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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Upholstered Furniture Buying Guide

Our family sofa is pretty much the heart of our home.  It is the first place my kids gravitate too as soon as they wake up (we get up pretty early during school days and they tumble out of bed downstairs and straight to lie on the sofa), it is the place we cuddle  as a family on movie nights or, often, to do our after school reading and even bedtime reading.   It has hosted naps, playtime gymnastics/ ‘par core sessions’- and countless chill out sessions.  

We recently went through the process of purchasing a new sofa for our, more formal, living room.  Once again I was reminded that furniture buying is no longer as simple as choosing a style and fabric combo.   You have to ask questions- you have to know what questions to ask to make sure that the sofa you are bringing home is not full of well known harmful toxins.  

And so, my upholstery furniture buying guide. 

But first,  you might be asking yourself "What “harmful chemicals”  can be in my sofa?"
Unbeknownst to many, some of the most well studied  and harmful chemicals are often found in sofas and other upholstered furniture. 

Fabric, insert materials, glues, fabric treatments  and more can emit known harmful chemicals into the air that you breaths. 

What follows is a brief furniture buying guide that will include:

1.  A list of chemicals that are commonly found in upholstered furniture
2. A brief description of why these chemicals  are harmful
3.  How to identify if a piece of furniture contains these toxins  
4.  What specifically to ask the manufacturers to make sure your new furniture does not contain these chemicals.

Monday, September 23, 2019

EPA and Chemical Companies New of Harmful Effects of New 'Safer' PFAS- So Why Are These Chemicals in our Homes and Baby Gear?

Strollers, upholstered furniture, rugs and winter coats. What do they all have in common?

Most of the companies that make these products apply PFAS chemicals in order to achieve water and stain repellant properties.

While the two best known PFAS chemicals ( PFOA and PFOS infamously of Teflon pans) were found to be so harmful that the manufacturers voluntarily agreed to phasing them out in the US, there are hundreds ( yes hundreds) of new chemicals that are in the same PFAS family currently being used.  When we talk about a chemical "family"  we refer to chemicals that are very similarly structured and that,  thus, tend to act in very similar ways.  In the case of the PFAS family- most chemicals in this family can create the same water and stain repellant properties but they are also bioaccumulative (they never break down or take very long to break down) and equally bad for our health.   

Monday, September 16, 2019

Play. Taste. Smell. Why You Should Make Your Own Play Dough (it so easy!)

Today, over at Instagram (@nontoxicmunchkin) , I am talking about art supplies and offering tips on how to make sure that the art supplies you buy your little one are in fact safe and non-toxic.

For the youngest munchkins, who like to taste and explore by placing things in their mouths, using edible ingredients and completely natural ingredients is always the safest option.

One of the easiest art product to make - with completely edible ingredients you probably already have at home, is play dough.  

Here is more...