Credit: Darren Higgins

March 22, 2012

When the New York Times ran a picture of my daughter Maya last week under a snarky headline, it changed something for me. I’ve been a public interest advocate for 12 years for a range of important causes, but this was about my family, and felt, well, personal.

Ok, so it took me a while to get the “personal is political” thing. The comments picked up on the river of condescension flowing through the article (which used words like “paranoid” and was led by a large image of a toddler smiling through a glass bubblehead in a “hazmat onesie,” whatever that is).

Some folks suggested I was mentally ill for trying to protect Maya from the sea of toxic chemicals now commonly found in all of our bodies. Many confused germs (not so bad, really) with toxics (bad, really). And others just wanted to sneer at the overprotective helicopter moms in the article, you know, the ones who stay up late making their own deodorant out of spit and eco-sealing wax.

I replied to some of their startling insights on Fark and other places where the piece was picked up, trying to take back some of my dignity. After all, I gave the reporter a lot of the references and other material for the story, but I was the one with the ridiculous (but gorgeous, btw) Amish bassinet and the only dad in the article had “done the research” and was skeptical about the risks. (Thanks, Mary Brune, for correcting his ignorance on the science, pointing out the other signs of sexism in the piece and being ticked off right along with me.)

Frankly, I’ve been called far worse names. But this was different. It cut right to my sense of fairness.

Like all parents, I’m just trying to use what I know to protect my family from harm. Like some parents, I have time to do the research on what might be safe, and what is not. And like not too many parents, I’ve had a front row seat for the past 12 years on the spectacle of bought-and-paid-for federal agencies, and weak and backwards looking laws (most of which haven’t been updated since the 1970s). I’ve also had some run-ins with the phalanxes of corporate lobbyists that swarm Washington, always with your health and safety in mind. Sometimes we win, but mostly, they do.

Even with all that, I still make mistakes, and find out that something in my home is truly awful for us. Mostly after the fact.

In short, the system’s rigged. And parents who try to do something to change things are not neurotic: they are trying to make the world better. Safer. Healthier. For their children and all the ones who come after them.

I hope to take my sense of outrage, and instead of making deodorant, make this. Lists of items I found that I like. Little bits and bobs of decent ideas about how to make it work. Shout-outs to good companies and developments. A lifeline to the parents and other people who know I’m not crazy to dream about, and when I can try to make, a better world.

Hope you’ll join me.



My Theory of Change

For the past 12 years, I’ve worked in and out of Washington, DC, on a variety of public interest causes as an advocate, lawyer, and even (gasp!) a lobbyist for the people.

I’ve worked on safety and health disasters, such as the Ford-Firestone rollover debacle; on environmental issues, including vehicle fuel economy and chemical regulation; on consumer and child safety issues, like better rules for the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and on consumer checkbook issues, like auto dealer fraud and the misuse of the fine print in credit card contracts.

I’ve also worked on money in politics, including on the correct, but losing, side of the Citizens United case. I’ve seen first-hand how concentrated corporate interests trump the public interest, but I’ve also been there when the political system makes way for positive change that will improve people’s health and lives.

So here’s what I’ve noticed: change basically happens when highly motivated people care so much about something, and make such a powerful public argument to protect something, that they basically embarrass the (usually corporate) interests on the other side into a critical concession or two. (Litigation and new rules help, too, but those are usually decisions made by other people.)

To raise the price-tag for corporate indifference to public health and environmental damage, public notice — and the level and accuracy of information on choices — matters enormously. Buying habits matter too, since that’s the language companies really understand. If you buy this theory of change, you can either become an activist, which is really cool, or you can become a more conscious and deliberate consumer, which is also cool. Even better, you can pick something you care about and do both.

The goal of my blog is to inform, entertain and find others who share my sense of injustice. To showcase the choices we’ve made (or are deciding to make), and think about what goes into them: all the knowns and unknowns, and at least some of the costs. To ask hard questions about how. And to illustrate the craziness of living in a world of ample choices, but too few really great ones.


Official Bio

Laura MacCleery is a non-profit lawyer, mom and squeaky wheel in search of a spoke. She is currently Chief Regulatory Affairs Attorney for Center for Science in the Public Interest, a leading health and food organization (the opinions expressed on this blog on her own). She was the Director of Government Relations at the Center for Reproductive Rights in its DC office from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, Laura was the Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she oversaw its work on campaign finance reform, worked on the Citizens United litigation, and co-taught a seminar on public policy advocacy.

Previously, she worked for more than eight years at Public Citizen, most recently as Director of Congress Watch. During her years at Public Citizen, she managed legislative and issue campaigns on issues including government accountability, access to courts, campaign finance reform, lobbying and ethics reform, transportation and child safety and vehicle fuel economy.

She has worked on nearly 70 filings of comments with regulatory agencies on health and safety rules; been involved in more than a dozen legal challenges to federal rules, including four that ended in the Supreme Court; filed testimony in Congress dozens of times; and written or overseen more than 20 major reports on health, safety, consumer financial and environmental issues.

She was a 2009 member of Eyebeam’s College of Tactical Culture, studying the use and effectiveness of new media in securing political change. She has published op-eds in periodicals including Roll Call, The Boston Globe, and Politico; as well as in online venues such as The Hill, Huffington Post, and The Nation and has appeared on Fox News, CSPAN-2 and numerous local television and radio programs.

Laura graduated from Stanford Law School in 1999, and was a 1994 graduate of the University of Virginia. She loves Bob Dylan, making jewelry, and, though she freely admits it is odd, disputes over regulatory cost-benefit analysis.

Contact: lmaccleery_at_gmail_dot_com

55 thoughts on “About

  1. Wow… I think I love you. I normally skip pages with lots of text because reading hurts my brain sometimes! Seriously though, I cannot stop going through your articles wanting more. ITs hard to make everything from scratch but I know the system is set up to keep everyone misinformed with false marketing/sneaky labeling so we struggle to provide our children with local, organic, homegrown and seasonal food even if it means we have to cut back on other things. (Quality) Food is #1 thing we invest in. Keep up the wealth of amazing information and ideas please! From a father of 2 under 2 (🍼), Thank you.

  2. Hi Laura,

    I hope all is well! This is Cindy Million, daughter of your mom’s friend Judy Lohmann, from the UU Church and Waynewood. I was wondering if you’d heard anything on the toxicity of crumb rubber. It can be found on playground surfaces and as an infill on artificial turf fields. I believe that CPSC does not consider it a children’s product, which makes little sense to me since children play on it. And CPSC seems to have not used recent research on the danger of crumb rubber – it contains known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, phthalates, heavy metals. And exposure can happen dermally, orally, and through inhalation. I know that the turf industry has been lobbying hard, but I was wondering if you had any advice on how to encourage CPSC to seriously consider the increased rate of cancer among goalies who play on crumb rubber and to treat crumb rubber as a children’s product. I’ve been in touch with an environmental lawyer who’s pushing for a ban on crumb rubber in Fairfax, and I plan on setting up a petition to do the same in Alexandria City (not part of Fairfax County). Montgomery County recently unanimously banned future use of crumb rubber. I thought that this sort of thing might be down your alley.

    Thanks so much,


  3. Hi Laura,
    I found your site many months ago in my searches about flame retardants in upholstered furniture and have, since then, greatly benefitted from your blog. I am also a mom of young children, so I’ve followed much of your advice in your posts regarding chemical toxins in the home. I have really appreciated your clear, simple explanation of so many somewhat complex issues and have forwarded many pieces on to friends and family.

    Currently, we are seeking a speaker to come to our moms group in Southern California to discuss practical ways to avoid the toxicity of environmental, household and children’s products, so I was wondering if you could recommend anyone or any resources to find such an expert? If you know of any LA-based individuals or groups with whom I could start, or, otherwise, where I might look for someone with a relevant background (in the environmental testing/building industry? in academia?).

    It would be great to find someone with a balanced approach to this topic. Thanks very much for any suggestions! And even bigger thanks for this excellent blog!


    • Hi Eve! There are many groups out there, but I don’t know off-hand about someone LA-based. Here are some groups to look up and ask: 1) Natural Resources Defense Council; 2) Environmental Working Group; 3) Green Sciences Policy Institute; 4) Changelabs. These groups are Oakland or San Francisco-based, but they’ll either have LA folks themselves or be able to point you there. Cheers and good luck, Laura

  4. @Laura I totally want to discuss this at length with you. As I watch members of my family struggle with cancer through chemo and radiation (more chemicals), I’m shocked how people do not see the connection between known carcinogens (a substance or agent that causes the development or increases the incidence of cancer) and other pathogens(a substance that produces disease), and these fatal or near fatal illnesses. I’m interested in starting a furniture company myself. I’m currently an urban farmer with the plants of moving rural and doing sustainable forestry management. In the meanwhile, I’m interested in starting a non-toxic consulting business. However, I really want to find some key toxicologists in this field, perhaps the folks who produced some of these reports, to see what toxins in our homes are the worst, as a good starting point, as detoxing your home is definitely a process. If you would be interested/available for a phone conversation on this, please email me. Thank you so much and people want to say that we’re being extremist because they don’t want a take a gander at their own extreme denial. You are being a realist and protecting your child.

  5. Hi Laura – love your writing style, topics and expertise. I looked up the NYT article about your search for a non toxic setting for baby Maya – and I agree it’s offensive, the framing is sexist. The females, for the most part, live out an emotionalized view of this subject while the male figures substantiate things. Grotesque stereotyping.
    I look forward to checking out more of your blog.

  6. Thanks for your great blog Laura. You provide a wonderful perspective and terrific links. I am a California regulator in the water resources community and I use your blog and the links embedded for personally and professionally. Thank you! I anticipate July 1 to be a great day for California with the hopeful passage of TB 117-2013 (flammability stds), SB 727 (pharm waste extended producer responsibility), and DTSC’s implementation of AB 1879 (the safer consumer products regulations). We have a long way to go but with folks like you we’re that much closer to educating ourselves and living toxic free. Thanks!

  7. Hello Laura,
    Do you know anything about a US Government bill called Prop 65 that addresses the banning of chemicals in fire retardants that are carcinogenic? Apparently with this bill, certain companies are sanctioned to sell their products as flame retardant free. I was wondering if you have any thoughts regarding this bill. Thanks!

    • Hi San, Prop 65 is a California labeling law, not a federal law, that requires labeling of products that contain hazardous chemicals as determined by the state. Some of these chemicals are flame retardants. It does not ban chemicals, nor sanction the sale of products. Hope that helps! Laura

    • I’ve seen TPE touted as a green(er) plastic, as a replacement for PVC, which is awful. Here’s one article I found on TPE: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/tpe-and-sustainable-yoga-mats.html — which explains that it is safer and “more stable” than PVC. Greenpeace — which has a pyramid of plastics I often consult: http://archive.greenpeace.org/toxics/pvcdatabase/bad.html, says:
      · TPE’s are thermoplastic elastomers that can be made from many different mixes of different plastic monomers/short polymer chains. Currently most of the building blocks are polyolefins, but can also contain other polymers such as polyurethane. Therefore, TPE’s can not be generally ranked in the pyramid of plastics.

      It’s still petroleum based, obviously, but for your purposes you need something for safety, and so I suspect the health of the product for your children is the main objective on this one. It’s certainly preferable to PVC on those grounds alone.

      Hope that helps! Laura

  8. Hello! I’ve been tracking your blog sporadically for a few months now and thank you for your research and insight. So, I too am in a state of overwhelming panic about flame retardants, but have recently gone down another rabbit hole of worry regarding WiFi. It seems that most “credible” research (gov and some university) states that WiFi is safe due to the low (albeit continuous) levels of non-ionizing radiation emitted. Of course, one can also locate a lot of fear-inducing websites on the topic. I have a 2 year old and a 6-month old (whose room our WiFi modem is in), so I seem to be worrying about everything…. have you done any research on the topic? Thanks!

    • Hi Kim,
      Thanks so much for writing and for following the blog!

      I have avoided going down that particular rabbit hole thus far, though I am aware of the debate over EMFs, cell phones and other types of electrical radiation. As far as I am concerned, cell phones should be used with headphones whenever possible, kept away from the head and from children. Other electrical sources — like noise monitors, white noise machines — should be kept at least three feet away from sleeping areas, and we stay three feet or more away from the microwave when it’s on.

      EMFs drop off sharply with most appliances after a few feet, according to Phillip Landrigan in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Healthy-Children-Rodale-Organic/dp/087596947X. So one question on the Wifi monitor is whether three feet or more would be sufficient, so if you are worried I would poke around to see whether anyone estimates the electrical field produced by a Wifi monitor.

      If Wifi poses an additional risk beyond the EMFs, I am not knowledgeable about it. Please do let me know what you may learn on that or related topics!

      All best,

  9. thanks so much but i need untreated “foam” for an existing multi-fold bed/futon. mold spores have infested the old untreated foam and i need new foam to put in the multi-fold cover which i will wash. i cant afford a new multi fold bed and even if i could, the foam would be treated. anyone know of a place that sells untreated foam not cotton?

    • Here is one suggestion. We recently bought this type of mattress from them based on their good reputation and a sample:
      They offer free shipping to the continental US.

      You can order a futon mattress in different sizes. These mattresses are hand made and on the less-expensive side (for this kind of thing). The only catch is, if you want a completely chemical-free mattress, you need a doctor to write a prescription. “My patient requires a chemical-free mattress,” or something to that effect. That was not hard for us to get; my husband just asked his regular doctor.

      They also have a section where you can order mattress samples that come like big chunky cushions. It’ll give you an idea of what the materials feel and smell like (it smells like nothing to me, but I’m not especially sensitive).

      /my 2 cents

  10. I am so pleased to have found your site. All these issues have concerned me for years, but frequently (mostly) I have felt like a voice in the wilderness.
    Regarding sofas and flame retardants: how about contacting small United States furniture manufacturers and seeing if they are interested in producing non-flame retardant sofas? I know of one – Pompanoosuc Mills (www.pompy.com) that I think might be a good candidate because they pride themselves on doing whatever the customer wants, are small and hurting due to the ongoing recession, are east coast based, and mainly produce wooden furniture – thus sofas are a minor part of their business. I actually have a piece of furniture from them, have visited their factory, and feel their furniture is not only beautiful, but high quality.
    As a PhD in Dervelopmental Psychology I have long been concerned with the health effects of pesticides that people so casually apply to their lawns, etc., but battling the larger culture (and the marketing claims of the chemical industry) where lawn appearance is more important than health haas been frustrating.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Mara,

      You’re NOT alone, certainly! So many people have responded on this site and contributed their ideas. I love yours! Since you know the company, would you mind reaching out to see what they say about making furniture without flame retardants? That’s exactly what I did. Please let us know what they say, if you do have time… And I agree with you about lawn pesticides. Vinegar actually works wonders on weeds, and does no one harm. Cheers, and all best, Laura

      • Yes, I will contact them soon and tell you what they say.
        By the way – that was a typo (and a doozy) in my first comment – it’s Developmental Psychology, which explains my interest in human development and health.
        Yes, vinegar works great, as does hand weeding of weeds. But for lawn obsessed people, applying corn gluten meal (in granular form) in the spring when the forsythia bushes bloom is a great organic pre-emergent weed control.

  11. I just discovered your blog through your post about your free couch. Your experience mirrored mine word-for-word (except I put my couch on CL instead of the curb). I can’t believe I spent pregnancy and 18 months of my twins’ lives sitting on my toxic couch researching wooden toys and breastfeeding on a cloud of flame retardants. I’m furious (every parent should be!) and sad and grateful someone like you is in DC fighting the good fight and writing this blog. I’ll share it widely and join your voice in trying to change the way things are done!

    • It’s infuriating, isn’t it?? I know how you feel! Thanks so much for sharing my concern and for sharing the blog as you like. We need to find each other and support each other, or nothing will change. Cheers, Laura

    • How lovely of you! I accept, certainly! I will follow up this weekend with a post! With a power outage last weekend, I’m behind on my plans for the blog and must catch up first. Thanks so incredibly much for the very kind words at your link! Hugs, Laura

      • Oh, you are welcome! No pressure. I really enjoy your blog and often share your posts in a parenting forum on Facebook. I can’t remember if I commented on your post on the Slaughter article, but it was completely spot on. I’d love to read about your life as a lobbyist in DC sometime!
        Have a great week,

  12. @Laura and Tina: I was really interested in your conversation about mattress off-gassing and how to defeat it.

    I totally can’t afford a $1,500 organic cotton mattress, and I honestly thought no one made the next best thing… a cover to adequately protect my mattress from off-gassing. Tonight I finally found a purported maker of an adult-mattress-sized, food-grade polyethylene (which does not itself off-gas) mattress cover: http://www.offgassing-mattress-wraps.com/mattress-wraps.htm. I believe that, from what is stated on the website, the product provides what is necessary to contain off-gassing, but can’t verify that it’s been tested to do what it says, so I’m just taking their word for it.

    Anyway, that’s the best I think I can do for now. I can let you know what the product is like once I receive it, if you are interested.

  13. Hello again, Laura,

    I’ve found a couple good sources on mattress off-gassing mitigation on the website Healthy Child, Healthy World. According to consumer advocate Debra Lynn Dadd:

    Polyethylene wrap will help and off-gasses less than the mattress itself.
    A cotton/wool mattress cover will not block off-gassing fumes. 

    I’ve found this website to be a great resource, in case you’re interested, you can read more here: http://www.healthychild.org/live-healthy/faq/C368/#ixzz1wqAXPYdt


  14. Hi Laura,

    I need some help and advice on an area rug for our expected twins, which are due at the end of July. I bought an area rug that says 100% Olefin Pile and that it meets the flammability standards FFI-70. I really don’t know what that means. I didn’t see this until we got the rug home. We have old wood floors and tile throughout our house and one wool rug in the living room. I would love something for the twins to sit and play on with out worrying about, “Is it safe?” Any help would be appreciated. I can still return the rug, which I am leaning towards it already without knowing much information about the olefin and the flammability standards.

  15. Hi Laura,

    I can’t tell you how extremely grateful I am for your blog!! As a mom of a five year old, with another little one on the way, I have become increasingly concerned about the chemicals in our home. Reading the Chicago Tribune’s series on flame retardants turned what was once a passive concern into full blown panic.

    I’m contacting you because you’ve done such great research and I’m in desperate need for more information. I would like to reduce our exposure as much as possible, especially to the most egregious chemicals – flame retardants. Although all of our new baby items and mattresses will be as “green” as possible, unfortunately, we cannot afford to purchase new sofas. This worries me, especially when I see the dust fly as my son jumps from cushion to cushion. My question is – if we can’t replace all of our furniture, do any options exist for barrier slip covers that can prevent or reduce the amount of toxic dust emitted from our sofas? Have you found any such items in your research? I’m very curious to know your thoughts on this.

    Thank you again for the work that you’re doing. I hope you know how much it is appreciated. In fact, you’ve inspired me to start my own blog (I haven’t actually started it yet, but I’m inspired!)


    • Hi Tina! How nice to hear from you! I certainly share your concerns, and congrats on your new little one! I’m working on a post on a protective approach to pregnancy, and will have you in mind as I push up my sleeves to get it done.
      In terms of your question, the vector of exposure that researchers have found is household dust, so that anything that contains or diminishes dust is likely to be helpful. Also think about frequent vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum. I am not aware of any research that demonstrates this reduces the chemicals in indoor air, however, as a caveat. Still, it’s common sense.
      So, if you could create a slip cover (perhaps under another, more attractive one) for a sofa from fabric made by the allergen folks, which has an anti-dust mite weave that is extremely tight, that might work. You may still have to worry about the underside, but perhaps there you could just use an upholstery stapler to create a seal.
      Also, I’m sure this fabric is not easy to obtain or work with, but it does represent a potential new line of business for the allergy companies, so they might be interested in helping you. If you’re not a seamstress, I’ve found them on both Etsy (tricky to send exact measurements, though), and on Craigslist.
      As I write this out, boy, it sounds like a lot of work. We’re basically in the place of having to invent a solution. How maddening!
      I hope you do start your own blog! The more, the merrier on this and many topics. I also welcome guest posts, so consider that as well!
      All best,

      • Hi Laura,

        Thank you for your prompt response. It is maddening, isn’t it? I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I feel right now. Between our carpeting and furniture (and we just purchased a new sofa!), I don’t know where to begin. As far as finding anti-dust mite, tightly woven fabrics – other than searching Etsy or Craigslist, are you aware of any companies that manufacture such slipcovers or enclosures? I can’t sew a button, so I’d need to purchase something that is ready to go or enlist the help of a local seamstress if my only option is to buy the fabric.

        Thank you again!


        P.S..How did you find out your IKEA sofa contained chlorinated tris? Where did you end up purchasing a new sofa?

      • Hi there,

        The “sofa saga” 4-part series on the blog lays it all out. Basically, Heather Stapleton did a study using what the researchers jokingly call “couch biopsies” where they take a chunk and test it — her findings are described here: http://greenerpenny.blogspot.com/2010/05/toxic-fire-retardants-lurking-in.html

        I am getting a new sofa from RCGreen, as detailed in Part 4, which I refer you to for the many caveats in the comments.

        In terms of allergy materials that could be used, I can’t seem to find a company that sells just the fabric or a sofa slipcover. If you look up “allergy covers” there are a number of options — perhaps calling them would allow you to buy the fabric, but it’s certainly not clear from their Web sites that you can do so.

        What a pain! Sorry not to have more information–


      • Hi Laura,

        You’ve given me some great information to work with! I’ll let you know what I find on my quest for a protective sofa slipcover/barrier. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but like you said, we are at a point where we have to invent our own solutions.

        Looking forward to reading your pregnancy post!!

        Take care,


      • Hi Laura,

        It’s me again! I’ve been doing some research on sofas and mattress pads and I thought I’d share what I found, in case you’re interested…

        Since we can’t afford to purchase a completely organic sofa, we decided to take our chances with what we already have. I actually found out that our family room sofa, the one that we use the most, manufactured by Rowe, seems to be somewhat safe or at least safer than the Costco model we have in our living room! According to the company’s website (http://ow.ly/bh8ax), they use only halogen-free and PBDE-free flame retardants, which is somewhat comforting. (Perhaps Rowe is an alternative for those who can’t afford an organic sofa?) I’m sure there may be other icky stuff in the foam, but at least the flame retardants seem less of a hazard.

        With the sofa problem somewhat solved, we’ve decided to focus our attention on another big ticket item – our mattress. We have decided to replace our son’s twin mattress with one made by Naturepedic, which at $600 isn’t cheap, but worth it. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to replace our king-size bed, so I’ve decided to take your advice and look for a good mattress encasement and pad. I know that in order to block some of those pesky VOCs from the mattress foam, we need to buy a product with a waterproof barrier, as fabric alone will not block the emissions. I’ve found a few possibilities on Amazon that I’m hoping to get your opinion on – they both claim to be PVC and phthalate-free, but only one company actually tells me how the cover is waterproof (they use polypropylene). I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts on which is a better choice.




        Thanks again,


        P.S…Congrats on your Anderson Cooper appearance!

      • Hi Tina my friend!

        I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those assertions by Rowe are not especially comforting to me. They could still be — and probably are — using any number of flame retardants that are awful, including DecaBDEs, Firemaster 550, or chlorinated phosphates/tris (TDCPP or some other kind). Companies LOVE to say what they are not using — the trick is figuring out what ARE they using instead. That said, it’s completely understandable to decide that other things are a priority for replacement, and a kids’ mattress is a great start. I like Naturepedic, and we use them for Maya’s mattress and changing pad.
        In terms of the cover for the mattress, I’ll look at those links and do some poking around tonight or tomorrow evening, and let you know what I find. Great to hear from you!

      • Hi Tina,

        So nice to have this dialogue, and to look into these interesting questions.

        On the mattress covers, I can’t tell a thing about what the Luna product is made from. It says “Luna mattress protectors work by using premium cotton terry bonded with a hypoallergenic waterproof membrane base layer.” But what’s the base layer? It’s impossible to know.

        In terms of the Econoshield, it is polypropylene, as the ad clearly states, which is one of the safer plastics, and is not known to off-gas. It is labeled with a number 5, and used in lots of food packaging (I always see it on the bottom of yogurt containers, for example. See also: http://www.medicinenet.com/plastic/page4.htm.

        Since it will be under bedding and unlikely to get into your mouth, my advice here differs from the advice about the olefin/polypropylene rug fibers for a baby’s room. I would think that if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean it carefully without degrading the plastic, this would likely be ok.

        The Allergy store product is a high-density polyester. Polyester also doesn’t raise many health alarms: http://www.livestrong.com/article/495333-the-health-and-safety-of-polyester-fabric/ And again, you won’t be eating it! And I would follow any cleaning instructions carefully.

        This looks, just from the pictures, like it could be more comfortable than the Econoshield (or it could just be better photography!). Depending on the price difference, this could be the best pick, as it could feel more like fabric being that it is polyester.

        Please let me know what you decide! Hope this was of use.

        All best,

      • Laura, thank you for your input on the mattress encasements. I also like the allergy store product, my only concern is that it doesn’t have a membrane of polypropylene, which we need to lessenthe mattress off-gassing. Is that correct? Or would the polyester barrier be enough?

      • I can’t find anything on off-gassing and which membrane is best — have you found sources? I think we’re in pretty uncharted territory here. It stands to reason, as you say, that plastic would mean fewer off-gasses from the mattress, so long as the plastic itself doesn’t off-gas. With a big sheet of polypropylene, I just wouldn’t know…sorry.

  16. Laura, I found your site today by googling your name from your comments on Nicholas Kristof’s piece in the NYTimes, “How Chemicals Change Us.” And I’m so glad I did! I’m sharing your site with everyone I know – thank you for your advocacy!!

    PS Do you have any insight on how to find a mattress that isn’t doused in chemicals / isn’t a million dollars? If so, I would love to know! I am struggling with this one…

    • The mattresses question is next up (behind toddler tables and tomatoes, actually)! I’ve actually read conflicting information on whether there are flame retardants in them — though certainly other things are problematic, like plastics and formaldehyde. Also, memory foam (proprietary contents) is awful, and off-gasses palpably for a long time. More to come… thanks for the kind words!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s