AirMD's Green Blog

Bringing Home Your Newborn Baby

Simon Hahessy Says:

The great joy of bringing home a newborn baby is something every parent can associate with. The long hours designing and building the nursery are over and the result is a safe comfortable environment for the baby to sleep and spend most of its time.

This may not be the case and most times it is not the case. With nursery renovations, materials used or how we behave in the room may never be considered. This can result in poor air quality exposing the baby to many different pollutants. Factor that along with the types of newborn baby products that can cause illness and new parents have a lot to worry about.

Consider this, during renovations you paint, put new carpeting in the room and furnish the room. Most interior paints used are latex paints, water based and easy to clean up. What you do not know is that these paints contribute Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) to the ambient air after application and can contribute VOC’s for many years after.

Many of these compounds are present as a gas in the air that is respired into the lungs and many are toxic. The same can be said about the furniture we choose and the carpeting; they both can off-gas formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Many newborn care products that are used to clean the baby contain harmful products. Most talcum powders contain zinc stearate and magnesium silicates, as well as other silicates which are finely ground and get airborne when applied to the newborn baby. These fine powders get inhaled into the newborns lungs and can cause pneumonia and inflammation of the airways.

Additionally, a homes indoor air contains very fine particles and the same effect can result as the newborn baby breathes these particles. This is of concern because infants and children’s lungs are smaller and still developing compared to adults.

When bringing home newborns or if you have young children, it is extremely important to have your home tested to determine its condition and determine what is needed to reduce potential exposures.

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