Tag - phthalates

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States Ban Chemicals of High Concern from Children’s Products
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Organic Beyond Food – Cosmetics
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12 Common Toxins That Can Harm Your Child’s Health
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Naturepedic Says “Get Out Of My Bed!”
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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet
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Making Better Decisions: Choosing Safer Toys as Gifts
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Making Better Decisions: Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Plastic Toys
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Study Connects Phthalate Exposure in Moms, Asthma in Children
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Regrettable Substitutions In Consumer Products
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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses

States Ban Chemicals of High Concern from Children’s Products

Last year on November 19, Vermont issued the final rule for its law “An Act Relating to the Regulation of Toxic Substances” to regulate Chemicals of High Concern to Children in children’s products. Passed in 2014, this law follows similar ones passed by the State of Washington and Oregon, and legislation introduced, but not passed into law, by Connecticut and Florida. Additionally, in 2015, Westchester County in New York banned formaldehyde, benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, and cobalt from children’s products. If you haven’t followed any of this legislation, a logical reaction might be, why are these needed? Surely the U.S. government doesn’t allow Chemicals of High Concern in children’s products, do they? Sadly, while there rules for children’s products regarding sizes, shapes and other aspects of physical safety, there are virtually no national safeguards for the chemicals in these products. While the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) does ban six types of phthalates from certain children’s product, it[…]

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Organic Beyond Food – Cosmetics

The skin is one of the largest organ systems of the human body, absorbing materials that come in contact with it. What you put on your skin really matters; many common makeups and cleansers contain carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals), endocrine disruptors, and common allergens and irritants. Just like you might transition to eating more organic food to reduce your chemical exposure in food, consider transitioning to more natural and organic options for your cosmetics and personal care. Start by doing your research with a resource like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This tool has data about over 64,000 personal care products that are rated with a score indicating their chemical safety. According to the EWG’s database: – The FDA requires no safety testing for cosmetic products – Europe has banned over 1,000 cosmetic ingredients while the FDA has only banned eleven – Cosmetic ingredients can be breathed in, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin – Marketing claims are[…]

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12 Common Toxins That Can Harm Your Child’s Health

To help keep parents informed we have created a list of 12 common toxins that can harm your child’s health. From known carcinogens, VOCs, endocrine disruptors and more: These toxins show up in a variety of children’s products. Shockingly, 9 out of 12 listed are frequently found in crib mattresses! Luckily, there is a crib mattress brand that has left out all of the potentially harsh chemicals: 1. Certified organic cotton fabric and filling 2. Food-grade polyethylene waterproofing 3. Steel innersprings or food-grade polyethylene support What’s not in a Naturepedic? 1. Polyurethane foam or any version of it (so-called eco, bio-based, soybean foams) 2. Formaldehyde potentially found in polyurethane foam or flame retardant chemicals 3. Flame retardants of any kind including “natural” flame barriers that use antimony or boric acid 4. Waterproofing agents such as PVC with phthalates or PFCs 5. Antibacterial treatments, pesticides or biocides 6. Latex, Coir with Latex, Wool or other potentially allergenic materials You can download[…]

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Naturepedic Says “Get Out Of My Bed!”

Natural foods store chain Whole Foods publicly published a list of Unacceptable Ingredients for Food. This list alphabetically spells out ingredients like disodium dihydrogen EDTA the retailer finds inappropriate for food or packaging, ingredients not in line with healthy living. Panera Bread did something similar, publishing a No No list of ingredients the restaurant/bakery chain has committed to removing from its offerings by the end of 2016 to make its food even healthier for consumers. Panera, in fact, was one of the first to move toward transparency, becoming the first national restaurant chain to disclose caloric content on its menu. When you think about it, while you can read a food label on a can of soup in a store and get the ingredients and information on calories, fat, sodium, and more, that level of transparency has largely been missing from restaurants. And consumer products. As you read this, you’re probably looking at some form of screen — on a[…]

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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet

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: Ditch antibacterial & toxic cleaning products: 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,[…]

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Making Better Decisions: Choosing Safer Toys as Gifts

When beginning your research for safer toys, start here to learn more about wood toys, and don’t forget my key questions to ask yourself before purchasing a plastic toy. While we can’t replace everything in our house immediately (it’s too expensive for me, even if I could get my kids to give up many of the toys they love at once!), we can strive to make better choices going forward, and holidays and birthdays make a great opportunity to do so. 1) Tell your friends and family that you are looking to make more conscious decisions about the toys you’re bringing into your home. Recommend some brands you’re interested in (here and here are some suggestions), and offer key terms they should look for on packaging and websites. Key terms: Organic, BPA-free, Phthalate-free or nonphthalate, type of plastic (food grade preferred) Terms to avoid if they are unsubstantiated: Eco-friendly, Green, Natural, Non-Toxic. Ask yourself why they are Eco-friendly, Green, Natural[…]

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Making Better Decisions: Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Plastic Toys

Thanks for joining me on our hunt for safer toys! Last week, we talked about wood toys for toddlers and preschoolers, like my own 19 month old daughter and nearly 4 year old son. I was on a mission to find safer action figures and dinosaur toys my son might still be interested in playing with. The wood toys I found didn’t meet that criteria, though there are some available. We all need to find our own level of comfort with what we provide to our children, so I began to look for some safer plastic toy options. PLASTIC TOYS Here are the questions I ask myself when looking at plastic toys, in order of what I personally consider to be the most important factors regarding safety. 1) Is it BPA free or non-detectable? Generally, I only thought of Bisphenol A as it relates to baby cups and bottles, food storage containers, etc. However, BPA is a phthalate, and a[…]

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Study Connects Phthalate Exposure in Moms, Asthma in Children

A study released by Columbia University has found a connection between mothers exposed during pregnancy to high levels of two commonly used phthalates, BBP and DBP (also referenced as BBzP and DnBP), and asthma in their children. While these two phthalates were banned in children’s products in 2009 by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), they are still used in many, many household products, automobile interiors, and fragrances. Asthma in the U.S. – children at risk The number of cases of asthma has increased globally, but there is no consensus as to why. Earlier theories suspected increases in improved sanitation (the “hygiene hypothesis”) as a possibility, but although this might explain increases in allergies, it appears to not work in explaining asthma, according to a 2011 article in Scientific American. Whatever the case, rates of asthma have increased, particularly in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people diagnosed with asthma grew[…]

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Regrettable Substitutions In Consumer Products

Questionable chemicals associated with health and developmental issues such as cancer, thyroid disruption and learning disabilities can show up in the most innocuous of consumer products. These chemicals sometimes, although infrequently, garner enough bad press to get them removed, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Unfortunately, removal may not be what it seems. Why? Because an offending chemical can be removed simply to be replaced with a similar, possibly worse chemical. Called “regrettable substitution” by the Environmental Defense Fund and other organizations, this strategy may temporarily solve a company’s marketing or PR problem but does little to get an actual safer product to the consumer. And there are virtually no regulations to prevent this. BPA Take for example Bisphenol-A, or BPA. Following an outcry from the private and academic sectors on BPA’s links to hormonal disruption and connections to cancer and diabetes, the FDA banned it from baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 (although according to the FDA it was not[…]

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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses

A recent study published February of this year by a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses. Below, Naturepedic founder Barry A. Cik explores aspects related to this report to provide a greater understanding of the overall topic of chemicals in crib mattresses. Friends and Colleagues, I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the University of Texas study regarding chemicals in crib mattresses.  In particular, people want to understand the practical implications of chemicals in crib mattresses.  I’ll use a Q & A format. Are Chemicals Really a Problem? The chemical problem is quite well established.  For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics says the following: “Over the past several decades, tens of thousands of chemicals have entered commerce and the environment, often in extremely large quantities…A growing body of research indicates potential harm to[…]

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