Greening Your Nursery With Sophie Uliano
The single most important aspect of preparing a safe, healthy nursery for your baby is AIR QUALITY. The EPA has stated that indoor toxins are 7-10 times worse than outdoor toxins. Your baby is as risk of mental, physical, intellectual and developmental damage by living and sleeping in a toxic environment.
- Dual Stage Organic Cotton Crib Mattress: Babies spend, on average, over half their day sleeping in their cribs and conventional mattresses leach harmful chemicals that are identified carcinogens. This crib mattress is: • Certified to not leach harmful chemicals. • Features a non-toxic waterproof barrier that is a safe alternative to toxic vinyl/PVC. • Converts to a toddler mattress and has a slightly firmer side for infants and softer side for toddlers.
- Better Life New Baby Cleaning Kit - Unlike conventional cleaning products, these do not emit VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and are free of synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, alcohols and dyes. The kit includes: • What-EVER! Clary Sage and Citrus (All-Purpose Cleaner). • 2AM Miracle (Natural Nursery Cleaner) • Simply Floored (Mop Floor Cleaner) • Cool Calm Collected (Hand + Body Lotion) • No Regrets (Hand + Body Soap) • General Purpose Microfiber • Six Compartment Cleaning Tote
- Non-Toxic Cloth Diaper Odor Eliminator - biodegradable and completely free of chemicals, oils, detergents, perfumes and solvents.
THE NUMBER ONE CONCERN IS TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS because the indoor air in our homes is typically 7-10 times worse than the air outside. This is due to chemicals that might come from cleaning products, adhesives in furniture, fire retardants etc. So how can we keep the nursery as free of these toxins as possible: Remember a baby's body is tiny and thus way more vulnerable to these toxins.
- Always buy hard wood as opposed to particleboard wood because particleboard or composite wood contain adhesives that can off-gas VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), which impact health negatively. Think about all the furniture, including the crib, changing table etc being made of hardwood. It will also last longer and can be handed down as an heirloom.
- Invest in a non-toxic mattress. Many mattresses are loaded with toxic chemicals and a baby sleeps on a mattress for an average of 15 hours a day.
- Go for hardwood floors, or rugs/carpets made from 100% cotton or wool. Wool is the best choice because it is naturally fire-resistant. Regular carpets can be full of bacteria, dust mites and are often made with toxic adhesives.
- Fill the nursery with specific houseplants, which have been proven to minimize airbourne toxins.
- Use a really good air purifier.
- Make sure you vacuum twice a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter) because it sucks up the dust particles which toxic fire retardant particles adhere to.
- Use non-toxic cleaning products in the nursery.
- Protect the environment by using eco diapers.
- Use natural fragrance and non-toxic bath and body products like Sweet Almond Oil, which can be used for baby's bath, and baby's massage instead of buying all the expensive products.
Where do the harmful toxins come from?
- Paint. Most paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds, (VOC). These paints emit gasses that are toxic to humans and animals – even after years of application. Look for NON VOC paint (available at most paint stores including Home Depot).
- Furniture. There are two kinds of wood furniture, hardwood and composite wood. Choose bare, hardwood. Avoid plastics. Avoid composite wood. Composites are created with adhesives and varnishes that emit toxins.
- Electronic equipment such as TVs, Computers, Stereos.
- Flame retardants. Synthetic flame retardants are loaded with toxic chemicals. Choose natural fire retardants instead – like wool, plant based materials and organic untreated cottons for Mattresses, Rugs, and Drapes.
Visit this site for more in-depth information: www.ceh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Kids-Furniture-Report-Press.pdf.
How do we improve air quality?
- Choose hardwood floors with natural wool area rugs for warmth. Be sure to use a non-stick rug pad to prevent slipping.
- Vacuum at least twice weekly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Air Purifier. A good air purifier such as Austin, cleans the air.
- Add some Plants. Plants emit CO2 and naturally clean the air.
About Chemical Fire Retardants
Chemical fire retardants are common in consumer products. They are added to a wide variety of household items such as furniture, electronics, appliances and even baby products. While one class of fire retardants called PBDEs (for polybrominated diphenyl ethers) has been taken off the market due to toxicity concerns, it has been replaced with compounds such as TDCIPP (also known as “chlorinated tris”) and chemical mixtures such as Firemaster® 550. But this is not a victory, because these alternative chemicals are also linked to toxicity concerns such as cancer and endocrine disruption. Until we get fire retardants out of consumer products, EWG suggests that you avoid contact with these toxic chemicals as best you can. It’s not possible to steer clear of them entirely, but fortunately you now have more fire retardant-free choices!
Using these tips you can learn:
Why You Should Reduce Your Exposure To Toxic Fire Retardants.
Scientists have found that exposure to toxic fire retardant chemicals at critical points in development can damage the reproductive system and cause deficits in motor skills, learning, memory and behavior. Some are carcinogenic.
Fire retardants in everyday items such as furniture, computers, televisions and other electronics spread through the home and could expose children to amounts that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s health risk guidelines. EWG’s tests found much higher levels of both PBDEs and TDCIPP in young children than in their mothers – likely because children frequently put their hands, toys and other objects in their mouths. Fire retardants migrate out of products and can contaminate house dust, which accumulates on the floor where children play. Read our report on TDCIPP in mothers and their toddlers to learn more about children’s exposures.
Until toxic fire retardants are taken out of consumer products (including imports) and safer solutions are in place to meet flammability standards, American families – especially children – will continue to be needlessly exposed.
Which Household Products Contain Toxic Fire Retardants.
Fire retardants are commonly added to furniture containing polyurethane foam, including couches and upholstered chairs, futons and carpet padding. They also turn up in children’s products such as car seats, changing table pads, portable crib mattresses, nap mats and nursing pillows.
Some TVs, remotes, cell phones and other electronics, as well as building materials, also contain chemical retardants, but these sources are much more difficult to avoid. Foam products made before 2005 may be the most hazardous. Older foam items commonly contain PBDEs, highly toxic fire retardants that were taken off the U.S. market. But scientists are finding that newer substitutes such as TDCIPP may be just as harmful, so EWG recommends buying products made without fire retardants whenever possible.
THIS SITE ALSO HAS SOME GREAT INFO on fire retardants http://research.duke.edu/stories/flame-retardants-make-dust-bunnies-dangerous.
How To Make Natural Diaper Rash TreatmentRecipe #1: Protective Barrier Balm Infused with inflammation reducing essential oils, this balm provides a protective barrier while soothing irritated tushies. And unlike its popular commercial counterpart, it doesn’t contain skin irritants like petrolatum, dimethicone, or mineral oil. Ingredients:
- ½ cup shea butter (I prefer to use raw organic shea because conventional shea may be extracted with harsh solvents such as hexane. Here’s where to buy it.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (Extra virgin has demonstrated the strongest antimicrobial properties, but expeller-pressed will work fine as well. Here’s where to buy extra virgin coconut oil. Here’s where to buy expeller-pressed coconut oil.
- ¼ cup plus 1-2 tablespoons non-nanoparticle zinc oxide, depending on how thick you want the balm to be (Here’s why I only recommend non-nano_. Where to find non-nano zinc oxide.
- 7 drops lavender essential oil, optional. Can substitute tea tree if yeast/bacteria is suspected.* where to buy lavender essential oil, where to buy tea tree essential oil
- 7 drops chamomile essential oil, optional. Can substitute tea tree if yeast/bacteria is suspected. where to buy chamomile essential oil, where to buy tea tree essential oil)
* Lavender and tea tree essential oils are considered by some to mimic estrogen. After looking into the study that sparked this claim I have concluded that it was poorly constructed and desperately lacking meaningful analyses.
On the other hand, according to three doctors representing Wake Forest, Yale and Harvard respectively, “Traditional use and clinical trials have not suggested estrogenic effects of tea tree or lavender oil, though estrogenic effects have been reported for other essential oils and plants.” You can read more about the original study and subsequent studies here.
- In a double boiler, gently melt shea butter over low heat. When almost melted, stir in coconut oil and continue to heat until fully melted.
- Remove from heat and allow mixture to return to a semi-solid state. Place mixture in fridge if you’d like to speed this process up. Add non-nano zinc and optional essential oils (if desired). Mix thoroughly.
Apply with clean hands as needed.
Up to 1 year if kept in a tightly sealed container, though the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils will be most effective if used within 6 months.
Make sure you check in on Sophie Uliano at her website, www.sophieuliano.com.