Just as with efforts to label genetically modified ingredients, I knew that corporate push back to a new flame retardant labeling bill would be strong. But when I heard that Fisher Price was in opposition, I had to share.
Yes, car seats are designed to keep our children safe. But what if they also contain toxic flame retardants that can be harmful to their health? That’s the premise behind the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff program, which recently released its fifth report on toxic chemicals in car seats. In 2013, I shared the latest report–but since then, a lot has changed.
Did you ever wonder about that new car smell? People are obsessed with it–there’s even a toxic chemical air freshener that promises just that scent. But the chemicals behind the new car smell aren’t so pretty.
Are you tired of playing whack-a-mole with toxic chemicals? California’s Green Chemistry Initiative could set a precedent for the way we manage toxic chemicals nationally, creating a four-step process of assessment, as NRDC reported.
Ever since I started writing as Mommy Greenest, I’ve noticed people avoiding me. Not my close friends, obviously. But the casual friendships—those afternoon coffee invitations that turn into weekend playdates with wine? I’m getting less and less of them. I’ve heard, “Oh, don’t let Rachel see that,” as a plastic water bottle is shoved into a purse, and “She had fries—don’t kill me!” as my daughter is returned home from a playdate. They think I’m the eco police.
In the past, I’ve shared information about flame retardants, the toxic chemicals which have doused our foam furniture, baby products and mattresses for the past 40 years and are linked to autism and lowered IQs in the kids who are exposed to them. But a recent UC Berkeley study again put toxic flame retardants front and center: Researchers found flame retardants in 100% of preschools tested. An organic, flame retardant free crib mattress is the best way to go for babies and toddlers, but if they’re priced out of your—or your preschool’s—budget, I discovered a lower-priced solution that’s still flame retardant free. And I’m giving three away!
I recently accompanied a friend to IKEA so she could buy a mattress. My friend was on a tight budget, so she couldn’t afford a fully flame retardant free mattress, like one from Naturepedic, which is Mommy Greenest Approved. But I had a solution: I knew that IKEA’s mattresses were free of brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs, which do not prevent fires and have been linked to developmental, fertility and neurological problems—including autism. She’d get a mattress that was free of the worst flame retardant contenders* then cover it with an organic cotton, PVC-free, waterproof cover to block flame retardant dust (as well as dust mites that cause allergies). Want to try my…
This could be the end of the line for flame retardants. As the EPA launched an investigation into the chemicals, Washington state banned flame retardants from kids’ products, and California announced a move to update the state’s flammability standards, pressured by those concerned about a policy that had exposed millions of people to toxic flame retardants—also known as PBDEs—in our homes. What’s the big deal about California? Because the state represents such a large market, California’s flammability standards—governed by TB117, which was adopted by the state 40 years ago—have become a national standard, essentially forcing furniture and baby product manufacturers throughout North America to add chemical flame retardants to their…