Thursday, June 26, 2014

411 on Mattress Off-gassing

411 on Mattress Off-gassing

This original article, written in 2011, does not seem to allow more comments, so I'm sharing this to make a correction here.

First, the author assumes that organic baby mattresses are safe. While they are safER, they are not "safe." This is because organic mattresses (unless specifically labeled differently) still contain harmful fire retardant chemicals. An organic mattress is simply made from organic cotton; it does not mean that the finished mattress is free of chemicals.

Second, it boasts the use of wool for fire retardancy. While wool is natural, and seems like a great alternative, it is not safe to use in a baby's mattress. Sheepskin and wool contain natural antimony from the sheep's diet. Antimony, when consumed by fungus and bacteria, produces a toxic nerve gas which has been implicated in crib death. While the author touches on the action of bacteria and fungus on chemicals in mattresses, she fails to realize that wool contains these dangerous heavy metals and are just as toxic, if not more so.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SIDS (Safe Sleep)

SIDS (Safe Sleep) - This publication is supported by University of Michigan Health System, and was updated in 2005. But the date is irrelevant because the advice hasn't changed regarding this one thing:
Do not put soft materials like pillows, comforters, sheepskins or stuffed animals in bed with your baby.
You may have already heard to avoid soft pillows, comforters, and stuffed animals, but perhaps the warning about sheepskin is new to you. That might seem odd. Sheepskin? Really? I mean, why?

Well, I'd be asking the same questions about the other items as well, because do we really know why we are supposed to avoid those either? Did your first thought go to "suffocation hazard"? Because suffocation is NOT SIDS. That's a whole other ball game.

It turns out, all should be avoided (except the stuffed animals, really) for the same exact reason. All allow toxic gas generation when slept on (and/or soiled in some manner, leading to fungus growth inside). Specifically in regards to sheepskin, which are used by LOTS of natural parenting families as a "safe" place to lay their babies, the toxic gas in question is arsine, produced due to the high amounts of arsenic found naturally in the skin and wool of sheep.

Over the last decade, I've seen wool and sheepskin padding sold specifically for babies. Babies should NOT sleep on these products. The absolute safest items under baby are the following:
  1. A firm mattress,
  2. covered with a BabeSafe mattress cover,
  3. and a simple cotton fitted sheet, with a 100% cotton flannel/towel in between, just for YOUR peace of mind (because the baby couldn't care less).
  4. Repeat 1-3.

SIDS Deaths Don't Only Occur in Cribs

By now most people have heard of babies who have died, diagnosed as SIDS, but not in a crib. "SIDS" simply means that there is no apparent reason the baby died. Once called crib death, the term SIDS became necessary when officials realized babies weren't just dying in cribs, cots, or prams. I wonder if this is what threw them off their game; is this why they don't realize it is the mattress that is deadly?

If it's the mattresses, why are babies dying in infant swings, car seats, and on couches? If you are an environmentally conscious consumer, you already know the answer. Since most people aren't, is there any wonder we are mostly clueless when it comes to this problem?

I will answer the question in a minute. But first, how many people do you know who...
  • still use bleach to clean their home?  
  • install new carpet without any concern about offgassing?
  • laugh at your purchasing organic fruits and vegetables? (or growing your own?)
  • put brand new clothing on their babies without washing it first?
  • use so much fabric softener their towels don't absorb anymore?
  • microwave in plastic containers and laugh when you watch them in horror?
All of these scenarios depict people who are not aware of the environmental concerns in each situation, but they are there. And some of us know it. So some of you reading this realized straight away that mattresses, swing seat padding, car seat padding, and couches all contain the same or similar chemicals, whether by additives or by their actual make up. As well, they are all items which are not generally (if at all) laundered, which leads to fungal growth and toxic gas generation.
In probably the worst environmental disaster of the 20th century, these toxic gases have killed about one million victims of SIDS worldwide. Gas generation starts when a mattress, containing both the chemicals and the fungi, is warmed to body temperature in contact with the baby. Perspiration, dribble, urine, vomit, body heat... enable the fungi to grow and generate gas rapidly. ~The Infant Survival Guide: Protecting Your Baby From the Dangers of Crib Death, Vaccines and Other Environmental Hazards
by Lendon H. Smith and Joseph Hattersley.
 While babies spend a lot of time in swings, bouncy seats, infant car seats, and high chairs, they are using these products face up, where they are generally free to breathe fresh air. The danger in mattresses, where babies lie flat, is compounded when babies are put face down or roll over on their stomachs. In these situations, babies are breathing in directly the gases which are coming from the mattress, which are so heavy, they generally stay right near the surface rather than dissipating into the air. So why is there a danger in these other products at all? 

The question really is, how much of the gases can any one baby handle or process? And what affect do the chemicals have being absorbed through the skin?

Lots of questions remain unanswered because the mainstream scientific community still turns away from the validity of the toxic gas explanation. What you can do is this:
  • use padded ANYTHING sparingly for baby (no comforters in baby's bedding)
  • launder padded items regularly
  • use a BabeSafe cover for your baby's mattress
  • use a fan to keep fresh air circulating, pushing gases down to the floor
  • hold or wear your baby frequently
  • never place baby to sleep on a couch or other similar product (adult bed)
  • relax.
While SIDS is a real concern, worrying about it should not affect your ability to enjoy your baby. I am the type of person that seeks education, so that I can change what I need to and then not worry about it anymore. Almost a decade ago, I switched to drinking home distilled water to avoid fluoride, chlorine, and other toxins that were in our municipal water. Someone who drinks tap water laughed at me recently and said, "I just don't worry about that stuff," to which I replied, "Neither do I," because I don't have to anymore. I took care of it. I no longer drink toxic water. Who's the dummy?

Co-Sleeping with Baby Raises SIDS Risk

Co-Sleeping with Baby Raises SIDS Risk

This study is about a year old.
The researchers estimated that about 88 percent of SIDS deaths while bed-sharing would not have occurred if the baby had not been bed-sharing. 
"It's become really uncommon to encounter a baby who dies of SIDS who wasn't bed-sharing," Moon said.
If you understand the toxic gas theory (or even know it exists) this finding does not surprise you. Baby mattresses (crib, bassinet, pack-n-play, etc.) are made from the same chemicals as adult mattresses. Additionally, adult mattresses are also likely to be older (more used) than a baby mattress, which people often buy new. Even if an older (more used) baby mattress is used for baby, it's still only used by a child for a couple of years before it's traded for a regular bed. Adults sleep on their mattresses for decades, and have much more sweat accumulating (plus body heat) in the mattress than a baby mattress does. Ew. My point is, the more a baby mattress gets used, the more likely the mattress is to cause SIDS (see graph). So it makes sense that an adult bed would be even more likely to cause SIDS, since it is much more likely to be used for an extended period.

The title of this article should really use "bed sharing" rather than "co-sleeping." You can safely co-sleep with your baby using a side sleeper aka "co-sleeper" with a BabeSafe wrapped mattress.

Monday, June 16, 2014

SIDS Prevention: Researchers Study Past Cases For Clues To Reduce Risk

SIDS Prevention: Researchers Study Past Cases For Clues To Reduce Risk

This article is from 2012, but leaves more questions unanswered than answered.

Right now I'll only pick on this one portion:

"Michigan researchers reviewed 140 cases of sleep-related infant deaths in 2010..."
 ...Registry information from Michigan also showed that mothers in 70 percent of  cases were on Medicaid."

This is a very important observation. Unfortunately, the observation was made decades ago by Dr. TJ Sprott, but the mainstream media is choosing to ignore the truth.


Graph of crib death rates according to birth order and babies of single parentsThe data in this graph repeats year after year, and is typical of data from other countries where crib death occurs. The graph destroys all propositions for the cause of crib death relating to babies themselves (genes, illness, vaccination, smoking, physiological deficiencies, etc). It forms part of the extensive proof that poisoning by extremely toxic nerve gases is the single cause of crib death. It fully explains and is completely compatible with, the toxic gas explanation for crib death.
If a mattress (or other bedding) contains any compounds of phosphorus, arsenic or antimony, and if certain household fungi grow in the mattress (or bedding), the gas/es which cause crib death can be generated. And if fungi have become established in the mattress during previous use by another baby, the generation of toxic gas commences sooner and in greater volume when the mattress is re-used.
This science accounts for the rising rate of crib death from one sibling to the next. It also accounts for the very high crib death rate among babies of solo parents, who – for economic reasons – are more likely to sleep their babies on previously used mattresses.

My question now...did they ask how old the mattresses were or how many other babies had slept on the mattresses before the baby who died slept on it? And if not, why aren't they asking these questions? It's like they really don't want to know the truth!

70% of the babies who died had mothers on Medicaid, which means they had a very limited income. More than likely (but who knows?!) ALL of these babies slept on a previously used mattress. But instead of investigating this, they print out pamphlets to make sure the "ignorant poor people" know to put their babies on their backs! Yes, let's blame the parents once again...let's continue to look elsewhere...ignore the mattress...

AAP releases controversial guidelines on SIDS prevention

AAP releases controversial guidelines on SIDS prevention

This article is from October 2005. I will pull out the important portions:

"SIDS, also known as crib death, is diagnosed when an otherwise healthy infant is found dead, and no other obvious cause can be found after thorough investigation. Death by suffocation, for example, is ruled out."

"It is estimated that 2300 babies die of SIDS each year. The incidence has been reduced by the “back to sleep” campaign. Other known risk factors for SIDS are...overheating the infant, use of soft sleeping surfaces such as couches or waterbeds, and use of pillows, sheets, and blankets in the infants sleep environment."

Now what I find so interesting here, is that most people, when reading the list of prohibited sleeping surfaces or products, assume that these things lead to suffocation. "Don't put that comforter in the crib, Ethel, the baby could suffocate!"

But this article says suffocation deaths have been ruled out and are not part of SIDS statistics. So how are these items leading to deaths?

The entire list of hazardous items can be answered by the toxic gas theory for crib death.

Wrap your baby's mattress and use only cotton blankets in the crib to avoid these toxic nerve gases.

Fans May Reduce the Risk of SIDS

"Fans may reduce the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, a new study shows."

This study was from 2008. But scientists still can't tell you why fans reduce the risk of SIDS. Do you think they are still looking?

One scientist, Dr. TJ Sprott, and others who have followed his lead, know exactly why fans reduce the risk of SIDS, just as back sleeping also reduces the risk of SIDS. If you have a theory in mind, like the toxic gas theory, these reduced risk factors help answer the whys. If a crib mattress is producing a toxic nerve gas, then sleeping on your back away from where the gases are produced would help prevent inhalation of the gases, thereby reducing death. Likewise, a fan, moving air downward, would blow the toxic nerve gases down, away from a baby's breathing space.

While the article refers to re-breathing carbon dioxide, this is not the case in SIDS/ crib death cases. The only question is, when will mainstream scientists in the SIDS cure industry finally admit that conventional mattresses are toxic and Dr. TJ Sprott was right all along?

I'm not holding my breath.