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From Home Furnishing Business

Naturepedic Urges Removal of Phthalates in Crib Mattresses

Naturepedic, a U.S. certified organic mattress and bedding manufacturer, is calling for immediate action to eliminate the use of synthetic chemicals such as phthalatesamong other toxic chemicals, that are known to adversely affect babies' health.

Typically used in the manufacturing of crib mattresses to help achieve its waterproofing properties, phthalates, according to Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks) are damaging children's brain development and therefore must be immediately banned from consumer products. 

Barry A. Cik, board-certified environmental engineer, founder and technical director of Naturepedic, has an extensive knowledge of chemicals. Fifteen years ago, he decided that there had to be a better way to make ethical, toxin-free crib mattress alternatives that would help safeguard innocent babies from a lifetime of health issues including brain damage and cancer.

"Crib mattresses are one of the largest sources of phthalate exposure to babies, who are spending 10-16 hours a day in their early years of life sleeping on top of them,” said Cik. “With a majority of baby crib mattresses in the U.S. market made with a cover of vinyl, of which 30-40% of contains phthalates, the off-gassing can get into the air right above the mattress that the baby is breathing in."

"The problem is crib mattresses need to be waterproof and easy to wipe down and clean in order to maintain safe hygiene for the baby, otherwise they could breathe in unsanitary bacterial and microbial contamination,” continued Cik. “However, utilizing vinyl, again typically made with phthalates, has been the primary way to accomplish this. Other 'solutions' include using polyurethane, which can also lead to unhygienic inhalation when the polyurethane is placed below the surface fabric as is generally the case, using PFCs, which are suspected carcinogens, or to not waterproof at all. A safe mattress should be waterproof and hygienic." 

Cik adds, "At Naturepedic, we set out to develop a better solution for this, which eliminates phthalates entirely. In doing so, we discovered and utilize food-grade polyethylene made from non-GMO sugarcane, which is well-regarded by respected environmental organizations and is the most nontoxic waterproofing available on the market."

In addition to its novel nontoxic waterproofing method, Naturepedic takes its crib mattress safety a step further, avoiding other chemical, allergenic, breathable, and physical safety concerns. When it comes to allergens, no latex (even organic latex) is ever used in Naturepedic baby products because it's highly allergenic, and babies, who don't know if they are or will become allergenic, should not be sleeping on allergenic materials. Naturepedic also provides extra "breathable" cover options which surrounds the baby with airflow, meets pediatric guidelines of proper mattress firmness, and of course, eliminates questionable materials and chemicals found in most conventional mattresses, such as vinyl, PFCs, polyurethane foam, flame retardant chemicals and chemical flame barriers, formaldehyde, pesticides, GMOs, and glues/adhesives, while meeting and exceeding the highest level of certifications available in the marketplace.

"The recent study announced by Project TENDR in the American Journal of Public Health further confirms what we've always known to be true: phthalates, among many other toxic chemicals, are causing serious, long-lasting damage to our children, and have no place in our everyday products, especially in our children's products. The pervasive, unregulated use of these chemicals, especially in crib mattresses, must end. I call on our industry to eliminate the use of phthalates entirely, and to actively seek the use of nontoxic, safer alternatives that are out there," states Cik, "We will continue fighting tooth and nail for chemical policy change, consumer education, and the end to industry greenwashing."

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