Posts Tagged ‘flame retardants’

3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Non-toxic spring cleaning tips

The daunting chore of spring cleaning marks an opportunity to make your home less toxic. There are many hidden hazardous chemicals in common cleaning products and household items—from glass cleaner to hand soap to your living room sofa—so we’ve compiled a short to-do list to help make your home safer. This list is not extensive, but it’s a start. And, by completing these three simple tasks you can start removing many questionable chemicals from your family’s abode.

Alright, let’s detoxify:

  1. Ditch antibacterial & toxic cleaning products:
  2. Did you know that products labelled “antibacterial’ or ”antimicrobial” contain pesticides? Or that many common cleaning products contain ingredients like ammonia and coal tar dyes? Unfortunately, American manufacturers are not required to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with long-term exposure to chemical ingredients in cleaning products.

    Preventative measures: forgo cleaners with a laundry list of chemical ingredients. Try ones with simple, non-toxic ingredients. Some reputable brands to consider are Method, Molly’s Suds and Seventh Generation. Or, save some money by trying these easy-to-make homemade mixtures:

    General cleaner: one part white vinegar and nine parts water—spray it on and let it dry on its own. When you’re finished cleaning, dump the solution down your garbage disposal or toilet. (bonus tip: add lemon juice for increased odor control)

    Glass cleaner: mix one part white vinegar with one part water, and spray.

    Kitchen counter cleaner: first, wipe your surface with hot, soapy water using unscented castile soap and then follow with a vinegar-water solution. (bonus tip: spray a little hydrogen peroxide after using your vinegar-water mixture to kill extra germs)

  3. Avoid flame retardant chemicals and chemical barriers:
  4. Some are potentially very harmful, like: Flame retardant chemicals surround us. They can be in everything from our curtains, bedding and carpet to our couches, mattresses and other upholstered furniture. And some are potentially very harmful, like:

    Halogenated flame retardants: (also known as organohalogen flame retardants) contain chlorine or bromine bonded to carbon.

    Organophosphorous flame retardants: contain phosphorous bonded to carbon.

    These chemicals are seriously everywhere. According to the New York Times, “Flame retardants have been found in Antarctic penguins and Arctic orcas; in North American kestrels and barn owls; in bird eggs in Spain, fish in Canada and, indirectly, in bees — honey from Brazil, Morocco, Spain and Portugal has been found tainted with flame retardants.

    Refresh your bedroom and nursery with mattresses, as well as sheets and pillow covers, made without flame retardant chemicals or chemical barriers. Avoid new furniture that has a tag that says “complies with California Technical Bulletin 117.” California requires all upholstered furniture to be flame retardant and nearly all furniture sold in the U.S. is compliant with California law.

  5. Go unscented (for the most part):
  6. “Whether it’s your car air freshener, laundry detergent, cologne, or ‘pine fresh’ after shave, if it’s scented, it’s likely laden with phthalates,” according to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). In other words, anything labeled “fragrance” or “perfume,” if not derived from natural ingredients like essential oils, may include questionable chemicals. Heather Patisaul, a phthalate researcher at North Carolina State University told CEH, “You’ll usually just see the generic term ‘fragrance’ to describe a proprietary mixture of chemicals.”

    To avoid irritating allergens, buy unscented products (that are also free from harmful chemicals… see Tip #1… even unscented products can contain harmful ingredients) and stop using air fresheners. To deodorize your home, try opening up a few windows and setting out a cup of baking soda.

PS. Don’t forget your four-legged family members. Artificial and various natural scents can really irritate a dog’s nose. Their sense of smell is way more sensitive (about 10,000x more!) than ours.

We hope you have found these simple spring cleaning tips informative and useful. Join us. Make a pledge to detoxify your house, for your safety and for our plant. Please share your non-toxic spring cleaning tips with us on Twitter by tweeting @NaturepedicYou —Happy detoxifying!

Fire Retardants Linked to Developmental Problems in Children, Study Says

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011


I can’t help but notice a real concern with the toxicity of fire retardants when I’m reading other’s blogs, articles, online consumer reviews and comments about crib mattresses and other children’s products. The concern is often focused on PBDEs, commonly used toxic flame retardant chemicals that are in just about everything. Should we be concerned? According to a unique study conducted by The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is a very definite yes.

The researchers on this unique study analyzed the cord blood of 210 infants and then followed up for the next six years. The children were tested at 12, 24, 36 48 and 72 months for psychomotor development, mental development, performance IQ, verbal IQ and full-scale IQ.

The results showed that children with PBDEs in their cord blood scored significantly lower on the later tests. In fact, the higher the prenatal exposure to PBDEs, the lower the scores. Scores on some tests were as much at 10.9 points lower than the scores of children with less prenatal exposure.

PBDEs are widely used flame-retardant chemicals that are in everything from carpets, upholstery and drapery fabrics, children’s clothing, mattresses and furniture to appliances, insulation, building materials, computers and other electronic equipment.

How do PBDEs get into our system?

Because they are added to the products rather than chemically bound to them, they can be released into the air, lodge in dust, and anywhere else they happen to land, where they can be inhaled and even ingested.

PBDEs also don’t break down easily; once they’re in the body they tend to stay there. This also means they accumulate in the body with additional exposure and the levels just keep going up.

What can you do about it?

As the PDBEs in your home can be airborne, it’s important to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. But the most important step you can take is to phase out PBDEs in your own home. Instead, choose products that do not contain “PBDEs”, “brominated fire retardants” or “Deca.”

Many furniture manufacturers and stores, like Ikea, are conscious of the dangers of PBDEs and offer PBDE-free furniture.

For textiles – draperies, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and so on, look for fibers that are naturally fire retardant – organic cotton and wool are good examples. And always check with the manufacturer if there is no information on the label. All of our Naturepedic crib mattresses and other products are made with organic cotton and free of PBDEs and any other harmful chemicals, so that’s a good place to start in protecting your children.

If you’d like to read the full study, it’s available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.

Anyone who is a potential father or mother should start getting rid of PBDEs and other harmful chemicals right now. Your child’s future depends on it.

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

Sunday, April 11th, 2010


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:

1. Bisphenol A (BPA) – food wrap, water bottles and other plastics
2. Oxybenzone – moisturizers, sunscreens, lip balm
3. Flouride – toothpaste, tap water
4. Parabens – moisturizers, hair care and shaving products
5. Phthalates – skin care treatment products, crib mattresses, toys, shower curtains, just about everything made with pliable PVC/vinyl
6. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – chewing gum, snack foods, diaper creams
7. Perflouroctanoic Acid – tap water, teflon and non-stick pots and pans
8. Perchlorate – drinking water, soil
9. Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DECA) – flame retardant in electronics, furniture, carpets
10. Asbestos – insulation, drywall, artificial fireplace logs, toys

The Time article doesn’t give a lot of information on each chemical and, of course, the actual list of toxic chemicals commonly found is in the thousands. But that’s not the point.

The important thing is that they are writing about it – more people are being educated, the powers that be will be more motivated to bring the issue to the top of their agenda, change will occur at a more accelerated rate, and we’ll all be living healthier lives.