When buying new products for baby’s nursery, parents need to be aware of what hazardous chemicals and toxins are often hidden in those products. I had to go above and beyond to make sure other parents know what to avoid – and why – when buying baby products. I was shocked after I read a recent Duke University research study that exposed hundreds of toxic culprits within nursery products. I want parents to be aware of the hazardous chemicals that can be found in everyday products that expose not only infants but all family members. One’s buying power should involve not only cost and value, but even more importantly, safer choices within the home.
There are still many wrinkle-free clothing items and linens that release formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical. If your child has broken out into a rash after wearing new clothes, check the ingredients label on these items for formaldehyde-releasing preservatives called DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium 15 or Bronopol.
Baby and kids toys that are made of vinyl plastic are likely to contain phthalates. Phthalates are the chemical used to soften vinyl plastic and are linked to birth defects, cancer and low testosterone. Laboratory testing is required to know if an item contains phthalates but if the label says “fragrance” or is made from PVC, it might contain phthalates. You can Google and ask the manufacturer of your children’s toys, lunch boxes and other products to find out if they contain phthalates.
3. Shampoo and Conditioner
Many health and beauty products like cosmetics, sunscreen, hair-styling gel, shampoo and conditioner contain parabens. Parabens are endocrine disruptors that mimic the hormones that control functions like growth and development. Check labels on products for any ingredients ending with “paraben”.
4. Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups
The FDA has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s cups but still insists that BPA is safe. BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been used in hard plastics for years and can also come into contact with food, especially if it’s canned. Many canned foods and metal jar lids have BPA-based linings. When buying plastic bottles make sure they are specifically labeled as “BPA-Free.”
5. Pillows and Mattresses
Flame retardants are often added to nursing pillows, foam cushions, changing pads, etc. The Bureau of Home Furnishings requires all products made of polyurethane foam, a highly flammable (and petroleum-based) material, to be treated with toxic fire-retardant chemicals. These chemicals are linked to cancer and can damage the reproductive and nervous systems. Take a look at this chart to see a number of children’s products have been tested for flame retardants: http://watoxics.org/publications/list-of-products-tested
Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Written by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow
San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of privacy while nursing. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.
When Clark sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed, Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, who is a mother herself, said, “The San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud Double Blessings [Clark’s company] for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”
San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin polyfiber Eco*Loft™, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.
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