Monday, April 13, 2009

Non-Toxic Baby Care For Low Impact Organic Living

Avoiding baby products with toxic chemicals in them is not possible since the poison PDBE's and phthalates don't have to be labeled. PDBE's are chemicals used for flame retardants in bedding and clothing. Some chemicals have been banned in bedding, yet some remain. Plastic products are handled and chewed on by babies, and chemicals are ingested. The impact on the environment starts with your baby's body.

Non-toxic baby care is available everywhere. Especially through the internet. So many householders shop online, where chemical free baby bedding, clothing and toys are easy to find.

Three varieties of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and BBP), have been banned. They had been used in all baby and children's mattresses and other baby products. DINP, DIDP, and DnOP, also phthalates, can no longer be used in teethers and other objects that might be placed into a child's mouth. Nevertheless, they could be present in crib mattresses where they would be absorbed through the skin or inhaled as they off-gas.

DnHP, another phthalate chemical known to cause cancer is still legally used.

Phthlates alter our cells and how they function. Studies have shown that endocrine health is affected, more so in boys. Cancers have shown in mice along with liver problems.

Babies are at higher risk because their bodies are developing. But that doesn't mean older children and adults are not affected. These chemicals are an insidious poison and they are EVERYWHERE in our homes! Furniture, bedding, clothes, carpets and drapes. What else is there?

New replacement chemicals are used and who's to know if they are less harmful? No one does know.

It's frustrating that it took years for some phthalates to be banned. Yet, regardless of what government do or do not choose to do to protect the public, we can protect ourselves. We have the ultimate power to NOT BUY harmful products. If it is not labeled Certified Organic, move on!

The thing is, it is EASY to get these lethal and damaging pollutants out of our homes. Starting with bedding and clothing, we can decrease the risks of cellular damage significantly.

Our homes CAN be low impact, safe environments. Non-toxic baby care is an easy place to start.

To get an idea of the kinds of products you can protect your baby with, go here for a Canadian site, and here for a US site.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Safety Standards in Family Bedding

The safety standards of the chemicals used for fire retardants in family bedding have been challenged by consumer groups, but change is slow. There are no labeling requirements to disclose exactly what you are inhaling, or absorbing, even though these chemicals have been shown to accumulate in your blood, cause respiratory irritation, and disrupt hormonal activity.

Scientists involved in a household contaminant information study worked with the premise that alerting parents to the dangers of toxic chemicals in the home might result in a wave of fear that would.....that would what? Cause a national panic that would be worse than parents NOT knowing how to decrease poisons that they and their children inhale, and absorb through the skin? Cause a national panic that would be worse than increasing the risk of getting cancer?

One conclusion of the Silent Spring Institute's Household Exposure Study, was that mothers preferred to KNOW that their homes were a toxic soup of out gassing chemical clouds, and were not intimidated, overwhelmed, or in some way disabled by this information. These test consumers had a positive response to the information! I do not know what reality these people can be walking around in to maintain this amazingly antiquated attitude toward homemakers.

Another outcome of this study was the discovery that the awareness and concerns about the household chemicals was not matched by a knowledge of the resulting real life health hazards. So there is formaldehyde in family bedding and our clothes. What does that mean for the future health of our new born babies?

In the USA, as one example, there are no labeling requirements to notify parents that their children's bedding and clothing are treated with formaldehyde. This chemical is used in fabrics, clothing, carpets and furniture, including bedding. Formaldehyde is effective for stain resistance, and it helps to resist mildew. It also works to fix colors, prevent shrinking and to make fabrics and bedding flame resistant.

The use of formaldehyde is pervasive in all furniture, carpets, drapes, pretty well everything. Include baby strollers, baby car seats, non-organic cloth diapers, sleepers etc.

While the safety standards for preventing household fires must be a priority, what about the safety standards for limiting exposure to industrial chemicals in your homes?

What are the safety standards for clothing and furniture shops that are frequented by humans, including their newborn babies? Are these places required to filter or purifiy the out gassing clouds of formaldehyde (and PDBE fire retardants) from the air for the protection of their customers and employees? No! Why not?

Because it is more important not to scare pregnant mothers and parents about the harmful out gassing chemicals in the products. It is more important to protect them from the information that once these household products are in the house, that the polluted air will become even more asthma causing, immune system disabling, cancer causing, and hormone disrupting.

It is more important to keep the customer blissfully oblivious than to protect them from the possible eventualities of learning disorders in their children, childhood cancers, and maybe crib death.

The remaining PBDE (some have already been removed) flame retardants may be removed from bedding in the US, following the actions of Japanese and European legislators. The next round of hearings in the US are scheduled in 2011. Can you hold your breath that long?There is an alternative to such poisonous bedding!

The easiest solution for parents is to not deal with any of this. Just get organic family bedding instead. Not only will you avoid all the negativity of fighting against something, you'll have stress free, healthy, organic bedding. You can set your own safety standards in your own home.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to Tell If Your Children's Bedding is Safe

It is not clear to many people what is safe children's bedding. Safe in what way? If you choose organic wool bedding, is it safer than conventional bedding that is treated with fire retardants? Ah, the amazing magic of natural organic wool. Wool is fire resistant! Naturally so.

It's amazing to realize that the 20th Century syndrome of immune system dysfunction, environmental allergies, and resulting disabling conditions is a phenomena over a quarter century old. Well, now we can call it the 21st Century syndrome. Multiple allergies, chemical sensitivities, weak immune systems.

Hopefully most young adults, becoming parents now, grew up without any disabling syndrome in the family. And yet, those who did have to deal with a sensitive parent or sibling, are going to have a much better idea of why they will choose organic bedding for themselves and their babies. They have an idea of why they want to know what is safe children's bedding.

While our culture is now just beginning to realize that we have poisoned our water, air and food supply, and that our bodies are the toxic waste dumps for much chemical waste, our culture has also produced many solutions to the "syndrome" problems.

Safe organic wool and cotton bedding is just one example. It is an important example, because after we have gestated a baby in our chemically polluted body, with no harmful result (10 fingers, 10 toes etc.), and after the earthy crunchy goddesses that we are have delivered the baby with little or no drugs and other technological interferences, and as we feed our baby naturally with breast milk laden with PCB's, DDT, and at least trace of everyone's prescription medication and some acid rain, there is one insult to injury that we do not have to add.

One thing we actually have control over! We can now give our baby an organic bedroom! No inhaling dangerous chemicals out gassing from mattresses, sheets, baby blankets and baby clothes in the form of fire retardants. No absorbing chemicals through the skin, to proceed to the blood/brain barrier that in a baby is not even there yet!

How to tell if your children's bedding is safe? Choose organic wool bedding. Organic wool mattress, sheets, blankets and clothing. Natural latex foam is also available, with no out gassing chemicals.

Isn't it great?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Choose Organic Beds

After reading about the horrible health consequences of breathing in PBDE (flame retardant) laden dust from almost every household object, I was momentarily relieved to read that all PBDE's except the least harmful, 'deca', are now banned in the US. I say momentarily because a few lines later, at, is the information that "However, under certain circumstances, deca can break down into more toxic forms of PBDEs, including the banned octa-BDE."

Laura Silver, writing for the Temeculah Valley News
Friday, August 8th, 2008.
Issue 32, Volume 8. "Are flame retardants a bigger risk than fire?", reports:

"The adult intake dose of total PBDEs was estimated to be 7.7 ng/kg body weight/day, and children's estimated intakes were higher at 49.3 ng/kg/day for ages 1–5, 14.4 ng/kg/day for 6–11, and 9.1 ng/kg/day for 12–19. The much higher dose for the child age 1–5 was due to the doubling of dust ingestion from 50 to 100 mg/day." "Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2008) 18, 2–19; doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500572; published online 11 April 2007" by Matthew Lorber."

Can I explain all that? No, but I do understand that Matthew Lorber, a researcher, is stating that children between the ages of 1-5 years intake seven times the amount of toxic dust from flame or fire retardants that adults do.

There is hours and days of reading about the subject of phosphine gas in mattresses, arsenic, boric acid, formaldehyde, and many other chemical names of fragrances and solvents that go into your family bedding, including into your children's bedding. Heat and moisture created by a human body then created interactions that release chemical gasses that we inhale, or particles that we absorb through our skin.

The human body, including mothers' milk, holds on to these toxic commercial products for years.

Memory foam, pillow topped mattresses, including all the best brands,contain dangerous chemicals. While many brands have stopped using various PDBE's, they are not chemical free.

Headaches, muscle pain, skin rashes, depression, flu-like symptoms, cancers, and respiratory ailments including asthma, have all appeared by the use of memory foam mattresses and pillows, and then been quickly relieved after usage stopped. There are many many stories about this.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) appeared and increased alarmingly after flame and fire retardants were added to mattresses. The nerve gases resulting from these chemicals in non-organic mattresses, bedding and baby sleepwear simply shut down an infant's nervous system, turning its new life to "OFF".

If you cannot replace your family's bedding all at once, begin with organic sheets and pillow cases, and a mattress topper. You can take a look at what's available at Sleepy Sheep.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Children's Bedding and Flame Retardants In Bedding

Why choose organic bedding? The $2.9 billion flame retardant industry fares well in that the toxins (PDBES) in upholstery, carpets, baby seats, and computer plastics do not have to be labeled. Children, the elderly, and baby boomers are considered to be at a higher risk for disease. Yet, everyone, regardless of age, is exposed to toxic flame retardants every day, everywhere.

Tests done with rats shows exposure to flame retardants can result in deficits of learning and memory. A flame retardant chemical may also impact behavior, disrupt endocrine function, irreparably damage reproductive systems and cause thyroid disease.

A study on cats done by Environmental Science & Technology tracked the epidemic of deadly feline hyperthyroid disease back to the 1980s when PBDEs first appeared throughout the home furniture market. PBDE flame retardant that had been ingested by grooming, and absorbed through constant contact with carpets and furniture (and the pets' bedding), revealed an indisputable association with thyroid problems.

The manufacturers of air purifiers have been stating for years that our household indoor air is significantly more polluted that outdoor air. Such is their premise for distributing machines that break down toxins in the air, into harmless components.

Research has shown that indoor air pollutant concentrations are 15 to 50 times higher than outside. In addition to sources such as dust from polyurethane foam and fabric, PBDEs can emit GAS at 84 degrees -- a temperature common inside computers, cars and many households. The gas then clings to dust particles stirred up by normal movement, and we breathe it all in. Our own lungs evidently cannot filter out these horrible chemicals.

PBDE levels in infants and children have shown to be two- to threefold higher than in adults. Babies and toddlers have flame retardants in their bedding, which they spend much time in, flame retardants in their pyjamas (by law), and flame retardants in the upholstery of their car seats, which they come home from the hospital in. At that point in their life, and for several months, babies have NO BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER. Any toxin they eat, drink, and breathe goes into their brain.

The current argument in favor of PDBES permeating almost everything we contact in our home, is that until safe alternatives are found, the benefits outweigh the risk.

I believe it's evident that home fire risks have changed. Far less people smoke now, and smoking used to be the major cause of house fires. Smoke alarms and heat alarms are placed strategically throughout residences by responsible homeowners and landlords.

So it would seem a logical conclusion that to put our children to bed in soft, organic wool bedding would remove a risk of cancers, endocrine problems, learning difficulties, and more horrors.

And wouldn't it be nice for everyone, no matter your age? Our children want us to be there when they grow up and tuck their children into flame retardant-free bedding.