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Create a Toxic-Free Nursery or Kid's Room

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: If you're expecting a baby, you might be excited to decorate the nursery. Unfortunately, if you aren't careful, you can expose your baby to a host of toxic chemicals.
Air Date: 6/3/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Lisa & Ron Beres, Certified Green Building Professionals
ron-lisa-beresLisa and Ron Beres are Certified Green Building Professionals, Building Biologists and published authors of several books including Just GREEN It! and the children's book, My Body My House. In addition to testing the health of homes, their consulting business includes celebrities and Fortune 500's. They are award winning television media experts and have appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, The Suzanne Show, The Doctors, Fox & Friends, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, Discovery’s Greenovate and Chelsea Lately on E!
  • Book Title: Just GREEN It! Simple Swaps to Save the Planet + Your Health
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/RonandLisaTheHealthyHomeDreamTeam
  • Guest Twitter Account: @RonandLisa
Create a Toxic-Free Nursery or Kid's Room
Related Article
If you're expecting a baby, one of the most fun things to "get ready" for his or her arrival is to decorate the nursery. 

Unfortunately, if you aren't careful, you can expose your baby to a host of toxic chemicals, especially with things that are brand new.

You know that "new home smell" that accompanies a just-built home or recently remodeled room? That smell is indicative of chemicals being released into the air, or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

One study showed that a new nursery can contain over 300 chemical compounds, from new carpeting, paint, crib, mattress, linens, rocking chair, etc., etc.

According to Certified Green Building Professional, Lisa Beres, one of the biggest offending chemicals is formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).

Inexpensive furniture made from pressed wood product is actually held together with formaldehyde.

Another study indicated that 72 percent of crib mattresses are made with dangerous chemicals, including flame retardants and antibacterial and waterproof materials, as well as the petroleum found within the mattress. 

What are some symptoms you and your family members might develop if exposed to too many of these chemicals?

Acute or short-term symptoms might include eye/nose/throat irritation, headaches, watery eyes, and nausea. You might also have allergic-type reactions and even suffer an asthma attack.

Of course, being carcinogens, the long-term effects of these chemicals could include cancer.

Beres shares these four ways for creating a non-toxic environment for your little ones:

Paint. Make sure you're using paint that is low- or zero-VOC. Every major paint manufacturer offers these options.

Flooring. Think about your kids who are always on the floor. Carpeting can emit VOCs, plus they harbor mold, dust and dirt. Invest in hard flooring, such as linoleum (not vinyl, which has PVCs), cork, concrete, or wood. Make sure the sealing and coating agents are low-VOC.

Organic bedding. This can be a bit of an investment at first, but it's well worth it. Make sure they are certified organic, however, and be certain to avoid anything made with flame retardants. 

Clean the air. If you can't open windows regularly (it's allergy season or winter), make sure you have a portable air purifier in the room. This is absolutely essential, especially if your child has allergy, asthma or other variety of breathing issue. 

There are ways to test for chemicals in your home, but it can get a bit involved. The best way you can create a healthy environment is to reduce the amount of items that contain dangerous chemicals in the first place.

In the accompanying audio segment, Lisa Beres, Certified Green Building Professional, joins hosts Andrea Donsky and Lisa Davis to share more about what products to avoid in your home, as well as which ones are perfectly safe to use.
Sylvia Anderson

Originally from Minnesota, Sylvia moved to California for the sun, sand and warm temperatures. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and Communications, both of which she has put to good use in her work with RadioMD as Senior Editor.