Sunday, February 17, 2019

Do I Have To Buy Organic Pjs?


Baby its (still ) cold outside!  And cozy pajamas feel like such a good idea.... but you might have hear these could  expose your kids to flame retardant chemicals?  IS that still the case?  What pjs should you buy your kids?

The law: In the US, pajamas for kids age 9 months through size 14 must be flame resistant or fit snugly. (Pajamas for younger babies do not have to be flame resistant)

In stores: The good news is that most well known companies are no longer using toxic flame retardant chemicals on their pjs. How are they meeting the federal regulations?
  1.   Most loose fitting pjs are now made of 100% polyester that is inherently flame resistant (needs no added chemicals)  
  2. Cotton made pajamas are kept 'snug fitting' and thus do not have to contain the chemicals. (these will have a yellow tag warning that they are not flame resistant and must be worn snug). 
The question that might be on your mind: Does this mean  I don't have to buy organic pjs for my kids?

Not necessarily.   
  1. Some loose fitting pjs sold online (from unknown sellers on Amazon or hand made) that do not specify they are made of 100% polyester could still potentially use chemicals to meet the flammability requirements
  2.  polyester is, essentially, a plastic made from petroleum.  Many young children  get allergic reactions polyester and, because it doesn't allow skin to breaths and stick to sweat, it can overheat young children at night.  Also- its terrible for our planet. When we wash clothing made from polyester,  tiny threads shed from the fabric and travel to local wastewater treatment plants.  From there they end up  in rivers, lakes and oceans. These fibers are tiny and are then consumed by fish which we then eat.
  3. Snug fitting pajamas made of conventional cotton are a better option but they can also be treated with harsh chemicals, dyes etc during production. Conventional cotton is  the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.  
How big of a deal is this?
According to the Organic COnsumer.org  
- In California, five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton are cancer-causing chemicals (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite and trifluralin).  

- In Egypt, more than 50% of cotton workers in the 1990s suffered symptoms of chronic pesticide poisoning, including neurological and vision disorders.  

- In India, 91% of male cotton workers exposed to pesticides eight hours or more per day experienced some type of health disorder, including chromosomal aberrations, cell death and cell cycle delay.  

- In the US, a 1987 National Cancer Institute Study found a nearly seven-fold higher risk of leukemia for children whose parents used pesticides in their homes or gardens.  

- The World Health Organization estimates that at least three million people are poisoned by pesticides every year and 20-40,000 more are killed.  

Bottom line?  Considering our skin will absorb anything that is placed on it and young children's skins are particularly sensitive :
  • yes, convention cotton is better than polyester
  • the best, most natural, option for young children is still GOTS certified organic cotton.
The good news is that with more companies offering organic cotton pajamas, prices have come down.   Some large and small brands offer great prices (or, alternately offer great sales to take advantage of and stock up- that is what I do)!  

I have some of my favorite brands on my Amazon Shop  under 'Bedtime'

and also buy for my kiddos:






1 comment :

  1. Polyester is not inherently flame resistant. Labeling isn't required because the fabric is pre-treated. The chemicals are now imbibed in the fibers. Since manufacturers don't ADD them or spray them onto the fabrics, they don't have to label them anymore. They are present before Carter's or Baby Gap gets them. But they are there!!! My dh is an EHS professional. He deals a lot with flame retardants and regulations. More research on your part would be wise!!!!!

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