Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day 07: 10 Days of Non-Toxic Living in 2016

Welcome to day 7 of our 10 Days of Non-Toxic Living in 2016!

Yesterday , on Day 06, we explained why you should switch to safer materials in the kitchen and throw out (or recycle!) all things plastic and consider embracing glass as a safer non-toxic alternative. 

 TIP 7:  Wednesday, January 13, 2016: 
Take a good look under your child's bedsheets and switch out anything that contains vinyl

 What’s on your child’s bed? More specifically what is laying between your child and your child's mattress?   Many mattress protectors (for cribs as well as larger sized beds) are made with vinyl/PVC.  Why?  Well, the truth is that this chemical does a great job at protecting mattresses and pillows from water and protecting you from dust mites and mildew.

However, PVC has a very dark side.  According to Healthy Child Healthy World, PVC is”the most toxic plastic for children’s health" since the “Chemicals released by the PVC life cycle have been linked to chronic diseases on the rise such as cancer, asthma, learning and developmental disabilities, obesity, and even reproductive disorders. PVC uses and releases a toxic cocktail of chemicals including the Agent Orange chemical dioxin, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, mercury, lead, cadmium, and organotins. Phthalates, which are added to make PVC soft and flexible, are released from these PVC products and pose avoidable public health risks…. A number of chemicals released by the PVC life cycle have been linked with or have been shown to cause learning and developmental disabilities

EEck- I don't think any parent would want their young children (or themselves!) exposed to this chemical every single night of their lives.

The good news is that there is a natural, completely non-toxic alternative that can protect your mattresses (which is super important, especially if you invest in a pricey organic mattress, which by the way, if you can only spend money on one item for your baby  and young child it should be an organic crib and bed )… wool. Wool is naturally water resistant (and flame resistant!) and antibacterial. We use Naturepedic mattress protectors and, after more night ‘accidents’ and nose bleeds than I can or want to count, the mattresses of both our crib and twin bed are perfect. Best investment EVER.

*An alternative to wool, which is also non-toxic is pure polyurethane. Although it is made from petroleum, it is completely non-toxic and even very trusted companies like Naturepedic use it as a thin film in some of their mattress protectors.

*One more material to consider with is reportedly non-toxic, which I have not tried personally at home, is low density, food-grade polyethylene. Although it is a plastic, it is considered non-toxic because its simple molecular structure does not require toxic chemical additives like phthalates. BabeSafe mattress covers (made in New Zealand) are made with polyethylene that has been tested and confirmed to block off-gassing and will not off-gas itself.

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