Why Wood Does A Baby Good.

We are asked the question, "Paper or plastic?" every time we go to the grocery store. And while paper may be the clear environmentally-sound option in this situation, foregoing plastic products in other aspects of your life may not be as obvious a choice.

One of the many reasons that we have not had a microwave for nearly eight years now, for example, is partly due to the way in which plastic breaks down during the heating process. Overtime, the chemical compounds used in the manufacturing of most all plastic products are released into the food you eat.

Now, think of the world of baby. Plastic rules the day--most highchairs, bottles, car seats, teethers, strollers and toys are constructed out of some form of plastic. While these products may be the more convenient and affordable option over "greener" choices, are the risks worth it? We considered the following information when choosing products for little Noah and thought we'd take this time to share what we've learned about the way most modern toys are made today, the materials that are commonly used, and the dangers that they impose upon the little growing bodies that use them.

What a child learns from a toy, though essential, is far from the only thing parents must consider when choosing toys for their children. Many toys on the market are manufactured with environmentally unsafe materials.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a highly toxic plastic used in many cheaply manufactured infant and children’s toys.

  • From the time it is produced, PVC never stops releasing toxins, including dioxin, which studies have linked to learning disabilities and cancer.
  • PVC also releases phthalates—chemical compounds that make PVC plastic softer and more pliable.
These toxic chemicals leach out of the plastic when children suck or chew on the toys that contain them. Health authorities express grave concern that exposure to PVC plastic may put children at risk for serious and irreparable damage.

What other toxic chemicals might be lurking in little Noah’s toybox? VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are commonly found in the paint used on children’s toys, but these days you can find a wide variety of manufacturers that use water-based and low-VOC or no-VOC paints.

We can also avoid exposing him to the residues of pesticides and fertilizers sprayed onto the fibers many toys (and clothes) are made of–or stuffed with–by choosing products made with:
  • organic unbleached cotton
  • bamboo
  • tencel (an eco-friendly man-made fiber)
  • wool
So, if you're pondering a welcome home gift for our, or any other little bundle of dimpled joy, please keep these facts in mind as you peruse the store shelves stocked with those brightly beckoning plastic puppy dogs and robots!

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