Posts Tagged ‘organic crib mattresses’

Educating Family and Friends on Protecting Children from Chemicals

Saturday, August 28th, 2010


We’re pretty lucky here at Naturepedic – everyone is on the same page. We want all children to have a healthy sleep and our organic cotton crib mattresses provide a way to accomplish that goal. But some people, you may be one of them, are surrounded with others who don’t understand the importance of living a toxic chemical-free life.

If you’re looking for a way to spread the word, to educate friends and family about the danger of toxic chemicals and what can be done about it, you might want to start with this new video from Healthy Child Healthy World.

You can direct people you would like to educate to this blog to see the video, or send them right to Healthy Child Healthy World. If you have your own website or blog, you can even display the video yourself. Just click ‘Share’ and follow the instructions. This could be just what you need to start the ball rolling!

Keeping Your Baby Safe in the Sun – Some Sunscreens May Be More Dangerous Than the Sun!

Saturday, July 24th, 2010


If you’re going to the beach with a newborn, it’s easy to keep them out of the sun. But once they’re mobile, they want to crawl in the sand, play with their little pail and shovel, make mud pies and splash in the water. How can you safely protect your active little one from the sun? This new guide will give you the skinny on protection, and tell you the truth about sunscreens.

The Environmental Working Group has compiled info on sun safety for you your kids, including research on 1400 different sunscreens (don’t worry, you don’t have to plough through all that research) to help you figure out which are safe and effective.

The new EWG sunscreen guide (read or download the guide by clicking the link), offers the following:

o A list of the top sunscreens – by which we mean the least toxic while still being effective.
o A searchable database in which you can find out about the sunscreen you’re using or others you have questions about.
o Sun Safety Tips for every age – from infant to adult.
o The Hall of Shame – your worst options, and why. Some of this product info might come as quite a surprise.
o Sunscreens exposed: The truth about sunscreens, what’s proven and what’s not, and how sunscreens could be causing more health problems, including skin cancer, than sunburns ever did.

This is vital information for your little guys, and for you. Especially the specifics on sunscreens. After all, if you won’t let your baby sleep on toxic chemicals (that’s why we make organic crib mattresses); you’re certainly not going to rub them into their skin!

Summer’s already fun. Now make it safe!

Check out Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ New Video – By Moms, For Moms

Sunday, June 13th, 2010


Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, an organization dedicated to ensuring new safety standards for chemicals are established and met, has released a video made by Moms, for Moms to help educate families and organizations on the dangers of toxic chemicals. It’s called Moms Take Action Against Toxic Chemicals, and is available by following the link.

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families is a coalition representing more than 11 million people in the U.S. including parents, health professionals, advocates for people with learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive health advocates, environmentalists and businesses.

They provide a wealth of information and are working to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Act was written in 1976 and has not changed since that time despite growing evidence of the link between toxic chemicals and health. Chemicals have been linked to everything from diabetes to learning disabilities.

Naturepedic is also a member of the coalition. Our organic crib mattresses are designed to help prevent exposure to toxic chemicals, but we would like to see everyone, not just babies, living safer lives.

Check out the video and, while you’re on the site, also check the list of participating organizations. You may find quite a few in there that would help you find the resources you need to further your personal quest and answer your questions!

Naturepedic Crib Mattresses are Parent Tested Parent Approved

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010


PTPA winner crib mattressesOne of the reasons why shopping on the Internet is so popular is that people get to find out about a product from others who are ‘just like them’. PTPAParent Tested Parent Approved – where we now have five crib mattresses on the winners’ list, fills that bill.

PTPA is a great organization. They have a group of evaluators who do exactly what the name Parent Tested Parent Approved says – they test products, approve them (if warranted), and give awards to the winners: “companies whose products are deemed exceptional by a knowledgeable and unbiased panel of experts.”

You can check out the PTPA winning products by typing Naturepedic into the search box (lower left) on PTPA’s Winning Products page. You can also go to our site to find out more about our organic crib mattresses and other products.

If you’re interested in getting involved with PTPA, you can also sign up to be an evaluator!

Is Your Baby Bedding Toxic?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


shar peiDecades ago, clothing, linens and other textiles were anything but easy-care. The fabrics were heavy and cumbersome to clean, took forever to dry, and had more wrinkles than a Shar Pei. This kept housewives, which was just about every wife at the time, pretty busy.

When synthetic fibers came into the picture, American women sighed with relief. The clothes and linens were lighter, washed quickly, dried quickly, and wrinkles, if there were any, practically shook out. We’ve come to expect that – even with baby clothes, blankets and the bedding we use on crib mattresses.

However, over the years we’ve discovered more about the chemicals some of these synthetic fabrics actually have in and on them, and the blush is definitely fading from the easy-care chemical rose.

What chemicals can your baby be exposed to with crib bedding?

Labels like ‘crease-resistant,’ ‘crease-proof,’ ‘no iron,’ ‘wrinkle-resistant,’ ‘durable press,’ ‘easy-care’, ‘wrinkle-free’, ‘stain-resistant,’ ‘wash and wear,’ and ‘permanent press’ mean the fabrics are probably treated with formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde can cause a number of health conditions – burning and watery eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, and allergic contact dermatitis where formaldehyde-containing fabrics come in contact with the skin.

According to the National Cancer Institute, formaldehyde is also human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), and the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that’s probably the case.

Formaldehyde is just one of the chemicals of concern in baby bedding, but it’s enough.

What’s the solution? Although you can buy untreated 100% cotton products, it might be easier to get organic cotton. Organic cotton is becoming so popular you can even find linens and clothing in major department stores. Not all stores, and not many items, but you may be able to find them.

If not, you can shop at specialty stores or online. There are literally hundreds of online stores that sell organic cotton sheets – including for a toddler or crib mattress – as well as blankets, pillowcases, clothing, and so on. You can also find them at Naturepedic – we make organic cotton crib sheets and other bed linens as well as organic crib mattresses. Check them out.

So … what do you do about the wrinkles?

Some organic cotton items don’t wrinkle anywhere near as much as they did decades ago; it depends on the weave and a number of other factors. Our crib sheets, for example, look pretty good right out of the dryer. So, wrinkles might not be a problem.

Here are a few tips to keep wrinkles to a minimum, regardless of the fabric:

  • Add vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your wash. Simply fill the fabric softener reservoir with one cup of vinegar to help keep textiles soft.
  • Don’t let your laundry sit in the washing machine. Take it out as soon as it’s done, then shake things out and smooth them before putting them in the dryer.
  • Pack the dryer loosely; the tighter it’s packed, the more wrinkles you’ll get.
  • Take clothes out of the dryer as soon as the cycle is complete, immediately smooth them out, then fold or hang.
  • If you need to iron something, use a steam iron. A combination of heat and moisture is the best wrinkle-fighter.

True, this all takes a little longer that permanent press. But it’s worth it to protect the health of your baby, and yourself.

New Study Links Phthalates to ADHD – One More Reason to Use Organic Crib Mattresses

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010


cdc_logoIt is troubling to see how many children are suffering from ‘learning disorders.’ Parents are tearing their hair out trying to find solutions, and often resort to putting their kids on drugs when they see no other solution. However, a new study linking ADHD to the chemical plasticizers ‘phthalates’ may offer some hope.

The study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, found that the higher the concentration of phthalates in the urine, the more apt the children were to have ADHD symptoms. The researchers also found “significant relationships” between urine concentrations and errors in continuous performance tests (CPTs), which measure the child’s sustained and selective attention – the ability to focus on the right things at the right times – and impulsivity. CPT is used to support an ADHD diagnosis.

So, where are these phthalates coming from?

According to other studies, it starts in the womb: phthalates in mom’s body transfer to the child. Mom may have gotten them into her body via her hand lotion, nail polish, or a variety of other personal care products, or from food containers and packaging, laundry detergents or even the enteric coating on pharmaceuticals.

So, the kids get off to a bad start. Then, right from infancy, they sleep on crib mattresses with PVC/vinyl waterproof coverings made pliable by the use of phthalates. We’ve never used phthalates in our Naturepedic crib mattresses, and we never will.

From the crib mattress, the very long list of products containing phthalates continues: Plastic toys, building materials, textiles, the same liquid soap and detergent used by mom – it goes on and on.

According to a study published in Atmospheric Environment in 2008, manufacturers produce about 800 million pounds of phthalates each year (those figures are from 2004, the latest available at the time), and they contribute 10-60% of plastic products by weight.

Fortunately, the U.S. government is getting wise to phthalates. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned phthalates in crib mattresses and some children’s products last year – although only three phthalates were banned and several others are still used. Both the CPSC and the EPA are doing further investigation, and the EPA now has a Phthalates Action Plan by which they hope to determine the degree to which these chemicals should be restricted – or perhaps banned altogether.

But, unlike Europe – where phthalates were banned a decade ago – we’re a long way from full protection.

What is the answer? The obvious solution is to avoid them. Fortunately, there are more and more products out there that do not contain phthalates. Look for them. If you have questions about specific products, contact the manufacturer. If they can’t guarantee ‘no phthalates,’ switch to a brand that can.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 10% of U.S. children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Wouldn’t it be great if an environment free of phthalates and other dangerous chemicals could change that?

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

Crib Mattress Researchers Switch to Non-Toxic Brands

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

 

I recently discovered an article on Babble about chemicals in mattresses. The article was a response to a concerned parent’s question about the safety of crib mattresses made with chemicals. She had even heard those chemicals could be connected to SIDS! Confused about the issues, she wanted advice – what’s the truth, what is a safe crib mattress, and could she afford one on her tight budget?

 

The authors of the article researched the subject and concluded that “Studies have shown that these chemicals can leach into the environment and have been linked with health problems. You may have read the recent news story about toxic chemicals found in children’s bodies; mattresses are one of many possible sources.”

 

The authors offer a lot of information about the chemicals in mattresses and their effects. It’s well worth reading. Check it out at Full of Hot Air? The Inconvenient Truth about Mattress Off-Gasing.

 

They also link to Naturepedic organic crib mattresses as a safe, affordable option.

 

The authors were concerned about the problem, but said they want to avoid “going crazy in search of total purification.” Nevertheless, they both ordered natural mattresses while they were doing the research for the article. Read Full of Hot Air? The Inconvenient Truth about Mattress Off-Gasing for more info.