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Green Parenting Ideas: Reducing Toxins in the Nursery

Limiting the amount of toxins your new baby breathes in should be a major focus when you outfit the nursery. A few months ago I went to an event at the Green Depot in New York City. The mom behind this store, Sarah Beatty, talked to me about outfitting a green nursery and told me to be espeically careful about the VOCs in paint and the adhesives found in carpet. I did a little research and here's what I learned.

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What exactly is a VOC? Chemical soup basically. VOC stands for "volatile organic compounds" the problem is the volatility. This means the chemicals slowly enter the air.

Why is the nursery a spot we should take extra care with VOCs? Infants have tiny lungs and breathe quite fast. This means they are getting a more concentrated dose of any floating chemicals. Simply put, babies cannot filter out toxins in the air as well as growups.

What are the two biggest culprits?
Carpets! Rip out that wall-to-wall and stick to hard wood floors and natural fiber area rugs. Adhesives in the carpet backing, chemicals in any stain resistant fibers and the binding glues are all huge emitters of VOCs.

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Paint! Read the label and opt for low or zero VOC, water-based paint. Steer clear of oil-based paints, as they contain over fifty percent petrochemicals. Remember to air out the nursery after any work is done to get ride of toxins in the air. In our girls room, we opted for Natura from Benjamin Moore. It is a "Waterborne" zero-VOC paint--yes you will pay more, but don't skimp here.

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