Naturepedic is urging immediate action to eliminate the use of synthetic chemicals such as phthalates, among other toxic chemicals, that are known to adversely affect babies' health. Manufacturers typically use phthalates in crib mattresses to help achieve waterproofing properties. But according to Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks), phthalates are damaging children's brain development and should be banned from consumer products.
Barry A. Cik, a Board-Certified Environmental Engineer, the founder and technical director of Naturepedic, a GOTS-certified organic, MADE SAFE-certified nontoxic mattress and bedding brand, has put his extensive knowledge of chemicals to good use to help achieve just this in Naturepedic products. Fifteen years ago, he decided that there had to be a better way to make ethical, toxin-free crib mattresses that could help safeguard babies from a lifetime of health issues like brain damage and cancer that can be caused by exposure to chemicals used in crib mattresses.
Manufacturers often waterproof mattresses with chemicals, but not waterproofing is risky; Naturepedic found a solution
Cik says, "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. 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."
Many materials used to waterproof crib mattress contain chemicals, but not waterproofing at all also carries risks.
Cik explains, "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. At Naturepedic, we set out to develop a better solution for this, by eliminating phthalates entirely. In doing so, we discovered that we can 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."
Naturepedic avoids safety concerns with non-toxic alternative materials
In addition to its novel nontoxic waterproofing method, Naturepedic takes 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 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.
And, delivers extra breathability
Naturepedic also provides extra "breathable" cover options which surround the baby with airflow, meet pediatric guidelines of proper mattress firmness and eliminate 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."
Since 2003, Naturepedic has been on a mission to protect the lives of babies, children and families through safer, healthier organic-based products that have a positive impact on the environment. A brand with purpose, transparency and ethical practices, Naturepedic is the recipient of many certifications and is highly respected by numerous health and environmental organizations (https://www.naturepedic.com/certifications) and is an EPA Green Power Partner. Since its inception, Naturepedic has been a consistent and generous advocate and supporter of NGO's and nonprofits advocating for parents "Right to Know" about what is in the products they bring into their homes.