How to Help Your Child’s Health with an Eco-Friendly Bedroom
However old or young your child is, the furniture, toys and clothes in their bedrooms can either improve their health or hinder it. This clip looks at how you can avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals through purchasing organically produced mattresses, clothes and wooden toys. It gives you five top tips to help you plan a healthier environment for your child.
Plastic furniture and toys in particular can emit harmful compounds (known as phthalates) as the plastic degrades. Wikipedia reveals that:
“Phthalates are used in a large variety of products. End-applications include adhesives and glues (…) detergents and surfactants, packaging, children’s toys, modelling clay, waxes, paints, printing inks and coatings, pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles. They are also used in a variety of household applications such as shower curtains, vinyl upholstery, adhesives, floor tiles, food containers and wrappers, and cleaning materials.
“People are commonly exposed to phthalates, and most Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Phthalate exposure can be through direct use or by indirect means through leaching and general environmental contamination.
“In general, children’s exposure to phthalates is greater than that of adults. Infants and toddlers are at the greatest risk of exposure, because of their mouthing behaviour. Body-care products containing phthalates are a source of exposure for infants. The authors of a 2008 study “observed that reported use of infant lotion, infant powder, and infant shampoo were associated with increased infant urine concentrations of [phthalate metabolites], and this association is strongest in younger infants. These findings suggest that dermal exposures may contribute significantly to phthalate body burden in this population.” Though they did not examine health outcomes, they noted that “Young infants are more vulnerable to the potential adverse effects of phthalates given their increased dosage per unit body surface area, metabolic capabilities, and developing endocrine and reproductive systems.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate
To minimise phthalate exposure, severely limit or avoid completely plastic toys and furniture. Soft toys can also contain these compounds, so be wary or choose organically produced teddies and night time companions.
Newly painted rooms release VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are potentially dangerous.
“At present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of (VOC’s)usually found in homes. Many (VOC’s) are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.” – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound
Newborns and children are more vulnerable to the effects of chemicals as their immune systems are so much more immature than adults.
Consider the paint you use for the walls. There are many paints now available that are low VOC paints. Equally look for wooden toys that are painted with low VOC paint.
Organic clothes are generally more expensive than non-organic but I would say quality over quantity – buy fewer but know that what you’re putting on your little one is safe and free from chemical residues. Alternatively use second hand clothing – any chemical residues should have been washed out. Consider also what skin care products you use.
If you are bottle feeding, make sure the bottles are BPA (Bisphenol A) free. If you use disposable nappies, choose chlorine free nappies that are biodegradable. The same goes for baby wipes – the common non-biodegradable wipes sit in landfill sites for hundreds of years clogging up the planet, as do non bio nappies.
As the Zem Jaoquim says: “Educate yourself, peruse the Internet.” There is so much information available now to help you make the right choices, the healthy choices for your family. Learn about the issues for yourself. You’ll find that organic living ticks all the right boxes in so many ways.
Filed under: Organic Baby Products
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