devastating is that these chemicals are bioaccumulative, which means they stick around and build[…]

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States Ban Chemicals of High Concern from Children’s Products

Last year on November 19, Vermont issued the final rule for its law “An Act Relating to the Regulation of Toxic Substances” to regulate Chemicals of High Concern to Children in children’s products. Passed in 2014, this law follows similar ones passed by the State of Washington and Oregon, and legislation introduced, but not passed into law, by Connecticut and Florida. Additionally, in 2015, Westchester County in New York banned formaldehyde, benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, and cobalt from children’s products. If you haven’t followed any of this legislation, a logical reaction might be, why are these needed? Surely the U.S. government doesn’t allow Chemicals of High Concern in children’s products, do they? Sadly, while there rules for children’s products regarding sizes, shapes and other aspects of physical safety, there are virtually no national safeguards for the chemicals in these products. While the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) does ban six types of phthalates from certain children’s product, it[…]

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12 Common Toxins That Can Harm Your Child’s Health

To help keep parents informed we have created a list of 12 common toxins that can harm your child’s health. From known carcinogens, VOCs, endocrine disruptors and more: These toxins show up in a variety of children’s products. Shockingly, 9 out of 12 listed are frequently found in crib mattresses! Luckily, there is a crib mattress brand that has left out all of the potentially harsh chemicals: 1. Certified organic cotton fabric and filling 2. Food-grade polyethylene waterproofing 3. Steel innersprings or food-grade polyethylene support What’s not in a Naturepedic? 1. Polyurethane foam or any version of it (so-called eco, bio-based, soybean foams) 2. Formaldehyde potentially found in polyurethane foam or flame retardant chemicals 3. Flame retardants of any kind including “natural” flame barriers that use antimony or boric acid 4. Waterproofing agents such as PVC with phthalates or PFCs 5. Antibacterial treatments, pesticides or biocides 6. Latex, Coir with Latex, Wool or other potentially allergenic materials You can download[…]

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Preschools and Flame Retardants: An Unwanted Connection

Flame retardant chemicals show up everywhere, and in places never intended: rivers, wildlife … and children. Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to a variety of potential health and developmental problems that include cancer and damage to the bodies’ hormonal systems. Children appear to be at particularly risk for a variety of reasons. Not only do they spend large amounts of time laying down on mattresses, pads and floors, they also have frequent hand-to-mouth contact which hastens the introduction of rogue chemicals into their systems. Parents are now beginning to seek safer products for the home, like Naturepedic mattresses that are made without flame retardant chemicals. Still, what about nurseries and preschools? Babies and young children can spend as much as 50 hours every week in preschools or childcare. Recognizing a lack of available scientific data on the preschool environment, a group of researchers from key institutions including the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH), Batelle Memorial Institute,[…]

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