Thursday, December 12, 2019

2019: So Many New Car Seats Available Without Flame Retardant Chemicals!

Photo credit:  @kotuttle

Looking for a flame retardant free car seat? Finally after years of covering this topic I can say that you truly have a CHOICE.  

The Ecology Center, after 10 years of being the main independent source of chemical testing of car seats, today published a new report on the state of flame retardant chemicals in children’s car seats.  The main takeaway? Lots of progress.  Just 3 years ago in 2016, not a single toxic-free children’s car seat was available.   Today there are 16 toxic flame retardant-free car seat models available for purchase. 

Yes there is room for improvement in the market, but lots to celebrate too….

What's NEW in 2019

FIVE manufacturers have introduced a total of 16 FR-free children’s car seats.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Best Non-Toxic Gifts My Kids Have Received ...

Sarah W Olsen (Baeo Baby) , Suze Swope (Gurl Gone Green),  Anna Schafer (BAeo Baby), Dr. Zelana Montminy (Dr. Zelana) and Amy Ziff (Made Safe) tell me all about the best (non-toxic) gifts their kids have every received

You will undoubtedly run across numerous holiday gift guides this holiday season.  Every year I publish my own Non-Toxic Munchkin approved Holiday gift guide too.  This year, however, I thought I would do things a bit different.

I enlisted 5 mamas I trust, admire and genuinely like, to look at their kid's toys and favorite items and tell us which items have proven to be amazing, engaging, beloved and truly fun and which have stood the test of time.   

The idea?   Include gift ideas that are real-kid approved and loved,  and not necessarily items that an adult marketing executive or adult blogger think are cool and good gifts... which might often end up ignored, donated or thrown away.

As always, all of these items have been  researched by me and confirmed to be Non-Toxic Munchkin approved! 

So grateful to these special mamas for sharing these with all of me (and you!).  I can't tell you how these women influence my daily life with their posts, their work and, in some cases, their friendship!  If you are not familiar with their work make sure you look them up and give them a follow - they will undoubtedly add value to your life!   

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

2019 Mind The Store Campaign: What Retailers Are Taking Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals

When you go shopping do you ever feel frustrated when trying to figure out if the products being sold will expose our families to harmful chemicals?  It still happens to me sometimes!

Why? Well I am all too aware that more than 40,000 chemicals are added to or used to make consumer products and food packaging; and  the majority have never been adequately tested for safety and many others are well studied and known  to threaten human health.

While the government ignores the importance of chemical safety, some good news:  some large retailers are stepping up and taking a stance against harmful chemicals.

According the most recent 'Who’s Minding the Store?  report card, which grades retailer actions to eliminate toxic chemicals, some major retailers are making slow but meaningful progress in improving the safety of the products and packaging they sell.

What is driving this slow, but important, shift in the market to stricter chemical restrictions in consumer products?

Monday, November 11, 2019

PFC / PFAS Free Winter Gear For Kids and Parents

The challenge:  to find PFAS  free winter gear for the family- from kids to adults.  

The reason:   the majority of winter gear companies  (as well as sleeping bags, tents and even lunch boxes like the carry cases for the beloved Planet Box lunch boxes) still use  Perfluorocarbons  (PFAS also called PFCs) in their "DWR (durable water repellent) base for treating their fabrics and making them repel moisture.

PFAS, or PFC chemicals are fluorinated compounds, which are linked to testicular and kidney cancer, thyroid disease, obesity, weakened immunity and other health problems.

"PFC-laced runoff from a DuPont's manufacturing plant was blamed for major birth defects and other health issues in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  The consequences of PFC bioaccumulation are so serious that 200 scientists signed the Madrid Statement to express concern over the continued production and release of PFCs."  (

Many companies have pledged to stop using PFAS/ PFC in the coming years, but many (I recently confirmed North Face, Gap and Patagonia models) are still using PFAS/PFC based DWR.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

ECO MAMA MUSE: Sheena Jongenee: Rethinking What Sustainability Means in Kids Fashion

"ECO MAMA MUSE"is a series I created to turn the spotlight on rockstar mamas who are working hard to make non-toxic living easier for parents like you and me.

Today, I am featuring Sheena Jongeneel from Stylette 

Here is a question for you:  How many of you buy special holiday outfits for the kids to wear for Thanksgiving, family pictures or Christmas /Hannukkah ?  

How many times do your kids rewear that 'special holiday outfit'?

Monday, October 21, 2019

ECO MAMA MUSE: Suzanne Price : From San Francisco to Your Home

"ECO MAMA MUSE"is a series I created to turn the spotlight on rockstar mamas who are working hard to make non-toxic living easier for parents like you and me. Today's Eco Mama Muse is Suzanne Price, a pioneer in non-toxic retail and someone who has served as an inspiration and source for products for my own baby, when I started my own non-toxic living journey over 10 years ago.  

Today Sprout is both a brick and mortar store and online source for non-toxic items focusing on babies and children.  Sprout currently has stores in:  California (3 stores with a new Santa Monica store opening in the coming weeks), Chicago and Brooklyn. What I personally love about Sprout is their dedication to educate their community.  Suzanne is not only a wealth of knowledge on all things relating to environmental toxins, but her stores and sales staff (there are many across the US) also provide customers with the support and  knowledge to help them (especially sleep deprived mamas!) choose safe and useful products for their family's.

Aida:  What inspired you to open Sprout San Francisco?

Suzanne: I was working at an investment bank, over ten years ago, and my role was to learn about the emerging organic industry for consumer products. The more I researched, the more I realized that there were serious concerns to be had with the mainstream products that were being marketed for children, from toys to mattresses to personal care. I also found, from my peers having their first babies, that it was extremely difficult to find good information on what was safe and what wasn't. I felt that as a Research Analyst, I was skilled at interpreting complicated information and disseminating it in an easy to understand format. I decided that I could create a company that would not only help new parents easily find safe products, but would help them learn about what to look out for at the same time. 

Aida:  How is Sprout  different? 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

95% of Baby Foods STILL Contain Neurotoxic Heavy Metals

95% of baby foods tested still contain one or more extremely toxic chemical, including lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium.  While this is not the first study to find this (you can read more in a post from 2018  and another one from 2017, 20162012 and 2011 ) this study was particularly large and a reminder that this is still a serious problem parents need to be aware off.  

Here is what this study found