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Natural Ways To Clean Your Babies Nursery

Yes, you need to regularly clean your baby’s nursery. However, you don’t want to do more harm than good. Many conventional cleaning supplies have chemicals that are not safe to have around your baby. Try to look towards more natural alternatives to still clean effectively while feeling good about what you are using.

To get you started, we suggest a couple of natural cleaning ingredients you can try that you should already have around the house:

1.) Vinegar

This household staple is a must to have in your cleaning arsenal as it has proven to be a better disinfectant than even bleach. A mixture of water and vinegar is great to use on both furniture and surfaces in the nursery. Adding a bit of baking soda to this mixture is great for cleaning diaper pails.

If you are going to use vinegar, be sure it is food grade.

2.) Lemon

One of the best kept secrets for cleaning is right in the produce aisle! Lemons are antibacterial and antiseptic, basically making them a natural bleach. Clean off the residue from your baby’s sticky fingers by rubbing a lemon on the surface or rinsing it with lemon juice.

3.) Essential Oils

Essential oils are a good option to deodorize and disinfect your baby’s nursery, but only if you buy the right kind. To be sure they are a safe cleanser, choose organic essential oils with no filler oils. Just drop the cold-pressed oil of choice into your vinegar mixture, and your baby’s room will be clean and smell lovely!

Beyond just these three natural alternatives, there are many safe household items you can use to clean, including peroxide and baking soda.

Article Source: https://www.naturepedic.com/blog/2018/03/natural-ways-clean-babys-nursery/

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Many second hand plastic toys could pose a risk to children’s health, study suggests

Science News from research organization

 January 26, 2018

Source: University of Plymouth

Web Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180126085435.htm

The plastic used in many second hand toys could pose a risk to children’s health because it may not meet the most up to date international safety guidelines, according to new research published in Environmental Science and Technology.

Scientists from the University of Plymouth analysed 200 used plastic toys which they found in homes, nurseries and charity shops across the South West of England.

These included cars, trains, construction products, figures and puzzles, with all of them being of a size that could be chewed by young children.

They discovered high concentrations of hazardous elements including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium — which are chronically toxic to children at low levels over an extended period of time — in many building blocks, figures and items of jewellery that were typically either yellow, red or black.

Further tests showed that under simulated stomach conditions (involving extraction in dilute hydrochloric acid) several toys released quantities of bromine, cadmium or lead that exceeded limits set by the European Council’s Toy Safety Directive, with the release of cadmium exceeding its limit value by an order of magnitude in some cases.

The research was led by Dr Andrew Turner, Reader in Environmental Science, who used x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to analyse the presence of elements within individual toys.

He has previously conducted research which showed that decorated drinking glasses can contain harmful levels of lead and cadmium, and that playground paints should be more closely monitored to reduce potential danger to public health.

“This is the first systematic investigation of hazardous elements in second-hand plastic toys in the UK,” Dr Turner said.” Second hand toys are an attractive option to families because they can be inherited directly from friends or relatives or obtained cheaply and readily from charity stores, flea markets and the internet. But while the Toy Safety Directive applies to new products there is no regulation covering the recycling or re-sale of older toys.

“With the introduction and refinement of the Toy Safety Directive, the plastics industry has had to take steps to eliminate hazardous elements from new toys. However, consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly coloured old plastic toys or components. Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children.”

Story Source: Andrew Turner. Concentrations and migratabilities of hazardous elements in second-hand children’s plastic toys. Environmental Science & Technology, 2018; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04685

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The Truth About Flame Retardants in Mattresses & Furniture

picture and article source: https://www.naturepedic.com/blog/2017/08/truth-fire-retardants-mattresses/

Everyone has a fear of fire.” These words start the trailer for HBO’s documentary Toxic Hot Seat, a 2013 film exploring the overwhelming presence of flame retardant chemicals in homes, humans, animals, and ecosystems around the globe. How did they get into nearly everything we buy? What are they for, and are they really helping?

You’ll find flame retardants in mattresses, couches, car seats, electronics, and building insulation. On the surface, they seem to make sense. Of course we want to reduce the risk of potential fires. However, flame retardants are a very controversial ingredient used in consumer products because they come with potential health risks.

Toxic flame retardant exposure builds up in the body and has been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, cardiovascular disease, cognitive delays, and decreased fertility. Flame retardant chemicals affect people and animals both inside and outside the home. Babies and children are especially at risk due to their still-developing bodies and endocrine systems.

Flame Retardant Legislation

Some states have regulations on the books to ban use of certain flame retardants (see map by Safer States in the link above), and even a federal regulation or two has addressed them. But the trouble comes when manufacturers have the option to simply switch to another chemical that isn’t banned or regulated.

There’s also legislation around flammability standards for products like mattresses, sofas, and other household furnishings. Today’s modern performance materials like polyurethane foam (memory foam included) might feel comfortable, but they are quite flammable. Hence the need for flame retardant chemicals to meet safety standards legislated by the government.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to avoid flame retardants. By using fabrics or components that come pre-treated with flame retardants, it is possible for manufacturers to claim “no flame retardant chemicals added” – even though there are still flame retardant chemicals in the mattress or product.

How to Avoid Flame Retardant Chemicals

By now, you’re probably ready to start reducing your exposure to flame retardant chemicals, and we don’t blame you. The Environmental Working Group has a great resource to help identify common exposures and ways to avoid flame retardant chemicals, including:

– Research baby products before you buy them to make sure you select items made without flame retardants
– Choose new furniture made without flame retardants
– Replace your couch’s foam when you have it reupholstered
– Inspect foam-containing furniture for damage and degradation
– Use a vacuum with a HEPA air filter to trap small particles and contaminants
– Use caution when removing old carpeting
– Choose children’s pajamas made from natural fibers with a snug fit

Of course, you should also know what you’re looking at when it comes to reading product labels. On Naturepedic products, you’ll read that the item meets all federal flammability standards without the need for flame retardant chemicals or chemical flame barriers of any kind.

While this disclaimer is a little wordy, it’s important to us to be completely transparent and take the guesswork out of things. We simply don’t include flame retardants because our products are made with materials that are naturally fire resistant.

The Truth About Flame Retardants in Mattresses

The simple truth is that you spend eight or more hours a day in bed, surrounded by whatever materials are in your mattress. Choosing a mattress made without flame retardants helps you avoid exposure to such chemicals for at least a third of your day. Remember, too, that babies spend up to eighteen hours a day sleeping, so their crib mattress is a crucial component of a safer sleep environment in your home.

The choice is yours!

picture and article source: https://www.naturepedic.com/blog/2017/08/truth-fire-retardants-mattresses/

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The Dirty Dozen 2017

The 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Each year, the Environmental Working Group analyzes the pesticides on 48 popular produce items and comes up with what is know as the DIRTY DOZEN (The top 12 produce items that you should always buy organic): 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches 
  6. Cherries
  7. Pears
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Potatoes

To see the entire list or to read more, click below.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

 

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Cosmetics and Your Health

Why this matters – Cosmetics and Your Health

By: The Environmental Working Group

Article Source: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/

How many personal care products do you use in a day? According to our survey of 2300 people, on average, respondents use nine products daily. These contain 126 unique ingredients. One man in 100 and fully 25 percent of women surveyed apply 15 or more products each day.

Your grooming ritual probably includes shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, hair conditioner, lip balm, sunscreen, body lotion, shaving products if you’re a man, and makeup if you are a woman.

And what about your children? Sunscreen, diaper cream, shampoo and lotion are common kids’ products.

Most people use cosmetics and other personal care items without a second thought, believing that the government oversees their safety. Not so. No health studies or pre-market testing are required for these products.

Americans’ frequent exposures to cosmetics and personal care products raise questions about the potential health risks from the myriad of unassessed ingredients in them. These ingredients migrate into the bodies of nearly every American.

For instance, in August 2005, scientists from the University of Rochester reported that prenatal exposure to phthalates — chemicals found in personal care products and other consumer products — could cause the reproductive organs of male infants to develop abnormally (Swan 2005).

Studies have shown again and again that hormone systems of wildlife are thrown in disarray by chemicals from personal care products that rinse down drains and into rivers (NIEHS 2010).

At the Environmental Working Group (they) have researched and advocated personal care product safety for eight years and consider this issue an integral part of (their) work to strengthen the system of public health protections from industrial chemicals. Here’s why:

Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. Though some companies make products that are safe to eat, others choose to use dangerous ingredients like coal tar and formaldehyde, both human carcinogens, and lead acetate, a developmental toxin.

No premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into personal care products or the chemical industry as a whole. According to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the federal Food and Drug Administration, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.” (FDA 2012) The FDA does no systematic reviews of safety, instead authorizing the cosmetics industry to self-police ingredient safety through its Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel. Over its 36 years, this industry panel has rejected only 11 ingredients as unsafe in cosmetics (CIR 2012). By contrast, the European Union has banned hundreds of chemicals in cosmetics (European Commission 2012).

When risky chemicals are used in cosmetics, the stakes are high. These are not trace contaminants that may be measured in parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion in food or water. They are substantial components of the product, just as flour is a primary ingredient in bread.

Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do. Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat. Do the concentrations at which they are typically found pose risks? For the most part, those studies have not been done. But a small but growing number of studies serve as scientific red flags (Swan 2005, Sathyanarayana 2008, Swan 2010).

We carry 100% Pure natural & organic makeup here at Nest Organics!

To learn about the safety of ingredients in personal care products, EWG has compiled an electronic database of ingredient labels for body care products and cross-linked these ingredients with large databases describing chemical toxicity and government determinations. The database also contains information about cosmetics ingredient restrictions in Canada, Japan and the European Union.

We consider the prevalence of possibly dangerous chemicals in personal care products cause for concern, and action! Much study remains to be done on exposure levels and health risks. But what we do know shows that such study — and direct consumer action to avoid known toxic ingredients — is essential.

What are the limits of EWG’s Skin Deep? Skin Deep’s product ratings are based on the known hazards associated with ingredients listed on labels. These ratings represent EWG’s best effort to present solid information on cosmetic safety. But the answers are not as clear as we would like. Due to the weakness of the FDA’s cosmetics rules, many products with “green” ratings contain ingredients that have not been tested. These products appear to be free of ingredients that we know or suspect to present health hazards. But absence of evidence is not proof of safety. There may be chemical hazards that scientists have yet to identify. In cases where data are lacking, a “limited data” or “no data” rating is shown alongside the green hazard score. 

To read the complete article or to access the EWG’s Skin Deep database, click belowhttp://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/

We are happy to provide natural, organic bath and body products as well as 100% Pure brand makeup, all of which is cruelty-free, free of harmful chemicals, additives, preservatives, & toxins!

– Nest Organics

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Flame Retardant Roulette: Swapping One Toxic Compound for Another

Source: http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2017/02/flame-retardant-roulette-swapping-one-toxic-compound-another

Flame Retardant Roulette: Swapping One Toxic Compound for Another
By Olga Naidenko Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor for Children’s Environmental Health and Sonya Lunder, Senior Analyst

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2017
For decades, Americans have been needlessly exposed to chemical flame retardants – which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and other health effects – all because of a well intentioned but ultimately misguided California regulation from 1975.

This regulation on furniture flammability led manufacturers to add large amounts of flame retardant chemicals to polyurethane foam cushioning. The size of the California market prompted manufacturers to add flame retardants to foam products sold nationwide, including furniture, carpet padding, baby car seats and other baby products.

As research found flame retardant chemicals building up in people’s bodies, a pernicious circle began: scientists and public health officials sounded the alarm and initiated phaseouts of flame retardants known to harm human health and the environment, and manufacturers quietly replaced those chemicals with new ones that had not yet been scrutinized.

But subsequent investigations by EWG and other researchers showed that these replacement chemicals are often as problematic as the original flame retardants that were removed. The extent of this trend was not clear until scientists examined biomonitoring studies conducted over time and found a major increase in Americans’ exposure to a cancer-causing flame retardant, called TDCIPP, or chlorinated Tris, over the past decade.

A newly published study led by Duke University scientists, with key contributions from researchers at EWG and six other universities, found a dramatic increase in Americans’ exposures to chlorinated Tris. This chemical, which causes liver, kidney and testicular tumors in laboratory animals, was removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s following an outcry from public health advocates. But manufacturers added it to many household products without informing consumers.

According to the new study, between 2010 and 2015, Tris concentrations in children increased nearly fourfold. Duke and EWG previously reported that children also have chlorinated Tris and other flame retardants in their bodies at levels three to five times greater than those in their mothers.

In 2003, EWG analyzed breast milk samples from 20 first-time mothers to measure concentrations of brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs. We detected these chemicals in every study participant. This and other studies pushed the Environmental Protection Agency and manufacturers to phase out use of PBDEs. But chemical companies substituted Tris for PBDEs, and Americans’ exposures to these replacement chemicals has increased dramatically.

Like PBDEs, Tris has been added to many types of foam furniture to slow the spread of fire, despite extensive research showing it is toxic. California state scientists now classify TDCIPP as a chemical known to cause cancer, and data suggest it also damages the human nervous system. Adding insult to injury, the state of California examined fire data and concluded that adding flame retardants to foam does very little, if anything, to prevent furniture fires from spreading.

Over the past decade the California rules have changed and many manufacturers have voluntarily removed all flame retardants from foam in couches, easy chairs, office furniture and baby products. But they are still common in older foam furniture, automobile seats and baby items. They can also be found in new baby car seats, automobile seats and foam used in gymnastics pits.

The key finding of the new study is that Tris concentrations in American adults increased 15-fold between 2002 and 2015. In effect, all Americans today are at risk of exposure to this flame retardant. The study also found a significant increase in exposures to a second hormone-disrupting flame retardant, triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP.

TPHP shows up in an array of products, from furniture containing foam to nail polish. In 2015 a Duke-EWG study showed TPHP exposures went up sevenfold when volunteers painted their fingernails with nail polish containing TPHP. The chemical is a relatively new ingredient in nail products, introduced as a regrettable replacement for phthalates, chemicals that affect the reproductive system.

Again and again, research about the toxicity of chemicals in everyday products shows that scientists and shoppers need to view ingredients in everyday items with suspicion until we have a better understanding of how they may impact our health.

What you can do

Avoid flame retardants in new products. Buy products that don’t include flame retardants – this is easiest when shopping for couches, easy chairs and kids’ products. It is more difficult for car seats and nearly impossible when you buy a car.

Test your furniture. Most older couches and easy chairs contain Tris or other worrisome flame retardants. Duke University will test foam from your furniture for free. You can buy new, flame retardant-free foam if you choose to reupholster older furniture.

Work to ban bad chemicals. The good news is that once banned, chemicals slowly get out of our homes and our bodies. Ten years after PBDEs were taken off the market, scientists found that we have fewer of them in our bodies. States are leading the charge to protect citizens from the risks of Tris in consumer products. Five states have already banned Tris in children’s products or furniture, and 15 states are considering bills or policy actions to address the problems posed by flame retardant chemicals.

Work to make new products safer. Many uses of chemical flame retardants are ineffective and unnecessary. Adding them to consumer products doesn’t save us from fires, but poses unknown risks to our health. It isn’t enough to simply ban individual chemicals like Tris and wait for the next disaster. Instead, the federal government should safeguard our health by requiring that new chemicals are fully screened for safety and only used when necessary.

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