There is nothing more precious than an infant. So innocent and delicate, these tiny blessings should have the purest food, bedding, and care, and most parents are more than happy to spend a bit more for the best. Yet it is concerning that most baby products found in department stores contain chemicals, hormone disruptors, and flame retardants that are toxic to adults, let alone children. In fact, children are susceptible to absorbing toxins at a faster rate than adults because 1) children breathe faster, and 2) the skin of a child is thinner, so they can absorb chemicals more quickly.
Most people think that there are regulations in place to protect the safety of what we buy. We learned during Christmas ’08, however, that there were no regulations for toys that contained dangerous amounts of lead. The sad truth is that there are approximately 75,000 chemicals used in commercial products and applications in the US. Of those, approximately 3% have been evaluated for human toxicology!
Flame retardants in mattresses are among the most dangerous culprits, considering the fact that babies can sleep up to 16 hours a day. Studies have shown that antimony, a common flame retardant used in crib mattresses, may contribute to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) risk. Other flame retardants such as PBDEs can affect the physical and intellectual development of a baby.
Most conventional crib mattresses are made with synthetic foams and fibers. These materials contain toluene and other petrochemicals that offgas VOCs (volatile organic compounds). To top it off, they are often coated with PVC vinyl to make them waterproof. Not just chemical hazards to a baby, these types of mattresses do not “breathe,” causing children to overheat and sleep overly warm and “clammy.”
Rowena, Product Specialist