5 Additives to Avoid in Baby Products– How to Determine if a Product is Safe for Babies

baby safety tipsSeptember is Baby Safety Month. Many parents don’t realize that there are baby products on the market that are not the healthiest or safest choice for their infants. Parents should carefully research which baby products are safest, and which materials and additives to avoid when choosing the best products for their family. I was determined to find eco-friendly materials that were void of harmful chemicals for my line of nursing pillows. It was not an easy feat to find a foam replacement for our products (foam requires fire retardants) – but after years of persistence, we did just that. During my research, I came across a Duke University study that exposed toxic chemical additives in over a hundred baby products. I was shocked to see which companies were on the list! Below are the top five additives to avoid when buying baby products.

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that are often used to make plastics soft. They are found all throughout the home in clothing, bedding, toys and more, making babies and children especially vulnerable to these chemicals.

PVC plastic, better known as vinyl, is one of the most toxic substances that can cause health and environmental problems. It appears in everything from lunch boxes to children’s toys to cars. Phthalates are often added to PVC to make the plastic more flexible. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to phase out the use of PVC in their products.

Lead is a poison that was banned from home use but can still be found in products today. Children can get lead poisoning from swallowing or breathing in lead which can also be spread by dust. Lead poisoning causes problems with children’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Protect yourself and your child by washing hands and toys often even when they don’t look dirty.

Triclosan is a pesticide found in many anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. Triclosan is a hormone-disruptor that is also found in toothpaste, cosmetics, yoga mats and more. It can encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and water pollution. Make sure you check labels to avoid products containing the words triclosan and triclocarban.

Fire retardant chemicals
Fire retardant chemicals have also been linked to hormone disruption, cancer and harming the development of the brain. Dust is a primary route of exposure so you should dust and vacuum regularly. Products made of polyurethane foam, a highly-flammable material, have been required by the Bureau of Home Furnishings to be treated with toxic fire-retardant chemicals. Parents should search for foam-free alternatives to avoid these harmful fire-retardant chemicals.

For more information on the Duke University study, visit http://watoxics.org/publications/hidden-hazards-in-the-nursery.

Note: Sandy Clark is not a doctor and this release is not intended to give medical advice but rather display research and findings to educate parents. Her mission is to be a passionate breastfeeding advocate and leading manufacturer of safe baby products.

nursing pillowWritten 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.

Click to view a Nursing Pillow Comparison Chart to learn more.

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