I’ve learned a lot from the Z Recommends watchdog group (a concerned mom and dad) that started the website Zrecs a few years ago. As far back as September 2008, they were reporting about sores on the back’s of children that resembled minor chemical burns. What were these sores being caused by? Tagless labels in infant clothing seemed to be the culprit and the companies receiving internet buzz for having this problem included Carters, Circo and Gerber. What ink is making these tagless labels? Plastisol type and solventborne polyurethane. One contains PVC and phthalates, the other contains small levels of formaldehyde in the urethane. Okay – now fast forward to Nov 28th 2009.. . Zrecs and the Center for Environmental Health search nation wide for onesies sold at Target stores (brand name Circo) to be tested because a onesie (picture here) tested three times the legal limit for lead content. Was it only this one isolated onesie – no! Zrecs asked it’s thousands of readers to send in any of the Circo ‘green baby’ onesies and all 30+ tested the same ~ having over 1,000 ppm lead content.
Some of you might think this is mass hysteria, but people, chemical burn-type rashes from a tagless label printed with chemical ink on baby clothes. A store like Target that sells millions of products and this was a Target-branded onesie. To me, it just reconfirms so many things. The big names do not have a trusted track-record with our children. Advocacy groups, blogs, and websites had to be created to bring awareness to the fact so many household items are dangerous to children. If you want more information on the onesie sold at Target, read the full article on the Zrecs site. They have a picture of the garment and at this time, it’s the only Target item to be concerned with. But when the opportunity presents itself to purchase more trustworthy and sustainable products – remember this article. I cannot believe the measures parents need to arm themselves with before purchasing clothes, toys, household items for their family! It’s why with the huge sales happening around American Thanksgiving and post-Christmas – I truly worry that stores are dumping toxic product at reduced rates because they are so cheap to begin with or a potential recall is about to happen.
I must admit, I felt like a wet blanket writing my article on Black Friday talking about being aware of discounted items and asking if we really need massive amounts of ‘stuff’. It would have been so much more fun to talk about the great sales that were happening here, there, and everywhere! I swear by my theory that before a major recall happens from a company, you’ll find the product or brand discounted for months at stores that are known for amazing prices (Winners, etc.). Shopping for children’s products in this fashion is just not any good for their health. Many of you know I’ve been battling this Christmas with things to buy my children. Going shopping and buying lots of ‘stuff’ is fun, but I’m staying as true as I can to the course of sourcing toys from sustainable stores, handmade items from local artisans, and it just feels better. I can’t wait to share some of my great finds…but for now I just want to thank sites like Zrecs for helping me sleep a little easier at night because I haven’t yet got my degree as an environmental engineer (which btw – seems to be a qualification these days to being a parent). =)