Archive for the ‘Organic Bedding’ Category

How the Chemicals in Your Life Are Affecting Your Unborn Children

Sunday, May 30th, 2010


eliminate toxic chemicals if you're pregnantIf you’ve been reading our blog, or keeping up with news items (including a piece on 60 Minutes that aired just a week ago), you will know that many of the items in our everyday lives contain potentially harmful chemicals. This is even more of a problem for kids than adults, because kids’ bodies are still developing. But the problem starts long before the kids are born. In fact, it’s immediately after conception. Check out this resource that shows you exactly when and in what part of the body chemicals affect your unborn child.

The resource is a chart on the website of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). TEDX is a non-profit organization that studies the effects of low-dose exposure to endocrine disruptors, chemicals that effect fetal development and human health. These chemicals include, but are not limited to, bisphenol A (BPA), dioxin, and phthalates.

The chart is called Critical Windows of Development. It lists the various systems, organs and so on within the body and shows the stages of development during each weeks and trimesters in the womb. On the upper right of the chart, it shows checkboxes for ‘All Chemicals’, ‘Bisphenol A’, ‘Dioxin’, and ‘Phthalates’. Check ‘Phthalates’, for example, and red lines appear on the chart that show you which systems they affect, and at what period of pregnancy.

There are also little triangles on the chart that provide the names of studies that support the information.

One thing is clear: If we want to give our kids the best chance at being healthy as children and throughout their lives, expectant Mothers need to be free of these chemicals.

Pass this on to anyone you know who is pregnant, or may be in the future, so they can start doing something about it now.

What do they do about it? Eliminate the chemicals from their lives as much as possible. Many of our blog posts show you how to do that, and Debra Lynn Dadd’s book Home Safe Home has a wealth of information on what chemicals are in what products and suggestions on healthy alternatives. But, basically, just go organic, go toxin-free.

And once your baby is born, make sure you continue your toxic-free life. Get the baby a safe crib and baby crib mattress, made with non-toxic materials, swaddle them in organic cotton, feed them organic food, get them glass baby bottles and diapers and toys that are not made of harmful plastics or other potentially harmful chemicals.

Organic, Natural, PVC/Vinyl-Free, Phthalates-Free, and Chlorine-Free Baby Products

Friday, November 20th, 2009

10-baby-products-to-buy-organic1

I read an article a few days ago called 10 baby products to keep baby safe. It listed ‘10 healthy baby things you should own.’ Interestingly enough, the top three products on the list were made by us (the Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress, the Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contoured Changing Pad, and our Naturepedic Waterproof Flat Crib Pad), but there were several other great products as well: Organic baby food and infant formula, a PVC/vinyl and phthalates-free bib, a very sweet little teddy bear, and more. Check them out here.

By the way, the Naturepedic products featured there are not the only ones we offer. We carry other toddler and crib mattress styles, mattresses for cradles, bassinets – just about every type of mattress or pad you might need. And we offer organic bedding. To see all our products, check the Naturepedic website.

Q & A: Bamboo Crib Mattress Sheets

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


Q: I’ve been thinking of getting bamboo sheets rather than organic cotton. Are bamboo sheets okay for a baby?

Is Bamboo Safer Than Cotton Crib Mattress Bedding?

Is Bamboo Safer Than Cotton Crib Mattress Bedding?

A: Bamboo is a great natural resource in a number of ways. However, as with many of our natural resources, bamboo becomes a mere shadow of itself while undergoing the processes used to bring it to market. In fact, according to a recent ruling from the FTC which determined that four manufacturers of “bamboo” textile products (including crib sheets and baby clothing) are guilty of making false claims, “bamboo-based textiles, actually made of rayon, are not antimicrobial, made in an environmentally friendly manner, or biodegradable.

What exactly does the FTC mean? Well, the ‘actually made of rayon’ statement does not mean the textiles don’t contain bamboo pulp; rather, it refers to the process – man-made fiber which uses cellulose (usually wood pulp) as a base, is rayon. The resultant textile when bamboo pulp is used would more correctly be called ‘bamboo rayon.

The FTC statement that the bamboo products are not made in an environmentally friendly manner refers to the “harsh chemical that releases hazardous air pollutants” used in the manufacturing process. This chemical also destroys any inherent antimicrobial properties in the bamboo – hence the FTC statement that the textile is not antimicrobial.

The above is simple enough, but the FTC statement that bamboo-based fabric isn’t biodegradable really needs clarification: If you put a ‘bamboo’ sheet in a compost heap or lay it in the soil in your garden, it will decompose. So, why does the FTC say it’s not biodegradable? The basic problem is the definition of the word ‘biodegradable’: biodegradable is generally defined as ‘capable of being decomposed by biological agents’ such as bacteria or enzymes. But to advertise something as biodegradable, the FTC requires that the materials breakdown quickly in their normal disposal methods. As the normal disposal methods for textiles are recycling or landfill, neither of which environments contain the biological agents needed to break them down, the textiles cannot be called ‘biodegradable.

Three of the four companies charged with making false claims have settled the issue with the FTC by agreeing to no longer make those claims. The fourth, Bamboosa, was still in litigation as of  a few weeks ago.

So, why is bamboo-based fabric still a better option than completely man-made textiles?

  • Its natural antimicrobial properties enable it to be grown without pesticides. The processing does eliminate the natural antimicrobial properties, but at least we are not subject to the possible dangers of pesticides.
  • It is a hardy and renewable resource. Because bamboo plants survive drought and flooding and come to maturity relatively quickly, bamboo may be among the most sustainable plants to use for textiles. And you’re not killing any rain forests in the process.
  • It can apparently be bleached without the use of chlorine.
  • It is easy to dye and therefore doesn’t require harsh chemicals to hold a color.
  • I have also been told that there are ways to create bamboo fabric without using harsh chemicals. My understanding is that the result is a rough, somewhat abrasive fabric – not something you’d want to put on a crib mattress and have right next to your baby’s delicate skin – but I would be on the lookout for other manufacturing methods that may give us the silky products we now know.


The organic cotton story is as simple as the bamboo story is confusing – our crib mattresses are made with cotton that was grown without harmful chemicals, and no harmful chemicals were used in processing. Although bamboo is better than some fabric alternatives, organic cotton is probably the best option.

Gloria

The Naturepedic Blog Maven