organic cottonI don’t know about you, but I’ve started seeing more and more organic baby “stuff” popping up everywhere I look; and in more and more mainstream stores. We eat pretty much only organic food and use organic or natural household items, so I am always excited when I see organic items anywhere. I just got a catalog in the mail from Uncommon Goods, and as I was flipping through the pages I came across a few items that interested me (Amazon.com carries some of these items as well, and at a better price):

And that’s just one store; there are many other stores selling organic items (and not just organic or ‘green’ stores). For example, Pottery Barn Kids boasts of organic bedding and baby apparel in their product line.

I will admit, I haven’t gotten on the bandwagon when it comes to organic clothing; I balked at the price and wasn’t really sold on the “need” for organic cotton. But I just came across some information about cotton material and it’s really eye-opening. Here is what I learned:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton crops as the most dangerous; they are cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin – and they are probable carcinogens.
  • As cotton becomes clothing, it is exposed to more toxic chemicals – silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde.

Now that you know what non-organic cotton is treated with, think of where we use cotton. Yes, our clothes are made of cotton. But women and babies wear cotton products in very sensitive areas; babies wear diapers and women use tampons and sanitary pads – and I mean lots of diapers, and tampons, and pads. A typical child will go through 6,700 disposable diapers by the time he or she is toilet trained. A woman will use 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads in her lifetime.

Fortunately, there are other options available. There are cloth diapers made with organic cotton and even flushable diapers (made with a cloth outer pant and chlorine-free disposable insert; see my previous post on diapers). And there are feminine products made with organic cotton (look for the TCF label, which indicates “totally chlorine free”). Reusable menstrual cups worn internally are another option; for example, the Diva Cup or Moon Cup (on Amazon.com: Diva Cup and Moon Cup).

So while some may see the influx of many baby products made from organic cotton as simply a passing fad, the facts and information I found seem to say that perhaps organic cotton should be fundamental to our lives.

If you need help finding products made with organic cotton and other natural ingredients, I found a gem of a website. Ecochoices.com has a list of products for all areas of your life. There are mattresses, toys, clothing, furniture, bedding, flooring, baby’s room, and much, much more. One thing I really liked was their organic cotton nursing bra!

And if you want to learn more about organic cotton, visit www.aboutorganiccotton.org. They have some great information.

Wendy – Parenting Tips 365

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