You probably know that some plastic toys—like the now infamous rubber ducky—contain the hormone-disrupting, birth-defect-causing, probably-carcinogenic plasticizers known as phthalates. You may have even heard that this group of chemicals is also found in the fragrance of your favorite personal care products.
Despite my longtime annoyance with Purell-toting moms, once I had my own children I found myself--to my horror--becoming something of a germaphobe. When my sons are sick, we all suffer--they miss school, I can’t work, and no one sleeps. I’m judicious with the use of fever reducers and painkillers (here’s why), so some level of misery is inevitable. And in New York City, it’s hard to ignore how much exposure the kids have to germy surfaces, especially as babies (when mine can typically be found gumming the nearest subway pole). So, while you won’t see me with Purell in the sandbox, I have been known to surreptitiously spritz my kids’ hands with a natural sanitizer before they eat their snacks, hoping no onlookers are judging me.
Are you worried about flame retardants in your home? Unfortunately, you should be. These chemicals are found in our furniture, electronics, household dust, and even our food—and they are implicated in everything from infertility to autism. By law, flame retardants (often in the form of a group of chemicals known as PBDEs) are added to a variety of items in that most of us use on a daily basis—from the foam in our sofa cushions to the cords for our laptops.
If you eat a mostly organic diet and increasingly use organic skincare and cleaning products, it probably feels like a logical next step to buy organic clothing. But because of the higher prices and limited availability of organic garments, you may wonder if it’s worth it—what’s the real risk of clothing produced the conventional way? Let’s take a look at what “organic” means when it comes to fashion.
Cheerios have long been a popular first finger food for babies; their size and shape make them a perfect snack for new eaters eager to practice the emerging pincer grasp. Sometime around the beginning of the twenty-first century, some genius invented the “baby puff” and boom: a whole generation of toddlers will never hold a Cheerio between dimpled thumb and forefinger. In my own extended family, these snacks have become so popular that my nephew’s first word was…you guessed it…“puff!”
At this point, we all know that when it comes to the wellbeing of babies, breastfeeding is vastly superior to formula feeding in every way. Still, for those parents who formula feed—whether by choice or necessity—they all want to know: what is the safest, healthiest formula I can give my baby? With so many organic options now available, choosing a safe formula seems easier than ever, but not so fast. There are many problematic ingredients in infant formulas, even the ever-increasing organic varieties.