This is one of the most frequent questions that I get, how do I keep my nursery non-toxic? For many people having a first child is a time when you are introduced into the world of organic and non-toxic, you will probably stay there all your life when you start to learn about how harmful toxins are creeping into our every day life. When you are ready to bring your new baby home you want to make sure that place, where they will spend most of their time, is as non-toxic as possible.
Think about it, when there is a about to be a new member in the family you rush out and decorate a new room, even in some cases decided its time to buy a new house. But you know what that means... new materials, which means harmful off-gassing. So there you go - you've designed a new nursery and it may just be the most harmful place in your entire home. This is the case all too often, but there are things you can do to make the room safe for a new baby. I just saw this list today on the Seventh Generation website - which is a great place for new parents to be introduced to creating a non-harmful home with non-toxic cleaning materials.
Seventh Generation's tips on creating a safe and less-toxic nursery (and I agree with all of these wholeheartedly) :
1. Since your baby will be spending 14 to 16 hours a day with her face buried in its fibers, the mattress should be your priority. If there is one product to splurge on, this is it. Look for organic and/or Greenguard Certified mattresses. These may come at a premium price but this is where you want to put your money - or ask for one for a baby shower gift! see more ideas and options on turning a regular mattress less harmful by visiting the full article here.
2. Buy a better crib - avoid pressed wood and look for Greenguard certification. Or buy a second hand crib which has already off-gassed it's harmful chemicals.
3. Select solid wood furniture.
4. Seal Plywood and Particleboard furniture. Apply a finish like AFMSafecoat products to the exposed, bare wood to keep fumes from being released into the air.
5. Be careful with cushions - if possible, choose custom-made cushions (or make your own) with organic cotton and wool fill (wool is naturally flame retardant). If conventional cushions are your only choice, vacuum them frequently using a HEPA filtered vacuum.
6. Get good flooring.
7. Look for safer second-hand furniture. Always be aware of mold and stay away from any possibly moldy items - but second-hand is a good way to ensure your new furniture has already off-gassed. Clean furniture with a HEPA vacuum cleaner, or one that traps dust particles down to at least 0.1 micron in size (refer to the manufacturer for details like this).
8. Select safe paint - there are so many new options here, just make sure you are a savvy shopper and get the best. (for a full description see full article).
9. Decorate with design and health in mind - it's the best way to decorate!--with your heart (Seventh Generation didn't say that I did... haha) Their tips are much more helpful:
- Look for items made from natural materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and flax.
- Avoid plastic, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC),which is linked with many adverse health effects, including birth defects, immune system disorders, reproductive health disorders, endocrine and nervous system abnormalities, and cancer.
- Let it off-gas outside. If it has that “new smell, “leave it outside or in a garage until the odor is gone.
I know this looks like a paid for commercial - but it's not! I just felt like these were great helpful tips! and I'm not going to re-write them... just go to their website!