Babies Are More Susceptible To Chemicals
With conventional products often containing enough chemicals to potentially impact the health of adults, you can imagine how much more susceptible babies are. Since their skin is thinner, more fragile and porous and less oily, it absorbs things more easily and isn’t as resistant to bacteria and other harmful substances.
Chemicals are hard for young bodies to process. And yet in the US, millions of children ingest up to 35% of their estimated lifetime dose of some carcinogenic pesticides by age five via food, contaminated drinking water, household use, and pesticides drifting in the air.
What’s in Conventional Baby Products?
In baby care products, three frequently used ingredients are…
Mineral Oil, a byproduct of petroleum refinement, is the main ingredient of most baby oils. It’s easy to find and cheap, but it clogs pores and inhibits skin from breathing. It also blocks the absorption of beneficial ingredients applied to the skin, hinders the natural release of toxins and can cause vitamin deficiencies due to it’s impact on the liver.
Fragrance, frequently used in baby lotions, is often made from phthalates which have been linked to liver and kidney damage, interfere with reproductive organ development and mimic estrogen in the body.
Parabens, commonly used preservatives, are known to disrupt the endocrine system and cause allergic reactions.
Crib mattresses are treated with several chemicals during production. And while some of the chemicals which were widely used for decades have recently been banned and/or voluntarily removed, they’ve actually been replaced with other phthalates that may be just as harmful. With this in mind, babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on their crib mattress; it is the single most prominent object in their environment.
Children’s clothing is often made from synthetic fibers that are manufactured with petrochemicals, acrylic, PVC, and esters. These are possibly linked to immune system damage, behavioral problems, cancer and hormone disruption. The permanent press or fire-retardant finishing which many children’s pajamas (regardless of the material they are made from) are treated with is known to release formaldehyde and never washes out. Synthetic dyes are even made with chemicals linked to skin sensitization, occupational cancer and everything in between.
Even if the clothes are made from cotton rather than synthetic fabric, cotton crops use 25% of the world’s pesticides and 10% of the world’s insecticides yearly. Plus, converting cotton crops into clothing requires
numerous toxic chemicals to be added at each stage such as harsh petroleum scours, brighteners, flame and soil retardants, heavy metals, softeners, ammonia and formaldehyde.
As far as food goes, children eat lots of fruit and vegetables, which are frequently treated with pesticides. Low quality, processed foods also contain chemicals and eating them can easily become an ingrained habit for years, even a lifetime.
What’s in Organic Baby Products?
Ora’s Amazing Herbal is an organic skin care company which features baby salve and powder. The all-natural ingredients are listed on the labels.
Sprout San Francisco is an organic baby supply company that has everything from nursery furniture, bedding and clothing to bottles, cleaning supplies and toys. And they are very particular about the items they feature. Their motto is, “We do the research, so you don’t have to.”
Organic baby clothing is made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool, cashmere, or silk. When shopping, check the label for no chemical finishes and non-toxic dyes and inks. You can also look for The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organic label; GOTS is the world’s leading
textile processing standard for organic fibers. They require that the clothing is 95 percent organic and has no toxic dyes or finishes.
Organic food has more nutrients, 95% fewer chemicals and, if you haven’t grown accustomed to artificial flavors first, much better taste!
Healthier Products, Healthier Babies
The prices of organic baby products generally run a little higher. However, when considering all of the statistics that point to possible links between chemicals and increasing health and behavior issues in babies and young children, purchasing organic is more like an investment than a splurge.