Posts Tagged ‘Crib Mattress’

Wait, what? Soybean foam isn’t made of soybeans?!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

 

soybeansI’ll keep this short: soybean foam is primarily made from petrochemicals, not soybeans.  

You might have also have heard of soybean foam as bio-foam, soy foam, and other names combining soy-, bio-, or eco-.

No forest green lettering, or image of pastoral fields on marketing materials, can change the truth: soy foam might contain 20% soy content but can contain as little as 3-5% depending on the product. The rest is highly flammable polyurethane foam made from fossil fuels, processed with harsh chemicals and treated with flame retardant chemicals.gasoline

If a consumer is looking for an alternative to polyurethane foam for the sake of avoiding chemicals, soy foam isn’t the solution.

Sigh.

But soy foam sounds so healthy … and marketers count on it.

The initial green angle for soy foam was on using renewable plant-based resources* to supplement non-renewable petroleum. Mattress and furniture company marketers, however, soon found that marketing could intentionally lead consumers to make seemingly logical – albeit false – assumptions about what was, and wasn’t, in “soy foam”.

With the addition of green imagery and colors, the trick was complete, and the public assumed that soy foam was made from soybeans.

Seriously. Green lettering can make anything look healthier. Watch.

poison

Now look.

poison logo

 Looks healthier, friendlier and greener, doesn’t it?

Look at the labels on soy-foam products: the implication is clearly that the foam is primarily made from soybeans and is manufactured with fewer chemicals.

This is clearly false.

—————–

*You can read volumes about industrial soy crops. While out of the scope of this post, recent concerns include deforestation in Brazil for giant soybean plantations.  More than 90% of U.S. soybeans derive from GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, and as far back as 2007 more than 50% of global soybean crops were GMO.

Additionally, a story  published March 23, 2014 in The Telegraph claims “The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices…” Environmentalists have been concerned about biofuel crops and their environmental impact for some time. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to publish the actual report on March 31, 2014. Read The Telegraph’s article at http://bit.ly/1iwMv3K.

 

Is Your Nursery Toxic? Check out this Experiment by Good Morning America and Greenguard Environmental Institute.

Monday, April 30th, 2012


non toxic nurseryA recent experiment conducted by Good Morning America and Greenguard Environmental Institute, a nursery was set up with indoor-pollution monitoring equipment, then furnished and decorated. Within a week, the equipment found 300 different chemicals in the room – some of which are known to cause allergies, hormonal disruption, and even cancer.

Some of the products were particularly volatile. According to the results: “the rocker contained seven times California’s recommended level of formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer, and the crib mattress gave off more than 100 different chemicals, including industrial solvents and alcohols. The paint used on the nursery’s walls contained chemical gases at five times the recommended limit.”

Can this be normal? Is that what every nursery is like? Did they go out of their way to find products that were suspect? No, they just furnished the room the way any parent would.

It’s hard enough for adult bodies to process that kind of pollution, but it’s particularly hard for babies!

How do you outfit a nursery so that it is safe for your baby? It’s not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few tips:

• Get wooden furniture, rather than plastic, and go for brands that use non-toxic materials in the manufacturing of their products. Check online – they’re not hard to find.

• Instead of carpeting or laminate floors, used natural products like wood or cork, and, as with the furniture, ensure they aren’t manufactured or applied to the floor with toxic chemicals. Several different companies offer flooring that doesn’t emit VOCs. Check Debra’s List for a list. Search ‘flooring.’

• Use low- or no-VOCs paints. Several name brands now offer these kinds of paints. They may be a little more expensive than others, but not much, and they are well worth it.

• Get a Naturepedic organic crib mattress. Our mattresses are GREENGUARD certified to the highest standard, and they are certified organic by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – the only certification that guarantees a truly organic product. See more about this in our blog “Is Your Crib Mattress Really Organic?

• Textiles – bedding, throw rugs, curtains – should be made with organic cotton, linen or silk. If you are going to use non-organic cotton or other natural materials, make sure you don’t get something that’s wrinkle-resistant, wash and wear, or no-iron. Wrinkle-free products are made that way with formaldehyde.

• Cleaning products and laundry detergents should also be natural and free of fragrance, phthalates or other chemicals. They’re available in health food stores but, for cleaning, vinegar, water and baking soda works on just about anything.

• To give the room a boost and help clean the air, try plants. See our blog “Cleaning Baby’s Nursery Air with House Plants”, for a list of the specific plants that are most beneficial.

Give your baby a good start in life by eliminating any chemicals they have to cope with as they try to develop into healthy children and adults.

Is Your Crib Mattress Really Organic? And How About Your Food?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012


Have you ever seen the word ‘organic’ on a product you bought only to find out later that it is not actually organic? I’ve had that happen plenty of times. The label says organic, I read the ingredients or materials list – if there is one – and see that it contains a certain amount of organic materials but, otherwise, is basically the same as any other product I could have bought for half the price.

Sometimes the label correctly reflects the ingredients and is not misleading; and at other times the manufacturers are trying to take advantage of the selling potential of organic products by making things look a little more organic than they actually are – this is known as ‘greenwashing.’

Figuring out whether or not a manufacturer is greenwashing can take quite a bit of research. But even with those manufacturers who are right up front about their products, we can still be confused. That’s because we don’t actually know the definitions and legalities of labeling terminology or the various certifications required by different types of products.

To make a very long story short, here are the basic labeling requirements for food and other agricultural products:

If something contains less than 70% organic ingredients, it cannot be labeled organic.

Products containing between 70% and 95% organic ingredients can use the phrase “made with organic ingredients.”

If the ingredients are 95% to 99.99% organic, they can be labeled “USDA Organic”

If everything in a product is organic, the label can state “100% USDA Organic”

However, both the USDA Organic and 100% USDA Organic seals only apply to agricultural products in a relatively raw state. When cotton is harvested, cleaned and formed into cotton balls, it’s still considered an agricultural product. But to turn that cotton into fabric, various processes are used that are beyond the USDA certification limitations.

That’s where a different type of certification comes into play – Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

So, with a Naturepedic crib mattress, for example, the USDA organic certification would apply to the cotton interior, but not to the steel used for the springs or the food-grade polyethylene used for the waterproof covering, and so on.

Truth be told, both USDA and GOTS certification standards are full of a lot of little details we don’t really need to know – like whether or not it’s necessary to sew a product using organic cotton thread. Suffice it to say that if you’re talking about crib mattresses, the only certification that really says organic is GOTS.

Naturepedic is proud to display the GOTS seal. And, I must say, we are on a very, very short list of manufacturers who can say the same.

Nominate a Mom for Healthy Child Healthy World’s Annual Award

Monday, January 23rd, 2012


Three years ago, Healthy Child Healthy World started their “Mom on a Mission” awards. Every month from January to August they choose one mom as a finalist, and the winner is announced in November. The winning Mom on a Mission gets a prize. For 2012, the fourth year of the awards, the prize is a special event in New York City. How does Healthy Child find these wonderful moms? From you: You submit your nominations to Healthy Child.

What’s Mom on a Mission all about? In the words of Healthy Child: Mom on a Mission is about “Celebrating special and inspiring American parents who are dedicated to creating healthier and happier environments for children and families. Our 4th Annual Mom on a Mission campaign is designed to shed light on those who put our words into action.”

Last year’s winner was Tamara Rubin. Tamara’s children were diagnosed with acute lead poisoning – the result of a painting contractor’s use of unsafe paint removal methods. Tamara not only got into action, she was even instrumental in the passing of a new law – The Federal EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Read more about Tamara’s fascinating story.

Many moms, and dads, started their education about the relationship between toxins and health when they found out they were about to have a baby. They went looking for a crib mattress, did a little research, and wound up buying organic. Naturepedic is proud to have been the top choice for many. From there, parents continued to educate themselves and some even got more involved in making big changes. Some are even be actively changing laws, like Tamara Rubin.

We might not all be able to change laws, but what each of us does, no matter how little, makes a difference. Or, as Healthy Child puts it: No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

We all want a healthier environment, and boy do we need it! Public acknowledgment of the work being done towards achieving a healthy world is important, It educates more people, and it inspires them to do as much as they can to create a healthy life for their children, themselves and every one of us.

So, pick a mom who’s doing something – maybe it’s even you, or your mom – and get her info to Healthy Child.

Check Out Naturepedic’s New Organic Comfort Topper – Perfect for a Luxurious Sleep

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


mattress topper, Naturepedic

Naturepedic Comfort Topper

I can’t tell you how many times parents who have a Naturepedic baby crib mattress said they wish they had a Naturepedic mattress for themselves!

We do make twin, double and queen mattresses, but they’re still made for young, growing bodies – a little too firm for most adults. The good news is that we now have a new product that provides all the comfort older kids and adults are looking for – our new Comfort Topper.

The comfort topper is 3 inches thick and made with a stretch knit organic cotton fabric, an organic cotton filling, and a deluxe pocket coil system for pressure point relief and full body contouring. And, of course, there are no potentially toxic materials or wool, latex and other potential allergens.

The Comfort Topper works with Naturepedic mattresses, or any other mattress you’d like to cover with something soft, luxurious and organic!

Check out other organic toppers for comparison and you’ll find the price is right!

What’s ‘Greenwashing’ and How Can I Tell if Something is Really Green, Natural or Non-Toxic?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012


It’s time for New Year’s resolutions! The perfect time to get started on going green and natural and providing a healthy environment for you and your family – an environment free of toxic, or potentially toxic, chemicals. But embarking on such a journey can be confusing; you may have already experienced the let down of buying something that is labeled ‘green’, ‘natural’, ‘eco’, or ‘non-toxic’, only to find out that there’s very little difference between that product and its toxic competitors. That kind of marketing is now known as ‘greenwashing.’

‘Greenwashing’ is a relatively new term. It’s an adaptation of ‘whitewashing’, which is defined in Encarta as a “cover-up: a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context.”

The same dictionary defines ‘greenwashing’ as “bogus environmentalism: public relations’ initiatives by a business or organization, e.g. advertising or public consultation, that purport to show concern for the environmental impact of its activities.”

Examples of ‘greenwashing’ aren’t hard to find:

• Cosmetics that add a little aloe vera or Vitamin E and label their products ‘natural’, even though they have made no changes in the rest of their ingredients.

• Laundry detergents or cleaning products that add baking soda or enzymes to their products and display in big, bold letters on the box that they ‘clean with natural enzyme action’, but they fail to mention that they also contain phthalates, sodium laurel sulphate, and so on.

• With crib mattresses, and mattresses for adults, you might see something labeled as ‘eco-…’ or ‘soy-based’, giving you the idea that the foam they use is made from soybeans – what could be more natural? In fact, the soybean content is minimal, and the rest of the materials are the same as they used to be.

We couldn’t possibly put all the examples of ‘greenwashing’ in this blog, nor can we give you all the information on each chemical and its level of toxicity. But we can give you some information on where to find out this kind of information relatively quickly and easily. Here are some of our favorites resources:

Healthy Child Healthy World – A wealth of data, and a good search engine. Just type in the chemical you’re concerned about, or another question, and you’ll find answers.

Environmental Working Group – This site really keeps you up to date with what’s going on in the world of toxics and creating a safe home and environment. It also has a great menu system and search engine.

Cosmetics Database – This is a wonderful tool for information on the toxicity of the ingredients for cosmetics and personal care products – everything from baby shampoo to anti-aging serums. Lots of detail. You can use this database to find out about the healthiest choices in these kinds of products.

Home Safe Home and Toxic Free – Two excellent books by Debra Lynn Dadd. What chemicals to watch out for in what products, healthy alternatives, and more. Informative, complete, well-organized, fun and easy to read – you’ll want to read them cover to cover and keep them for easy reference.

As for baby crib mattresses and crib mattress bedding, check our website pages “What’s In” and “What’s Not In” for lists of the materials we use and don’t use, and why.

Of course, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of other sources of information, but with the few listed above, you should be able to find out just about everything you need to know. And they will help you cut through the greenwashing propaganda like a pro!

We’re looking forward to a happy, healthy, 2012 and wish the same for you and your family. Let’s make all our resolutions a reality!

Naturepedic Crib Mattresses and Accessories Certified To New GREENGUARD “Select” Program

Friday, December 9th, 2011


Worried about emissions of potentially toxic fumes into your nursery and other parts of your home? GREENGUARD is an independent organization that tests for emissions. They also offer several different certification programs to manufacturers whose products qualify.

Per GREENGUARD, common household products (which would include crib mattresses) release hundreds of potentially harmful chemicals into the air. Poor indoor air quality is linked to asthma, upper respiratory problems and other complications.

Naturepedic crib mattresses have been certified by GREENGUARD for the last five years. But there is now a new certification standard called “Select.”

In addition to the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification Program, GREENGUARD’s previously highest standard, Select certification meets the latest scientific and marketing requirements. These include:

• Volatile organic compound (VOC) content limits
• Lower formaldehyde emissions requirements (driven by California Air Resources Board and California Department of Public Health’s 2012 CA 01350 requirements)
• Lead and phthalate content requirements (as defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Information Act)
• Commercial furniture testing protocols (as defined by BIFMA)

According to GREENGUARD, “Participating in this elite program demonstrates market leadership in minimizing chemical exposures from products”.

We are proud to announce that Naturepedic is the first mattress manufacturer to achieve this new certification.

The Select certified products include all our crib mattress models, mattress pads for bassinetts, cradles, portable cribs, and so on, as well as all our bedding accessories.

As always, we have your best interests at heart and strive to give your baby a healthy start in life!

Host a Healthy Home Party with a Kit Full of Goodies from Healthy Child Healthy World

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Have you ever wished that more people in your life understood the benefits of a non-toxic environment for children? To help you educate and inspire friends, family, neighbors and others, Healthy Child Healthy World is offering a Healthy Home Party Kit to anyone who hosts a Healthy Home Party.

The Healthy Home Party Kit includes:

* ‘Wake-Up to 5 Easy Steps’ DVD
* 5 Easy Steps guide
* Pocket guides
* Healthy Child brochures
* 5 Easy Steps flyer
* ‘Creating Healthy Environments for Children’ fact sheet
* 5 Easy Steps on ‘How to Host a Healthy Home Party’
* Product samples and collateral from our sponsors.

So far, a whopping 3,745 people have answered the call to host parties and many, many more thousands have attended. That’s really spreading the word – each of those attendees now knows more about how chemicals can adversely affect their lives and the lives of their children, and what they can do about it.

But these parties aren’t just educational, they’re fun!! Check out what a few of the hosts have to say:

“Just wanted to thank you all for the opportunity to host the House party! It was a great success and I really think people left with a lot of important information. The raffle prizes were fantastic and coupons worked out great for me. Thanks again and I look forward to next year to host again!”

“I had the party at work. I gave out samples and coupons and everyone was so interested in the products and what we all can do to help our children and ourselves become a healthy, chemical free generation. I loved the products and some I had never even heard of. I especially like the ionator. It is my new best friend. I never have to buy chemicals again and never have to have my child breathe in such when I am cleaning. He loves that he can now help me clean. Thank you so much for the information and the resources to get this message out to the public.”

“I had my healthy child party last Friday night July 17th and it was awesome!!!! I really appreciate the information and products that you guys sent to host this party. My guests were incredibly surprised with the information, the products and such that was sent. They realized that a lot of companies truly are passionate about making sure our homes are as healthy and toxin free as possible. It was very well rounded with the 5 easy steps, and I had 2 of my friends bring along all natural products they have found to discuss and pass out samples of to further our information sharing. Keep up the good work! I would love to host a party once a year to keep the information going round, and to have more guest speakers come to share the changes in this area. Thanks again!”

Check out Healthy Child Healthy World for more info – they tell you exactly what to do and supply everything you need – and get rolling!

At Naturepedic, we’ve been partnering up with Healthy Child Healthy World for years. In fact, we make the only crib mattress they recommend. Join in the fun and make a difference.

Updated Toxic Substances Control Act Back in Action

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011


Lautenberg introduces Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Millions of parents around the U.S. are becoming aware of the dangers of toxic chemicals in our homes and in the environment. They’ve taken steps to eliminate them: They buy organic crib mattresses, outfit their baby’s nursery with non-toxic furniture and décor, use non-toxic cleaning supplies, wear clothing made with natural fibers, use air purifiers, eat organic food, and so on. But we’re all still waiting for the federal government to step up to the plate and update the Toxic Substances Control Act to help give us the protection we need.

Although the Toxic Substances Control Act has been on the books since 1976, the way it’s written makes it virtually impossible for anything to be done when goods made with toxic chemicals enter the marketplace. In fact, about 80,000 new chemicals have been created and introduced to our daily lives since 1976 and only about 200 have been tested for safety and only a handful have been restricted.

Last fall, an updated Toxic Substances Control Act was introduced to congress by New Jersey’s Senator Frank Lautenberg. Check out Sen. Lautenberg’s video about the bill. It did not pass at the time, but has just been reintroduced.

There is an abundance of scientific evidence linking toxic chemicals to health problems. Study results have been clear enough to warrant 18 states passing their own laws. Also, hundreds of thousands of businesses now offer non-toxic alternatives. Almost every major grocery store chain now carries non-toxic cleaning supplies, for example, and some corporations, like Walmart, have even taken it as far as banning products with specific, very commonly used but dangerous chemicals from their shelves.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is just one group of supporters. It represents more than 70,000 businesses – Naturepedic is among them.

Our founder – also a grandfather, concerned citizen and environmental engineer – Barry A. Cik, was quoted by the ASBC in a recent news release:

“I saw Lake Erie die and then observed how the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 helped bring it back to life,” he said. “Our company was created to help stop the rampant misuse of chemicals. Naturepedic is determined to give babies and their families an alternative free of questionable chemicals. There are very few, if any, responsibilities that we have that are more important than providing a safe environment for our children. Naturepedic is asking Congress and the American public to level the playing field for businesses and make sure that all babies and children are provided with safe and healthy products free of questionable chemicals by passing this needed legislation.”

With 18 states having their own laws in place – although they don’t cover all the bases by a long shot – and hundreds of thousands of companies offering non-toxic goods, you can have a close to toxic-free household with little effort. But the new Toxic Substances Control Act will give us more choices and make it easier to get what we need to help ensure the health of our children, ourselves, and our environment.

To summarize the new law, called the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, we would see the following changes:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be required to identify and restrict the “worst of the worst” chemicals, those that persist and build up in the food chain.

Any product containing chemicals and being introduced to the marketplace, or continuing to be available, would be required to first supply basic health and safety information.

Scientific methods for testing and evaluating chemicals would be upgraded to reflect best practices called for by the National Academy of Sciences.

Generally provide EPA with the tools and resources it needs to identify and address chemicals posing health and environmental concerns.

If you would like to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, call your congressman and let him know how you feel.

Ten Simple Ways to Create a Non-Toxic Home for Your Baby (and yourself)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011


creating a non-toxic homeWomen who are not committed to non-toxic living, even though they know at least a little about the dangers of some of the chemicals in their lives, often find themselves more serious about the subject when they become pregnant. Having a few toxins in your own system is one thing; foisting them off on your innocent and somewhat defenseless little one is another story. So, now that you’re taking a more serious look at all of this, what do you do?

Before we get into the ten simple ways you can create a non-toxic home, I would like to impress upon you that the first step is to create a non-toxic nursery. That’s where your baby will be spending most of their time for the next year or two. Start with a non-toxic crib mattress, one that doesn’t emit harmful chemical fumes into the air your baby will breathe for 12 to 18 hours a day, and go from there. Use our blog, Creating a Non-Toxic Nursery, as a helpful, item by item guide.

Now, let’s move onto the rest of the house.

In truth, creating a toxic-free home can be a daunting and expensive task if you include buying new furniture and other big-ticket items. But there are many things you can do to greatly reduce the chemical burden of your home without having to take things that far. Not perfection, but so very close.

How do you find out about these relatively simple changes? Rather than telling you all about it here, I will refer you to one of the best sources of information available – Debra Lynn Dadd’s free e-book, Ten Toxics You Can Toss Today. A wonderful little book, easy and fast to read and understand.

Some of the things on the ‘ten toxics’ list are pretty simple – Brush Your Teeth Without Fluoride, Wash Windows Without Ammonia – those aren’t too difficult to figure out. But other items are things you might not have a clue how to address, or even know there is a need to address them. Like Stay Cozy Without Carbon Monoxide. Huh?

For all ten items, Debra provides useful information about what the problems are with those toxics and how to find healthy alternatives. If you have any questions about specific items in your home, Debra is a goldmine of information. You can check her toxics and health website, read her book Home Safe Home, or even get an in-person or phone consultation.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air in our homes is two to five times more toxic than the air outside. Other experts say it’s much worse. Even though your baby is going to spend a lot of time in their room for the first little while, the toxic fumes from other parts of the home inevitably also end up in the nursery. There’s no way to stop it.

Make the commitment to a non-toxic home now. Don’t risk your child’s health and happiness by exposing them to the dangers of toxic chemicals.