Browsing Tag:

Phthalate Free

  • InToxic Chemicals

    PVC a Substitute for Polycarbonate (BPA) in Sippy Cups – WHAT?

    My good friend Sommer of  Green and Clean Mom called me this morning with news I never really expected to hear:  she was staring at a sippy cup marked with a #3 recycling code (PVC).

    What?  Wait a minute, Sommer.  I think it must be a mistake.  Reusable plastic food containers are very (very!) rarely made with PVC.  In fact, I don't think I've ever come across a PVC sippy cup in all my years of research . . .

    She had ordered hundreds of the sippy cups as a promotional item for a non-profit program, but only after carefully confirming with the manufacturer that the cups were BPA-free before ordering.

    Phthalate-free PVC is Safe, Right?

    No. Even phthalate-free PVC still isn't a safe plastic because of the other harmful chemicals often used during production. CHEJ names the following possible concerns with PVC:

    • May contain dioxin (a known carcinogen)
    • May contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)
    • May contain organotins
    • May contain lead, cadmium and other metals
    • Heat and humidity can increase the release of these chemicals

    So here we have a reliable manufacturer (based on my own personal experience), trying to do the right thing by using BPA-free and phthalate-free plastics in their cups, while still keeping them extremely affordable.  And while I was initially surprised at their choice of PVC as a substitute, I do understand where they're coming from – especially in light of the fact that PVC isn't recognized as a toxic plastic by the average American just yet . . .

    Okay, so it's not the end of the world. But needless to say, we recommend you stay on the alert and pay attention to the types of plastic being used as substitutes by manufacturers – whether BPA-free or not.

  • InLunch Gear

    Fuel Waste-free Lunch Gear is a Non-toxic Boon

    We're awful excited about how easy it is to go 100% reusable and waste-free with the wide array of affordable Fuel lunch gear!  From sandwich boxes to insulated soup containers, Fuel products are simple for kids to use and their unique features open up a whole new world of healthy meal possibilities.

    We started writing this article a little while ago when our first Fuel shipment arrived, but we found that using words to describe everything just didn't quite cut it. So we put together demo videos on a couple of our favorites (see below).

    Green and Clean Mom just did a review of the Fuel Lunch Bags today and we're offering a back-to-school discount code too, so be sure to check it out!

    *All Fuel lunch gear is BPA, PVC, phthalate and lead-free, of course 🙂

  • InNon-toxic Home

    Spotlight on Dad Invented Products: Sprig Toys

    Sprig Dolphin Explorer BoatI've heard so much about the very unique Sprig Toys, but never had a chance to talk with them until I ran across their booth at the ABC Kids Show this month.  I learned a lot of great tidbits about the company's background and decided right then to do a spotlight on their Dad-invented products!

    Getting to know Sprig's team via Twitter has been a pleasure too.  It's easy to see that they've got quality people behind quality products.  Their ingenuity is continuous and their materials non-toxic and eco-friendly.  They'll be launching a whole new line of baby/toddler toys soon which we will be happily adding to The Soft Landing!  For now, my all-time favorite Sprig Toy is the Dolphin Explorer Boat Set which can be used in the bath tub or outside in rain puddles.

    When did you begin developing the Sprig Toys concept and what gave you the inspiration to take a risk and just go for it?

    The endless energy of a four year-old child can be credited as the inspiration for both Sprig and our initial product line.  Co-Founders Justin Discoe, Chris Clemmer and Dave Bowen had set up a design studio in the machine shop of Justin’s farm where they were designing toys for just about everyone you can think of in the toy industry.  Justin’s son Charlie LOVED hanging out with the guys and ran circles around them while they worked, serving as both distraction and inspiration.  The guys started kicking around the idea of how to harness the energy of a child and from that, the Adventure Series and Sprig Toys were born.

    How did you go about choosing such uniquely eco-friendly and non-toxic materials?

    Once we had found a way to create a battery-free electronic toy, we started kicking around other ways of reducing the impact our product might have on the planet and the landfills.  On a web search for recycled materials, we came across what eventually became “Sprigwood”, a mixture of recycled plastic and sawdust.  We liked the idea that not only would we be giving a second life to materials that would otherwise be thrown away, but that we were minimizing the use of plastic by incorporating sawdust that would likely end up burned as waste.  Once we caught a whiff of that wood smell, we were hooked!

    Sprig is very conscientious in choosing the materials for use in our toys.  We will not use PVC which tends to be one of the worst plastics for additives like phthalates or lead.  Our plastics of choice are: HDPE, polypropylene and TPE.  TPE provides us with the rubbery textured products and can be more easily recycled than rubber.  The HDPE and polypro are used for the main bodies and structural components of our toys.  When using recycled plastics we find sources with well defined chains of custody for the materials.

    The wood is a by product of the sawing process at lumber plants and is used to reduce the amount of petroleum based material in our toys, as well as provide a warmth in appearance and texture in our toys. The sawdust we get comes from trees being made into dimension lumber and furniture products. We do not cut trees simply to make our sawdust. The sawdust is processed a second time after it is collected, essentially it is ground to a consistent particle size so that we can use it in our production.  Most of this wood flour is actually used as a filler for cattle feed.

    Was the production of your product a difficult process, especially considering that you found a factory in North America?

    It was definitely a challenge, but we were committed to manufacturing close to home for a variety of reasons.  First, we love the idea of being a few hours from the manufacturing line.  It allows us the opportunity to see the challenges of the people on the assembly line and quickly catch any problems as they occur.  Secondly, it reduces both our transit time and our fuel usage.  The difficulty is in working around the higher labor costs comparative to China and we have found some pretty innovative ways to reduce the labor steps in our process.  First, most of our assembly is done with snap fits.  This reduces the number of people with screwdrivers putting our product together and in some cases allows us to minimize our packaging size by relying on the parents to do some of the easier snap assemblies.  Second, the byproduct our conscious choice to not use paints in any of our products means that we don’t have the labor intensive (and potentially harmful) paint applications that most toys have.

    What makes Sprig Toys stand out from others?

    We view ourselves as Toymakers first.  Our designers collectively have over 40 years of experience designing toys for just about every company you can think of in the industry.  While we get a lot of attention for our commitment to making toys that parents feel are safe for their kids in a way that reduces our impact on the earth, our first priority is to make toys that kids love to play with and while we always think we can do better, we are very pleased at what we’ve accomplished so far.

    I saw some amazing new Sprig Toys for toddlers at the ABC Kids Show.  Do you have plans for more future products?

    Absolutely.  Having three designers and an engineer as co-founders means that we are never wanting for new ideas!  We know what a big responsibility it is to produce product for toddlers and we are excited about making toys that not only help their early development in a fun and engaging way but do it safely and without paint.

  • InNon-toxic Home

    Learning Your Way Around Bisphenol-a (BPA)

    In breaking news, The Globe and Mail reported that Canada is expected to officially take a stance against the use of Bisphenol-a (BPA), making it the first regulatory body in the world to reach such a decision.

    The conclusion by Health Canada that BPA is a possible threat, expected to be announced as early as tomorrow, will amount to one of the most important regulatory decisions regarding a single chemical in decades, and will put pressure on its counterparts at both the European Union and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reconsider their approval.

    As concerned parents, we created The Soft Landing blog in response to the lack of information about toxic plastics in children's products in 2007. Our goal is to take the frustration out of finding safer alternatives in feeding gear. We've been providing in-depth research and product guides to help parents make informed decisions ever since. We thought it would be helpful to gather our BPA, PVC and Phthalate Free Guides together in one place to make your journey through the sea of toxic plastics a little easier.

    CLICK HERE to browse our Safer Product Shopping Guides

    Each of our Guides include research we obtained by contacting each and every manufacturer listed ourselves. They provided us with detailed lists of products that are free of BPA, PVC and Phthalates. We are adding to our research daily and continually update each of our guides to keep parents informed.

  • InBaby Nursery, Healthy Baby

    In Search of Safer Pacifiers: Natural Rubber Natursutten is a Find

    We've been in the hunt for an all natural pacifier for quite some time now. Well, the hunt is over! The Natursutten Pacifier recently became available in the US and it's exactly what we've been looking for. We've gotten to know the folks behind the Danish company and really like what we've seen. They are committed to providing safe alternatives with a high standard of quality.

    Natursutten pacifiers are made from pure, natural rubber from the tree Hevea Brasiliensi. The pacifiers are extremely hygienic because they are molded in one piece. This means there is no joints or cracks where dirt and bacteria can accumulate. The pacifier shield is larger than conventional shields to help protect babies from squeezing the flexible material enough to get it into their mouth. It will also not leave marks on the baby's face.

    Natursutten's Outstanding Features

    • No artificial colors
    • No chemical softeners, parabens, PVC or phthalates
    • Rubber pacifiers are naturally softer than silicone
    • The Natursutten company states that the protein that on rare occasions can provoke a latex allergy is eliminated during production
    • When comparing natural rubber to silicone, a major advantage of all natural rubber is it's soft flexibility, which allows it to form to the baby's mouth.

    Natursutten Pacifiers are available in two shapes and several sizes for the perfect fit!  (*Note: In order to err on the side of safety, we do not recommend using Nattursuten pacifiers with children who have known latex allergies.)