Ingredients We Avoid

It's one thing to say you're safe and quite another to actually be safe. At The Tot, we only ever recommend what we'd use with our own families, which means we go deep into third party testing to ensure that each and every product we sell, from bottles to beanies, passes The Tot Safety Test.

While many companies continue to mass produce products using harmful materials that are cheaper to source and more readily available, we’ve made it our mission to actively avoid the following ingredients because these carry a toxic burden that will wreak havoc on our bodies.

HEAVY METALS:
LEAD, MERCURY & CADMIUM

Found in:

Paints, dyes and metals used in toys, furniture, gear, clothing, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, and ceramics as well as printed diapers.

Why we avoid it:

Exposure to heavy metals can cause nerve damage, learning and behavioral problems, reproductive damage and irreversible brain damage.

FORMALDEHYDE

Found in:

Wooden toys and furniture, upholstered furniture, clothing and bedding, air fresheners, paper towels, skincare, baby wipes and more!

Why we avoid it:

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and very low levels can irritate and burn the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Those with asthma may have exacerbation of symptoms when exposed to formaldehyde.

BISPHENOLS (BPA AND BPS)

Found in:

Baby bottles, water bottles, plastic cups and plates, lunchboxes, food storage containers, plastic toys, and socks.

Why we avoid it:

Bisphenols mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, and obesity. BPA is an especially dangerous endocrine disruptor since even small amounts of this chemical have been shown to cause serious reproductive damage, especially when the exposure occurs in utero.

HARMFUL PHTHALATES

Found in:

Toys, synthetic clothing, skincare, cosmetics and furniture.

Why we avoid it:

Many phthalates are known endocrine disruptors associated with asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.

PVC

Found in:

Toys, strollers, furniture, rugs, food packaging, building materials, plastic swimming pools and more!

Why we avoid it:

PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is an incredibly toxic chemical that is harmful to our bodies and to the environment right from the production phase through to disposal. It contains additives like phthalates, lead, cadmium, organotin that are quite toxic and have been linked to asthma, allergies, reproductive problems and cancer.

VOCs

Found in:

Paints, furniture, rugs, vinyl flooring, cosmetics, nail polish, air fresheners and cleaning products.

Why we avoid it:

Volatile Organic Compounds are suspected human carcinogens that can “off gas” into your environment, essentially polluting the air in your home. Exposure can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems. Higher concentrations may cause damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system.

PESTICIDES & HERBICIDES

Found in:

Clothing, bedding, furniture, food, insect repellents, as well as lawn and garden products.

Why we avoid it:

Pesticides and herbicides can prevent individual nerve cells from communicating with one another. They have also been linked to endocrine disruption, neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADD, autism spectrum disorder and lower IQ, impaired memory, severe depression, disruption of the immune system, paralysis and death.

PFAs

Found in:

Water and stain proofing finishes for fabrics used on strollers, outdoor toys, footwear and furniture. Also commonly used in non-stick cookware.

Why we avoid it:

PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of different chemicals that have been shown to cause developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.

FLAME RETARDANTS

Found in:

Sleepwear, mattresses, car seats, strollers, rugs and upholstered furniture.

Why we avoid it:

Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to endocrine and thyroid disruption, impacts to the immune system, reproductive toxicity, cancer and adverse effects on fetal and child development.

SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE

Found in:

Cosmetics, skincare, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, nail polish, paints, and playdough.

Why we avoid it:

Synthetic fragrances can contain dozens of chemicals that often do not need to be disclosed. Some of the most common chemicals found in man-made fragrances include phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors, and benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and toluene, which are known carcinogens.

PARABENS

Found in:

Cosmetics, skincare, shampoo, playdough, food, beverages and more.

Why we avoid it:

Used for preservation, parabens have been the focus of many studies and are suspected to be a contributing cause of cancer and hormone disruption.

POLYURETHANE FOAM

Found in:

Furniture, mattresses, play mats, and car seats.

Why we avoid it:

Long-term exposure to chemicals emitted by polyurethane foam may cause cancer, infertility, miscarriages, autoimmune Issues, neurological disorders, child behavior issues, allergies and asthma.

SLS & SLES

Found in:

Cleaning products, detergents, shampoos, hand soaps, body wash and more!

Why we avoid it:

SLS + SLES chemicals are a known skin irritant and run the risk of being contaminated with the possible human carcinogen 1,4 dioxane.

PEGS

Found in:

Diaper rash cream, lotions, soaps and various cleaning products.

Why we avoid it:

Impurities found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide; 1,4-dioxane; polycyclic aromatic compounds; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. Many of these impurities are linked to cancer.

OXYBENZONE

Found in:

Sunscreen, hairspray and cosmetics

Why we avoid it:

Oxybenzone is an endocrine disruptor that can affect the nervous system and lead to possible cancer growth.

BORIC ACID

Found in:

Mattresses, kids slime and playdough, cosmetics and skincare.

Why we avoid it:

Also referred to as borax, direct exposure to boric acid can be corrosive to the eye, irritate skin or cause nausea, vomiting, stomach aches and diarrhea if ingested.

PETROCHEMICALS

Found in:

Cosmetics, skincare, diapers, baby wipes, and cleaning products.

Why we avoid it:

Petrochemicals such as mineral oil, toluene, paraffin wax, PEGs, benzene, and ethanolamine compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA) can contain carcinogens and other toxins that irritate the skin, cause hormone disruption, cancer, and organ toxicity.

DEET

Found in:

Insect repellants

Why we avoid it:

DEET is a chemical that can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

BHA (BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE) &
BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE)

Found in:

Cosmetics, skincare and food

Why we avoid it:

Often used as preservatives, BHA and BHT have been linked to health concerns including cancer, disruption to the hormone system, liver damage, kidney issues, thyroid problems, and autoimmunity.

GMOS

Found in:

Cosmetics, skincare, food and clothing.

Why we avoid it:

While the consumption of GMOs has been linked to allergies, asthma, intestinal damage, and inflammation, the use of them topically is also of concern. Chemicals that are absorbed through the skin make their way into the bloodstream, which means you potentially share the same risks.

CHLORINE

Found in:

Diapers and baby wipes

Why we avoid it:

The problem with chlorine is that it emits small traces of a carcinogenic chemical called dioxin and is terrible for the environment. Diapers today can claim to be ‘elemental chlorine free’ ( this still uses chlorine-contaminating chemicals such as chlorine dioxide and thus could potentially produce small amounts of dioxins) or ‘total chlorine free’. At the Tot, ‘Chlorine Free’ means ‘Total Chlorine Free’.