Posts Tagged ‘non-toxic cleaning products’

Are You Going to be a Mom Soon? Protect Your Baby’s Health by Making Changes Now.

Monday, September 20th, 2010


It used to be a usual thing that soon-to-be moms would quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. A wise choice. But these days we have much more to worry about in terms of toxins. In fact, study after study has shown traces of toxic chemicals in breast milk and the blood and urine of pregnant moms. And we now know that these chemicals transfer to the baby. What can you do to protect your child from the chemical onslaught?

In addition to getting your baby a crib, crib mattress, changing pad, clothing, linens and food that is free of toxic chemicals, it’s time to change other things in your household to help you stop accumulating toxins in your own body. Here’s a list of simple things you can do to remove general toxins from your environment.

Get rid of your PVC vinyl shower curtain. These shower curtains off-gas toxic chemicals. Instead, switch to cotton or hemp. They work just as well, although you do have to make sure the ventilation is good and they are washed frequently. You could also consider a glass shower door. They’re relatively easy to install and cost less than $100.

Start eating organic fruits and vegetables and meat from animals fed the way they used to be before commercial feeds became popular. For beef and lamb, for example, that was grass. Also, make sure they haven’t been fed antibiotics or hormones. Those substances go straight into your body, and into your baby’s.

Change your cleaning products to something non-toxic or, better still, use old-fashioned remedies like baking soda and vinegar. In fact, you could pretty much clean your whole house with just these two products. Whatever products you choose, make sure they do not contain fragrance. Synthetic fragrances are high on the list of toxic chemicals.

Do the same with your personal care products and cosmetics. A lot of chemicals are absorbed through the skin.

If you’re not yet pregnant, but there’s a chance you might become pregnant, all the same things apply for your husband. His body influences the baby’s, too.

Make sure your indoor air is clean by removing toxic chemicals from the household and using an air purifier. Did you know that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor? You can change that.

Remember, whatever’s in your body might pass through to the baby. If you would like more information on that, watch 10 Americans, a very interesting video about a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group.

These few changes will help protect your baby, and you. It can take a while to get toxins out of your body so whether you’re planning on motherhood in the near future or far, now is a good time to start.

Going Green in 2010 – A Few Simple Things With A Big Impact

Thursday, December 31st, 2009


GoingGreenNew Year’s Day is the traditional time to turn over a new leaf. It’s that time when we decide to lose a little weight, go for that promotion at work, or make some investments that will pay off. This year, a lot of people will be putting more effort into going green. Getting your child a new toddler or crib mattress that has been certified by GREENGUARD is a good start, but there are many other things you can do for your children and your entire family. Here’s a brief list.

  • Buy organic products. Everything from food to bed linens and carpets. In addition to protecting your family, organic food and organic products made in green facilities cause much less damage to the environment than other products. No pesticides for the food, and the potentially harmful chemicals used in other products and in the production process are significantly reduced if not completely eliminated.
  • Throw out your cleaning supplies and replace them with non-toxic, biodegradable alternatives. There are many products available in health food stores; even regular supermarkets are now adding them to their shelves. But the labels can fool you. Read more about what to look for on a label in Cleaning Products for the Non-Toxic Nursery. Of course, all the information also applies to the rest of the house!

  • Replace your beds. Babies spend 12 to 15 hours a day in bed, toddlers not much less and, for adults, it’s about a third of their life! There are so many beds out there made with potentially harmful chemicals. Some have even been banned. And with the changes being made in the Environmental Protection Agency, there’s a good chance more will be banned in the future. Start with getting your kids crib or toddler mattresses to help them get a healthy start in life. Then move onto your own.

There are hundreds of other things you can do to go green, but these are a very good start! Going green in 2010 will help create a safer, healthier home for your family, and for families around the world.

Q & A: Creating a Toxin-Free Nursery – What’s After Getting an Organic Crib Mattress?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


Q: I am going to be a new mother in about two months. I am now the proud owner of a Naturepedic crib mattress, but I’m not sure what my next priority should be to make sure our nursery is free of toxins.

A: Congratulations on the soon-to-be new arrival! And on your new Naturepedic organic crib mattress. Your next step to creating a toxin-free nursery really depends on your current environment. If you have just installed new carpeting or just painted the nursery, your first priority right now would be opening windows and/or installing a heavy duty air purifier.

To hasten the off-gassing process, you can also ‘cure’ your nursery – to see exact steps, read the Curing a Sick House section in our recent blog.

You also want to make sure the baby’s bedding and clothes are free of toxic dyes and other chemicals. Organic cotton is your best bet. Fortunately, more and more stores are selling organic cotton clothing for babies so they shouldn’t be too hard to find. By the way, if you’re looking for info on natural products, check out Debra’s List. She’s the Queen of Green – knows just about everything.

I seem to be referencing materials from Debra Lynn Dadd quite frequently of late. No, she’s not paying me. But she does excellent research and has volumes of helpful info on living without harmful chemicals.

Also, it’s very important to make sure your cleaning products aren’t toxic. See our blog on non-toxic cleaning products for more info.

Gloria
The Naturepedic Blog Maven

An Organic Crib Mattress is Great – But What About the Nursery Walls and Floors

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


Although there’s no question that it’s better for everyone if our homes and the environment are completely free of toxic chemicals, it’s just not always possible. To resolve the issues across the globe, it’s going to take a big team – industry, government and our concerned friends everywhere on the planet. But we don’t need anyone’s help to take care of our child’s nursery or, for that matter, our own home.

How do we do that? In addition to using non-toxic products whenever possible – starting with an organic crib mattress and going straight through to cleaning products – you might also consider ridding the walls, floors, carpeting and so on of any residual off-gasing potential.

A step by step process for doing this is in a book called Home Safe Home, written by Debra Lynn Dadd, green maven extraordinaire. I recently had the good fortune to get Ms. Dadd’s permission to re-print the process in its entirety. The section is called Curing a Sick House. See below. And, by the way, I’d love to hear anyone’s feedback after they’ve tried this out.

Curing a Sick House

There are many building materials that have some toxicity when being applied, but cure to a nontoxic finish. This is because the toxic part is the solvent used to keep the material pliable (as in the case of caulks, paints, and other finishes) or that residual chemicals used in manufacturing have not completely dissipated (such as adhesives used to hold together wood floor tiles). Once these chemicals outgas, however, the resulting product is nontoxic.

If you don’t have to install or apply these products yourself, once cured they can be safe for you and your family to live with (though in the larger scheme of things, we should also be considering toxic exposures to the people we hire and the pollutants released into the environment.)

To speed up the curing process, you can do what is commonly called a “bake-out.” In my experience, it has been a cure-all for many toxic homes, as it bakes off the volatile gasses that are present in materials and finishes and cures the materials into an inert form.

The procedure I recommend is this:

1. Close all doors and windows.
2. Remove people, pets, and plants.
3. Turn up the central heat as far as it will go (or use space heaters).
4. At the end of each twenty-four-hour period, open the doors and windows and air your home out completely. Use a fan if necessary.
5. Sniff around to check for odors. Determine if they are gone, or if you need another day of baking.

Baking can take from one to five days. I’ve never needed to do it longer than five days.”

Gloria
The Naturepedic Blog Maven

Cleaning Products for the Non-Toxic Nursery

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


Bacteria, or cleaning products with toxic chemicals? Hmmmm. Tough choice. But, really, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many non-toxic cleaning products available in health food stores and even in supermarkets – although you do have to watch the labels carefully in the supermarket products – some say ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ but have simply had something organic or natural added to them, without eliminating the toxic ingredients.

Non-Toxic Cleaning Products from Your Kitchen

Non-Toxic Cleaning Products from Your Kitchen

We don’t recommend specific products, there are far too many to keep track of, and we’re kind of busy making our wonderful organic crib mattresses, but here is an outline of what to look for to ensure you’re getting something safe. Courtesy of Debra Lynn Dadd, Queen of Green.

“If a cleaning product contains a chemical that is hazardous, it must by law specify the hazard. Look at your cleaning product labels and see if you find any of these words:

Toxic/Highly Toxic: poisonous if you happen to drink it, if you breathe the fumes, or if it is absorbed through your skin.

Extremely flammable/Flammable/Combustible
: can catch fire if exposed to a flame or an electric spark.

Corrosive: will eat away your skin or cause inflammation of mucous membranes.

Strong Sensitizer: may provoke an allergic reaction.

Hazardous cleaning products also must prominently display the degree of toxicity with one of the following signal words:

Danger (or Poison, with skull and crossbones): could kill an adult if only a tiny pinch is ingested.

Warning: could kill an adult if about a teaspoon is ingested

Caution: will not kill until an amount from 2 tablespoons to 2 cups is ingested.”

Additionally, your kitchen is actually loaded with the ingredients for just about every cleaning need. The short list includes vinegar, water, lemon, cornstarch, table salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. If you’re interested in making your own cleaning products – it’s very easy and fast – check Home Safe Home, Debra Lynn Dadd’s indispensable guide to non-toxic living.

Gloria
The Naturepedic Blog Maven