Posts Tagged ‘liver problems’

Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out.

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Cute? Yes. But what about phthalates?

Cute? Yes. But what about phthalates?

As of February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) banned the manufacture of child care articles and toys containing phthalates (pronounced “thalates”). Phthalates are plasticizer chemicals commonly used in crib mattresses and mattress pads: they soften PVC/vinyl to make it pliable so it can be used as a waterproof surface.

They’re also used in many kids’ toys.

Although we’ve never used phthalates in Naturepedic crib mattresses, they have been used for decades by just about every other crib mattress manufacturer out there.

So why the big hullabaloo over chemicals that have been used in baby and child products for decades? Because we now know (have for many years, actually) that phthalates leach out of vinyl over time where they can reach your baby or child. And that is dangerous with a capital D.

Research has linked phthalates to hormonal and endocrine system problems, especially in boys. In 1997, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer found a high risk of testicular cancer associated with exposure to PVC products.

Other research has also linked phthalates to other types of cancer, and to liver problems.

Numerous U.S. government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The U.S. Department of Health, the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued public safety statements concerning the use of phthalates.

Also, a study done by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concluded that phthalates are animal carcinogens and can cause fetal death, malformations and problems with the endocrine system. The AAP went on to say that the risk to children was even greater because their bodies and organ systems are still developing.

Phthalates have been banned in some European countries for 10 years – finally, the U.S. is catching up.

Read more about phthalates and the phthalates ban on our site.

Phthalates, by the way, are not just in crib mattresses. They can also be found in perfumes and fragrances, cosmetics, scented lotions, shampoos, aftershaves, nail polish, hair spray, toys, car interiors, medical devices like blood IV bags and tubing, vinyl flooring, vinyl wallpaper, and vinyl shower curtains – to name just a few of the most common types of products.

What can you do about? Get educated, get rid of crib mattresses and toys containing phthalates and, in general, get phthalates out of your life. An ounce of prevention ….

Phthalates Already Banned in Crib Mattresses – Will Feeding Tubes Be Next?

Monday, July 27th, 2009


For the last couple of days the news has been flooded with the results of a German study regarding the use of the phthalate known as DEHP in IV feeding tubes for preemies. The study showed that 50% of the infants fed with these tubes develop liver problems, compared to 13% for those fed with DEHP-free tubes.


DEHP is one of the three phthalates the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently banned in crib mattresses, bedding, toys and other children’s items. Research showed that phthalates can leach out of these products over time and possibly cause various types of cancers, liver problems and so on.


When you consider that babies spend 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping right next to these chemicals, it’s no surprise they were banned from crib mattresses. What is surprising is that it took this long to get substantial research done on the possible effects DEHP would have when it’s being leeched out of a feeding tube directly into the veins.


It’s also surprising that many preemies survive this onslaught. A testament to the human spirit, with perhaps a little help from above.


There are hospitals all over the U.S. that don’t use IV feeding tubes with phthalates. If you have a preemie, or know you’re going to deliver early, it would be a good idea to do a little research on these hospitals to see if there is one in your area so you can get it lined up in advance. If that can’t be done, you might request that the hospital you are going to use find a solution other than IV feeding tubes with phthalates so your baby has as healthy a start as possible.


And when you get your little miracle home, continue to be diligent. Get an organic crib mattress, and make sure toys, other items, and the general environment are safe and healthy.