When it comes to setting up your baby’s nursery keep it simple, spend the money when it comes to their health and well being. Because babies spend so much of their time sleeping, don’t cut costs when it comes to their mattress. Avoiding the harmful effects of flame retardants will keep your little bundle from spending half of his life in a cloud full of chemicals.
So when did it become necessary to load up our mattresses in chemicals? In 1973 a law was passed that required mattresses to meet certain requirements for cigarette ignition- resistance. Why this is necessary for a baby’s mattress is questionable. These chemicals seemingly replace one health risk for another. PBDEs, some of the most commonly used fire retardant compounds have recently been found to be accumulating in humans. Like PCBs, PBDEs can cause immune suppression, endocrine disruptions, cancer and behavioral problems and may be especially harmful to infants and fetuses. According to the Environment California Research and Policy Center these chemicals have specifically been found in breast milk. The European Union has officially started banning the use of some PBDEs. Swedes have been reported to have 66% lower levels of PBDEs in breast milk than Americans.
So what is a new parent to do when searching for a mattress for their newborn? Most conventional mattresses in addition to flame retardants are filled with polyurethane foam which emanates VOCs. A better choice is a environmentally preferred natural latex stuffing which comes from a rubber tree product. Purchasing an untreated organic cotton mattress, or natural latex one (or a combination of the two) will help purify your baby’s sleeping environment. Unfortunately even an organic mattress will have to pass the required US Consumer Product Safety Commission cigarette test. There are some manufacturers who avoid flame retardants by wrapping their mattresses in a layer of natural fireproof wool. Just make sure it’s not processed with bleaching chemicals. Top of the line organic crib mattresses can cost anywhere between $250 and $600 but can be worth the peace of mind.
5Phases is dedicated to a healthy and organic lifestyle for babies. We develop products that minimize harmful exposure to chemicals, giving baby the best start possible. For more information, visit our Facebook page or online @ www.5phases.com.