Toxic Chemicals and Indoor Air Pollutants In Baby’s Room
Your baby will spend a lot of time in the area that they sleep in, be it their own bedroom or in yours, so you definitely want the environment in your baby’s rooms to be as healthy and toxic free as possible. This article Toxic Chemicals and Indoor Air Pollutants In Baby’s Room will first show you where hazards are lurking and how to remove them.
*Note – the majority of information in this article also applies to older children’s and adults bedrooms too.
Most new parents will be well informed about certain well publicized aspects of keeping baby safe when sleeping; e.g. the SIDS prevention protocol, keeping curtain cords, toy mobiles and any other possible toys or clothing that pose a strangulation, or choking risk well out of baby’s reach. The things parents aren’t often informed about are the following dangers.
These dangers you can’t see with the naked eye, but that can be every bit as harmful to baby.
Before you read on, I want to reassure you all that although I know many of the things listed below are alarming, I have written a follow-up article to this one, offering you some easy and precautionary solutions. See – How To Ensure Your Baby’s Room Is A Healthy, Safe & Toxic Free Environment.
Common Toxic Indoor Air Pollutants – VOC’s In Your Baby’s Room
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are released from many different products; e.g. plastics, paints, varnishes, glues, fabric dyes, fire retardants etc. and these have been shown to cause cancer, respiratory illness, SIDS in infants, liver and kidney disease, allergies, and ill health read more. Here are some of the common furnishings and bedding products that can release VOC’s in your baby’s bedroom.
Toxic Chemicals & PVC In Baby Furniture & Cot Mattresses
- PVC backed curtains or blinds – PVC contains Phthalates and other dangerous volatile compounds that are continuously releasing carcinogenic vapours into the air. Read this article by Healthy Child Healthy World – Reduce Your Use of PVC In Plastic…
- PVC mattress protectors.
- PVC plastic toys – if you walk into a room full of PVC (vinyl) toys, just like in a cheap shoe shop, you can literally smell the chemicals!
- Cheap furniture, including baby bassinets and cots that are made from MDF and particle boards containing toxic formaldehyde glues and other dangerous chemicals.
- Your baby’s furniture may also be finished with paints, PVC veneers and varnishes containing toxic Volatile Organic Compounds.
- Fire Retardant Chemicals (Antimony, Phosphorus and Arsenic) that are linked to SIDS, are present in nearly all baby’s mattresses, bedding, sleeping-bags, grow-suits, clothing and even soft toys. Read how to prevent SIDS by the simple act of Mattress Wrapping.
- Sheepskin cot underlays have been found to have high arsenic levels and these have been linked to SIDS, so avoid completely at all times and this includes in the pram or car-seat.
New, or Newly Renovated Houses & Poor Air Quality in Baby’s Room
- VOC’s & other toxic chemicals from fresh paint.
- VOC’s & other toxic chemicals from newly laid flooring and carpet and blinds.
- VOC’s & other toxic chemicals from new furniture; e.g. wardrobes, couches, feeding-chairs and change- tables.
Products That Emit EMF Radiation In Your Baby’s Room
- Radiation from cordless DECT baby monitors and apnoea mats.
- Bed-side lamps that emit dangerous levels of radiation – see my article Minimizing Radiation Exposure in Your Home.
- Household appliances on the other side of the walls in baby’s room e.g. fridges, computers, washing machines, dishwashers and dryers etc.
- The Fuse Box and Smart Meter being on the wall outside baby’s room.
- Unearthed water pipes running under flooring in baby’s room, or your room if baby sleeps in there.
- Living in close proximity to major power-lines, power-stations or mobile phone towers etc.
Dust & Mold In Baby’s Room
- Bad ventilation.
- Dirty central heating or air-conditioning, that blows dust, bacteria and mold spores into the room.
- Damp and mold in the walls, ceiling, carpets, rugs, old pillows, bedding, soft toys and floors.
- Dirty, dusty old carpet and rugs, blinds, blankets and soft toys.
Using Harsh Chemical Cleaning Products
- Chemical cleaning products and room fresheners are full of toxic chemicals including VOC’s. Never clean or freshen your baby’s room with bleach, chemicals furniture and window cleaners, or spray synthetic air fresheners and use synthetic disinfectants.
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