For us, “green” means healthy and we are learning more and more about the chemicals in everyday products that are detrimental, including your child’s mattress. According to a new report from Clean and Healthy New York, a significant portion of the crib mattresses in the U.S. market contains one or more chemicals of concern. Luckily the report, titled The Mattress Matters: Protecting Babies While They Sleep, also finds a number of mattress makers have made significant efforts in reducing chemicals of concern.
Imagine your little one sleeping on a mattress that contains more than one of the following chemicals: antimony, polyurethane, vinyl, proprietary formulas for waterproofers, and other volatile organic compounds (VOC). These chemicals are in 72% of the 190 mattresses Clean and Healthy New York surveyed for the study. Antimony is most commonly found in flame retardants and “long-term inhalation of low levels is linked to eye irritation and heart and lung problems.” Once your child leaves your home for their first day of preschool you will not be able to protect them from every detrimental chemical, so its important to make your home as green as possible.
Starting your child off in a nursery that is contains as few harmful chemicals as possible is a step toward a healthy childhood. If a crib made from organic wood that is formalydehyde free is not going to fit into your budget that is okay! Just try to see what, on your budget, you can buy that is eco-friendly and healthy for your child. Paint the nursery with low to no VOC; VOC can irritate eyes, nose and throat, cause headaches and can cause some cancers. It ‘s a simple solution with true long term results and it will cost you an extra $10-30 per room.
Another easy way to go healthy for your children as they grow is using green cleaning products. Kids love to crawl around on the floor and make a mess, so make sure the chemicals that are on the surfaces throughout your home are safe, won’t cause health problems and are good for environment. Seventh Generation is leading environmental safe and conscious product companies out there right now. If that is not available at your local store, look for products that have grain alcohol instead of toxic butyl cellsolve. Use borax instead of bleach. Also, look for products that are “petroleum free” and avoid products that include phosphates (commonly found in dishwasher soaps). You’ll also want to avoid any furniture polishes or PVC products that include phtalates. There is always the option of making your own home-made cleaning products , otherwise, stick to the greener products.
These are just a few tips to get you started on your healthy home, because a healthy child must come from a healthy home.