Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keep your baby safe from hidden toxins in the nursery

Exposure to indoor air pollutants may affect babies and small
children most, experts warn.
Almost every home features some building materials, furnishings or products that will off-gas dangerous toxins into the home.

While adults may not be immediately bothered by them, they can affect newborns and small children, who belong to the most vulnerable groups of indoor air pollution, experts say.

The concerns center most on BPA (bisphenol A) exposure and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and more, which come from everyday products such as paint, furniture, adhesives and petroleum-based products.

BPA is a toxic chemical found in plastics, which can be found in baby bottles and toys. Many states and countries have moved toward a ban of the chemical in baby products.

Pediatricians and researchers worry about the effect these chemical pollutants may have on developing bodies, since many of them may mimic hormone functions.

Exposure to VOCs in babies, for example, can change how your body makes blood, cause rashes and respiratory ailments depending on the exposure level.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has warned that VOC levels indoors can be two to five times higher than outdoors.

How to protect your baby from chemical exposure
  • Do your research on products and choose natural products as much as possible
  • If you need to redecorate the nursery, choose low-VOC or zero VOC paint
  • Invest in a high-quality crib mattress – Traditional mattresses are filled with polyurethane foam covered in flame retardants, which are both toxic and off-gas.
  • Open windows regularly, one hour at a time, to get rid of unwanted toxins
  • If opening windows is not always practical (due to long, harsh winters or outdoor air pollution, for example), use a serious air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants. The carbon removes dangerous chemicals and odors, while the HEPA takes care of particles and dust. AllerAir offers small, compact air purifiers for baby's room and small nurseries.
  • Beware of brand new items. The “new-car” smell on brand new items is actually an indication that it off-gases toxins into your ambient air. Experts recommend keeping new items in the garage or other place to air out for a while before using it.
  • Ban smoking indoors – smoke contains thousands of chemicals and the toxins tend to cling to surfaces, where they pose an exposure risk later, especially for babies and pets who are close to the floor. You can also remove stale odors with one of AllerAir's air purifiers for tobacco smoke.
  • Replace harsh chemical cleaning products with natural alternatives. You don’t need toxic chemicals to clean your home. A regular cleaning schedule and natural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda will do a great cleaning job as well. The smell of vinegar quickly disappears.

AllerAir specializes in room air purifiers that remove airborne chemicals, odors, VOCs, particles, allergens and biological contaminants quickly and efficiently.

Find out more about our
  1. General purpose air purifiers like the popular 5000 Exec
  2. Air purifiers for allergies and asthma
  3. Air purifiers for mold
Not sure about what you need? Check out our sizing guides or contact one of AllerAir’s air quality experts for a personalized recommendation.

Source: ABC7 Denver News