3 Sustainable Tips for a Toxin-Free Nursery

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Follow these tips to help keep harmful toxic substances out of your new baby’s nursery…

Keeping your baby safe is every parent’s main concern. However, unfortunately, many parents don’t consider the hazards that may be present when setting up baby’s new room. When designing the nursery where your baby will be spending much of his or her first few months, be sure to choose fabrics and other materials carefully.

Remember that a baby’s developing system is particularly sensitive to chemicals and environmental toxins. Their sensitive skin or lungs may be negatively affected by substances that wouldn’t bother an adult or an older child.

Before planning and putting together your nursery, keep these tips in mind to create a safe, healthy environment for your new little one.

Cribs

Avoid VOCs.

Your baby will be surrounded by the walls of their crib as they snooze, so look out for ones that are free of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Formaldehyde, lead, and cadmium are three potentially dangerous VOCs that should be avoided, so do your research and read labels carefully before you land on a bed.

Look for these labels instead:

  • Formaldehyde-Free: A crib labeled this way doesn’t contain any of the toxic glues sometimes used in pressed woods and plywoods.
  • VOC-Free/No VOCs: This is a better label than “low VOC,” which means it contains VOCs from various sources. A product free from all VOCs means there is no lead or cadmium in the paint or varnish.
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  • Lead-Free: Avoid any product labeled as “Lead Safe” because this does not mean it is free of lead, and therefore may still emit unsafe heavy metals. “Lead-Safe” means the manufacturer has met the federal standards, which actually do allow these toxins in our products.

Mattresses

Avoid added chemicals and PVCs.

…Avoid mattresses with chemical flame retardants, vinyl covers made with PVC, and memory foam and polyurethane foam that could contain petroleum. Also, look closely at those made of bamboo, which sometimes have chemicals added to make them softer.

Look for these labels instead:

  • Wool: Wool is naturally fire-resistant. Look for high-density wool mattresses specifically; otherwise, you could be purchasing a blend of natural cotton (which sometimes contains pesticides) and wool. You’ll also want to make sure your mattress is 100 percent organic wool in order to avoid added chemicals.
  • Natural Latex Foam: This type of foam is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria, and mites. Avoid synthetic latex as it can be made from harsh petroleum.
  • GreenGuard or GOTS-Certified: Both of these third-party testing facilities are highly regarded by consumers and professionals alike. Their certifications include a comprehensive examination of the finished product as well as the manufacturing process.

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Paint

Avoid VOCs.

Painting a nursery is one of the best ways to create a space that is tailored to your baby’s personality. But certain paints have been shown to contain VOCs, lead, and cadmium, so take certain precautions before you let your artistic side shine through.

Look for these options instead:

  • No VOC/VOC-Free Paint: Remember that Low VOC simply means the paint meets federal standards, which actually do allow for small amounts of harmful toxins. NO VOC or VOC-free means it contains NO VOCs at all. Insider tip: Paints lighter in color typically have lower levels of VOCs.
  • Milk Paint: Now here’s a paint that is making a comeback. You can search Amazon for milk paint powders that you can mix up yourself or look for them at your local hardware store. It’s a great, natural option for painting (especially on furniture!).
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Read more at MindBodyGreen.com

 

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