Phthalates may be on their way out. Home Depot recently announced it will phase phthalates out of flooring, and now the Consumer Safety Product Commission has proposed a ban on some of the most toxic phthalates in children’s toys and products. While you wait for the final bell to toll on these toxic chemicals–which soften plastics and stabilize artificial fragrances–here’s what you need to know.
Well this is good news: Home Depot is nixing phthalates in vinyl flooring. Why is this important? Banned in kids’ products since 2008, phthalates are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to birth defects, learning disabilities and obesity, among other problems. Home Depot company is the world’s largest buyer of building products; when they say no to phthalates, you can be sure other chains will follow.
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!