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Why is it important to buy organic cotton toys, bedding and clothing for a baby? - MyCuddle™

Why is it important to buy organic cotton toys, bedding and clothing for a baby?

MyCuddle™ - organic toys, dolls and baby gifts, handmade in ItalyMyCuddle™ - organic toys, dolls and baby gifts, handmade in Italy

It is not a secret, that MyCuddle uses certified by GOTS unbleached organic cotton, which is a base for all products of its Organic Collection, and it is proud of it. But why buying clothes, dolls or other accessories for babies, made from organic cotton is so important? Is it another “story tale” made up by crazy “hippie-parents”? Not at all! Here are some facts, which you should take under consideration, whenever you decide to buy something for your baby:

  • Over the past 50 years, there has been a steady increase in the incidence of children developing cancer, asthma, attention deficit disorders, allergies, autoimmune disorders and others.
  • The report of scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai finds the number of chemicals contributing to brain disorders in children has doubled since 2006.

    In recent years, the prevalence of developmental disorders such as autism,attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia have soared. While greater awareness and more sophisticated diagnoses are partly responsible for the rise, researchers say the changing environment in which youngsters grow up may also be playing a role.

  • It is due to industrial chemicals being used in products. Children are subjected to an endless barrage of artificial pathogens that tax their systems to the max.

The chemicals used in textile processing are among the most toxic known.

Using organic products (like fabrics) is especially important for children, because children tend to be more influenced by their environment than adults.  Children are still developing, and many of these developmental processes are very sensitive to environmental contaminants, which can easily disrupt development.  Also, children take in much more of their environment relative to their body weight.  This amount, called the dose, has a much greater effect on children than on the adults around them, because children’s bodies are much smaller.  And finally, children tend to come in contact with environmental contaminants more often than adults do, simply because of their habits – like the two year olds who put everything in their mouths, or toddlers who spend a lot of time in the dust on the floor, where contaminants collect.

In outfitting your nursery, you see lots of information about baby products – lotions, powders, foods.  But please remember that there are other products that impact your child’s health, such as mattresses and fabrics. Remembering that new studies are demonstrating that even nano doses of chemicals can contribute to disease over time, there are also many studies which specifically linked diseases to chemicals found in textiles:

  • In 2007, The National Institutes of health and the University of Washington released the findings of a 14 year study that demonstrates those who work with textiles were significantly more likely to die from an autoimmune disease than people who didn’t.
  • A study by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found a link in textile workers between length of exposure to formaldehyde and leukemia deaths.
  • Women who work in textile factories with acrylic fibers have seven times the risk of developing breast cancer than does the normal population.
  • Many of the chemicals found in fabrics (which are, after all, about 27% synthetic chemicals, by weight) are known to have negative health effects, such as:
    • Disruptions during development (including autism, which now occurs in 1 of every 110 births in the US); attention deficit disorders (ADD) and hyperactivity (ADHD).  Chemicals commonly used in textiles which contribute:
    • Breathing difficulties, including asthma ( in children under 5 asthma has increased 160%  between 1980-1994)  and allergies. Chemicals used in textiles which contribute:
      • Formaldehyde, other aldehydes
      • Benzene, toluene
      • Phthalates
    • Cancer  –  all childhood cancers have grown at about 1% per year for the past two decades; the environmental attributable fraction of childhood cancer can be between 5% and 90%, depending on the type of cancer.  Chemicals linked to cancers, all of which are used in textile processing:
      • Formaldehyde
      • Lead, cadmium
      • Pesticides
      • Benzene
      • Vinyl chloride

How do you try to limit to your’s child’s exposure to this chemical contamination?

  • 1 recommendation is to use only natural fiber fabrics, rather than synthetics, which are petroleum based and made entirely of toxic chemicals.
  • Even if a fabric is made of “organic cotton”, it doesn’t mean that it is safe, because that doesn’t address the question of processing, where all the chemical contamination occurs.  If you use natural fibers, try to find GOTS or Oeko Tex certified fabrics.
  • Don’t buy clothing or bedding (or anything made of fabric) that has a stain resistant or wrinkle resistant finish on it:  stain resistant finishes contain perfluorochemicals (Teflon, Scotchguard, Stainmaster, Crypton, Nanotex, Gore-Tex) and wrinkle resistant finishes use formaldehyde.
  • Crib mattresses are often made of polyurethane foam enclosed in vinyl covers.  These plastic products are made by combining highly toxic chemicals together to form the final material. With each breath, these chemical molecules are pulled across the child’s airways and then transferred to the blood from deep within the lungs.
    Best choice:  Buy a natural latex core covered in organic GOTS or Oeko Tex certified fabric.
  • Sleepwear, bedding, even curtains and upholstery fabric – because they’re made of fabric!  Why should you use organic fabrics – not just fabrics made with organic fibers –  for your baby?  The skin is the largest organ of the body and the skin allows many chemicals to pass into your baby through absorption.  Also, a baby’s skin is thinner and more permeable than an adult’s skin.  Not to mention the fact that many chemicals evaporate, to be breathed in.  Best choice:  GOTS or Oeko Tex certified fabrics.
  • Diapers – first choice would be organic diapers made of natural fibers (GOTS or Oeko Tex certified) – even though it probably means you’ll have to do the diaper laundering.

I hope that you enjoyed this article! There is a lot of information on the Internet how our children may be exposed to chemicals in indoor and outdoor and what can we do to prevent it. Buying products made from organic fabrics is just one of many steps to do.

Sources:
https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/why-use-organic-fabrics-for-your-new-baby/
http://time.com/7930/children-exposed-to-more-brain-harming-chemicals-than-ever-before/

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