Lately, I have become more conscience of reading labels. An interesting thing happened last weekend when I was doing laundry; I noticed a warning on my fabric softener. It said that “using this product can make clothing more flammable”. What?! I couldn’t believe I had been using this stuff and I had no idea!I knew fabric softener isn’t good for you because of fragrance, etc., but wow, was I surprised! I looked further into it and apparently fabric softener can make clothes 7 times more flammable! The fabric softener acts as a coating that sits on top of our clothes to make them smooth and static-free. Bye Bye fabric softener!
Reading about the fabric softener reminded me of something I read years ago. I did not pay much attention to it because I did not have kids. Did you know that children’s pajamas are actually treated with fire retardant? Crazy, right? Furniture, mattresses, cell phones, strollers, car seats, toys and other plastics are also highly loaded with them. Although fire retardants can reduce burns in children, it may also harm their health. The most commonly used fire retardants are called PBDE’s. These chemicals do not soak into fabric very well, so it can leach into your child’s skin. It has been found in the urine of children, as well as in water, wildlife and breast milk. It has been linked to thyroid problems, hormone disruption, cognitive problems, and development disorders.
So how can we avoid these chemicals?
- We can stop using fabric softeners. (I have some better alternatives which I will share in another post)
- Look for pajamas made of natural fibers, such as organic cotton.
- Make sure that pajamas are close fitting to the body.
- Look for tags on clothes and furniture to see whether they have been treated with fire retardants.
- Make sure fire alarms are working.
- Teach children not to play with fire.
I hope you learned something new or refreshed the knowledge you already had! Thank you for reading!
References: Ewg.org; Cleveland Clinic; Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie