Toxic Baby, Toxic World?
Toxic Baby Products
Toxic baby products should be on everyone's mind. Having a newborn is an adventure all on its own. Providing them with a safe place to grow up in is every parent’s challenge. We do everything possible to nurture their body and mind. The tough part is sometimes not having enough information to make the best decision. This is the case with many baby products on the market today. It includes anything from bedding, clothing, diapers, and furniture, to care products, and toys. Parents are left wondering how the chemicals in these items will affect the long-term health of their child.
>> Have a look at the Environmental Working Group's website for helpful guidance
Over 50,000 chemicals have been introduced into our daily lives since World War II. Many of which scientists do not yet have enough data on to speculate about the effects of long-term, low-level exposure. In many cases with food or personal care products, companies do not have to list all ingredients. You really have no idea what is in store for your baby.
Stay informed about toxic baby products!
Apart from shocking reports that make it into the media once in a while, it is up to parents to inform themselves and take charge of their child’s environment. Relying on slow-changing government laws and dishonest company labels is no longer something people are willing to stake their life on.
Newborns are especially vulnerable to toxic exposure. Their immune and nervous systems are not fully developed yet and cannot eliminate toxins as an adult would. Babies also have much more skin area for their size than adults. They absorb harmful substances through their skin and also breathe more air than adults. All those factors put them at a much higher risk of the harmful effects of chemical exposure.
With an overwhelming majority of things containing any number of harmful toxins, where do you start?
The simple answer is In Your Home. Your home will be the place your baby will spend the majority of their time in the beginning. Detoxifying your home is a great start. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. Before you bring your child into the world, you have to make decisions on things like decorating the nursery, buying furniture and clothing.
You might also start to stock up on diapers, care products, cleaning products, and laundry detergent before the birth. A lot of those decisions must be made before your baby ever comes into your home. Many parents-to-be simply are not aware that these decisions will expose their newborn to harmful chemicals. They are very surprised to learn about toxins lurking around every corner.
How to prepare your nursery with non-toxic baby products?
Let’s have a quick peek at what preparing a nursery would look like for your newborn. You likely plan on painting. That will release toxic paint fumes that will off-gas long after your baby is born and sleeping daily in the nursery. You may also want to replace the carpet, another source of long-term off-gassing. Not only will your baby breathe in those fumes, but they will eventually crawl on the carpet. Their skin will be exposed to those chemicals.
Then you will possibly want to furnish the nursery with a crib and a change table. Both of those furniture items are generally manufactured with glue and plastics and sprayed with toxic paint (manufacturers covered older furniture in lead paint). The glue alone will off-gas for years in most cases. That is not counting the toxic foam bedding you may buy for the crib or the pad you may purchase for the change table. Your baby will be lying naked on these items. This leaves their skin to absorb harmful chemicals, which includes anything from formaldehyde to fire-retardant chemicals, toxic dyes, and pesticides.
You might start to understand now why taking charge of detoxifying your home is critical.
There are several other areas with high toxicity for your baby. These include personal care products, household cleaning products, and baby food. In most cases, you can make the choice for less toxic, toxic-free, and organic products. The trick is being aware of what the dangers are. So, let’s take a look.
You may think that personal care products for babies are specially regulated and safety tested. But, that is simply not the case. A few years ago, several agencies criticized Johnson & Johnson for using possible cancer-causing chemicals in their baby shampoo. The main chemical in question was a formaldehyde derivative.
Misleading natural and organic labels
In a 2009 test, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane in 61% of baby care products they tested. Companies do not have to remove these chemicals, as they are a by-product of production. They do not even have to list them on the label. Many of these products carry the label “natural” or “organic”. Parents have no way of telling if these chemical by-products are in what they are purchasing for their babies.
This includes baby shampoos, lotions, bath products, and creams. In many instances, you are slathering your baby with toxic chemicals. And there is no definite answer as to what that will do to their development.
Household cleaners are another highly toxic area. You may think you are keeping your baby safe by wiping everything down with sanitizers and washing their clothes in scented laundry detergent. The truth is that you are exposing them to several hundred toxic chemicals in your conventional cleaners, dish soap, and laundry detergent alone!
These chemicals have been listed as potential carcinogens, irritants, poisons, and corrosives. They have been linked to:
- Learning disabilities
- Endocrine and hormone disruptions
- Reproductive problems
- Kidney and liver damage
- Nervous system damage
- Chronic skin irritation
Dish soap is the leading cause of poisonings in the US for children under the age of six. It makes us wonder why we would voluntarily want to eat poisonous dish soap residue with our food…
What a dangerous toxic brew to raise your baby in!
Another area of concern has been baby food and we support breastfeeding whenever possible. Baby food and formula has shown to contain any number of dangerous substances like GMO toxins, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and high amounts of sugar, therefore, keep in mind that your baby will eat these several times a day.
The methods used to preserve baby food are just as shady. Companies add chemical preservatives and harmful dyes to preserve the color of the food. Not to mention that preserving baby food at high temperatures, as is common practice, destroys the majority of its nutritional value. Using organic and non-GMO produce and products (ie. BPA free containers, bottles, spoons, etc.) to make your own food, is simply the safest way to go.
It is the only way to avoid pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, neurotoxins, and other harmful chemicals. It is up to you to take control of the food you feed your family.
For these reasons we need to inform ourselves and set an example by choosing to be toxic-free.
For yourself and your family’s health and safety, choose:
- Natural paint, flooring materials, curtains, and furniture that does not off-gas
- Chemical-free and toxic-free bedding, clothing, and toys
- Organic and toxic-free baby care products, household cleaners, and laundry detergent
- Organic and non-GMO baby food