We’re so excited to introduce our latest product – our natural blackout blinds have been in development for almost two years to ensure they meet our high standards. Here’s some background on why we felt they were an essential product to add to Pure Earth Collection.
TRADITIONAL BLACKOUT BLINDS
Traditional kids blackout blinds are made from PVC, which gives off hundreds of hugely toxic chemicals into the air every second. It’s why they come with a warning to “not leave in direct sunlight for long periods of time” because heating up PVC makes it release even more chemicals. Have you ever smelt them when they’ve been up for too long in a sunny window?
I found this out the hard way a few years ago after putting my newborn baby down for his lunchtime nap. It was a really sunny day in May and it was too bright in his bedroom, so I unpacked the blackout blind we’d been given and stuck it in the window. 15 minutes later he was asleep and I could smell something burning. I rushed around the house, confused about why the smoke alarms weren’t sounding, looking for the fire. I even checked outside to see if there were roadworks in the street (it was a smell similar to the burning tar of roadworks). To my horror, the smell was coming from his bedroom! I ran in and got him out and then I went back in to investigate. The smell was coming from his blackout blind, which was up in the sunny window!
THE DANGERS OF PVC
PVC, even when not heated, releases these toxic chemicals into the air, including dioxins, chlorine and, one which has received particularly bad press in recent years, phthalates. PVC is one of the single biggest contributors to poor indoor air quality, which can be up to 6x worse than outdoor air pollution, even in major cities. These chemicals are really harmful not only for human health, but for the environment too.
When phthalates are released into the air, they cling to dust and are easily inhaled by humans. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors (meaning they can cause a severe hormone imbalance in our bodies) and known health effects include damage to the liver, kidney, testicles and brain development. They’re such a terrifying group of chemicals that the UK government announced an OVERNIGHT ban on them in children’s toys back in 1999 after research was published by the European Union of their dangers. Retailers were required to pull all stock containing phthalates from their shelves with immediate effect. This led to a movement for toy companies to mark items as “PVC free” in order to put consumer minds at ease. You can read more about this ban here.
It’s upsetting that companies are still making blackout blinds from enormous PVC sheets, which are specifically designed for use in baby and children’s bedrooms for extended periods of time. These blinds are intended for use to block out daytime sunlight, so to come with a warning not to do so seems extremely counter-intuitive.
NATURAL BLACKOUT BLINDS – THE SAFE ALTERNATIVE
For the last few years, I’ve been using make-shift cotton blackout blinds instead of the PVC one we were given, while Pure Earth Collection tried to develop a solution to make available to everyone else. We’re so excited to finally be able to launch our organic cotton blackout blinds.
Our blinds are made from 100% natural fabric and free from harsh chemicals. Our super sticky, adjustable suction cups are FREE from phthalates (and other nasties), and they come in an organic cotton travel bag for all your weekend and holiday travels.
They’re larger than most in size and really versatile: the adjustable suction cups, which can be moved to different positions, meaning they can literally fit almost any window or double door. They’re great for using at home as they can be left up in windows for extended periods of time and the suction cups will keep their stick literally for weeks on end. You can even remove just one side of the blind and then tuck it back on itself to let in some daylight when your little one’s not sleeping. The suction cups on just one side are strong enough to hold it in place.
You can find out more about our organic cotton blackout blinds here.