Posts Tagged ‘Naturepedic’

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.

New Study Finds Link Between SIDS and Alcohol Consumption

Thursday, December 30th, 2010


One more way to keep your baby safe.

Every parent is concerned about SIDS. Although there are many theories about it, and some feel they’ve narrowed down possible causes, it is still the # 1 cause of death in children between the ages of one month and one year. New research has now linked SIDS to parents or caregivers drinking alcohol. It may not be the sole cause of SIDS, but it might enable you to make changes that could keep your baby safe.


The study, conducted by University of California sociologist, David Phillips, reviewed 129,090 SIDS cases that occurred between 1973 to 2006.

The findings showed that SIDS deaths increased at times also known for increased alcohol consumption. For example, SIDS deaths spiked by 33% on New Year’s Day. Researchers also discovered that SIDS deaths were higher on weekends and on the fourth of July.

This lines up with other statistics on SIDS: Babies of mothers who drink are more than twice as likely to die of SIDS.

One doctor commenting on the study said, “”Although the study alerts us to considering the increase in SIDS at this time of the year (meaning New Year’s), it concerns me because it does not have evidence to suggest a cause or action to prevent this increase.”

Actually, the ‘action to prevent this increase’ is pretty clear. Don’t drink alcohol AND take care of babies. Pretty simple.

Many other factors are suspected of contributing to SIDS:

Babies suffocating in extra quilts, blankets, pillows, very soft mattresses, or by sleeping on their stomach. Recommendations are to put the baby to sleep in his or her back with no extra or heavy blankets, toys, etc., and ensure they can’t roll over.;

Babies overheating if they’re over-dressed or in a room where the temperature is too high. We have a tendency to bundle babies a little too much and have their bedrooms very warm. Most doctors recommend that if you are too hot or too cold in a room, your baby probably is, too. Don’t use extra blankets or clothing; if the temperature’s good for you (unless you are particularly sensitive), then it’s probably fine for baby;

Some experts think breathing fumes coming from the chemicals in baby crib mattresses. Naturepedic crib mattresses have been independently tested to ensure the air around them is safe for baby.;

And others are still being researched.

If parents took care of all of the known or suspected risk factors, would SIDS be over? No one really knows. But we do know that we can lower our baby’s chances of SIDS by addressing the things in the above list. And now, thanks to this new study, we know that drinking alcohol and caring for babies do not mix. Abstinence may be the best policy for parents and caregivers of young children.

Does Non-Organic Cotton Contain Pesticide Residues?

Monday, December 13th, 2010


pesticide residueMany parents have questions about cotton. Is regular cotton okay, or should you use organic? The major difference is pesticides – organic cotton is grown without pesticides; regular cotton is grown with them. Are residues from those pesticides still in the cotton clothing, sheets and blankets you’re using for your baby?

This is an important question if you’re concerned about your child’s health. Pesticides have been linked to several diseases and conditions, including asthma, autism, learning disabilities, birth defects, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and several types of cancer. In fact, the President’s Cancer Panel recommends that we eat organic food in order to avoid pesticide poisoning. Here’s a quote from the latest President’s Cancer Panel Report.

“Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers…Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications.”

But food is not our only exposure to pesticides. As with other chemicals, residue can also become airborne. And when they do, they are in the air our babies breathe.

More pesticides are used on cotton crops than any other crop in the world – a full 25% of all pesticides used are used on cotton crops.

The good news is that by the time those cotton crops become fabric, the pesticides are gone. However, according to Debra Lynn Dadd, Queen of Green and author of Home Safe Home, there are other problems with cotton, including the cotton batting sometimes used in crib mattresses:

“Cotton batting does contain pesticide residues, if it is not organic, as it is not as processed as cotton fabric. So it is imperative to buy organic cotton batting, as in a mattress or pillow.”

Finishes and dyes on some cotton fabrics can also be a problem:

“The problem with cotton fabric is the finishes, such as a permanent press finish, which releases formaldehyde. Most fabrics of any kind have a “sizing” applied, which washes out in the first wash. Five washes is plenty to remove sizing, but no amount of washing removes permanent press. Dyes are also not a concern if they are “colorfast,” that is, they don’t bleed when you wash them.”

According to Ms. Dadd, there are also environmental reasons to use organic cotton:

“The reason to buy organic cotton is that conventionally-grown cotton uses a huge amount of the most toxic chemicals, which get into our air and water and soil, and indirectly into our bodies.”

At Naturepedic, we use only organic cotton in our crib mattresses. So you know your baby is safe from pesticide residues and the residues of other chemicals that may be used on the crops or in processing.

As for your baby’s jammies, sheets, blankets and other goodies, regular cotton is probably fine. But do find out about the dyes used and treatments or finishes such as permanent press. If it looks like the chemicals used there might not be safe, go with organic.

Are Bedroom Chemicals Causing Your Child’s Asthma, Allergies or Eczema?

Friday, October 29th, 2010


toxic chemicals and allergies, asthma and eczemaHaving a Naturepedic crib mattress will help handle many of the potentially toxic chemicals in your child’s bedroom. But the chemicals in crib mattresses are not the only ones you have to watch out for. In fact, some of the other common chemicals have now been linked to asthma, allergies and eczema in children. Check out this new study.

This recent study, conducted in Sweden focused on analyzing the air in children’s bedrooms. The researchers were looking for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – gases that are emitted from liquids or solids and which can damage the environment and human health. They tested the air for 8 different VOCs in the bedrooms of 400 children. Nearly half of the children suffered from allergies or asthma, and the other half were healthy.

What they found was a link between the presence of PGEs – propylene glycol and glycol ethers – and asthma, allergies and eczema. In fact, children with PGEs in their bedroom air were between 50 and 180 times more at risk of developing asthma, rhinitis (cold symptoms) and eczema than children whose bedroom air was free of these chemicals.

The study also linked bedroom air containing PGEs to a higher incidence of kids developing antibodies to cats, dogs and pollen. In other words, they are sensitive to pollen and cat or dog dander (usually), and may develop allergic symptoms in the future or already have them.

PGEs can be found in water-based paints and cleansers as well as some plastic toys and packaging. Propylene glycol is also a common ingredient in personal care products – everything from shampoos, soaps, creams, ointments, deodorants and toothpaste to laundry detergents, floor wax and processed foods. So, there is plenty of opportunity for it to get into household air.

Propylene glycol penetrates the skin very quickly and, in addition to the allergy symptoms, can cause damage to the brain, liver and kidneys. In fact, the Environment Protection Agency recommends that people working with propylene glycol avoid skin contact.

Amazing, isn’t it, that propylene glycol is so common despite these warnings?

The researchers involved in the study concluded that more testing had to be done. That’s pretty standard – one test after another. But they did also commit to the idea that PGE exposure causes or exacerbates multiple allergic symptoms.

How do you get rid of PGEs? Well, start by removing products containing them from your home. And don’t buy anymore.

How do you know which products contain propylene glycol and glycol ethers and which don’t? Some products list them on the label and many, probably most, don’t. In food, propylene glycol is listed as E 1520. For some types of products, like industrial applications and cosmetics, there is no legal requirement to list these ingredients at all. However, there is a household products database that can give you the information – just type the name of the product into the search box to see the contents. For personal care products and cosmetics, check Skin Deep. They also have a good search engine that lists tons of products.

To find alternatives, check the Internet for things like non-toxic cleansers, cosmetics, and so on. Also, Debra’s list has non-toxic alternatives for just about everything. For PGE-free food, simple buy organic and fresh, but continue to read labels of packaged products and investigate further if needed.

It seems there’s no end to harmful household toxins. But, in fact, there is. Once you get the hang of it and know what to look for, you’ll find that finding and using products that are not harmful is easy. And as a result, you and your children will be healthier!