Healthy Lifestyles

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16 Ways to Heal Your Home

Below‚ we outline the problems with 16 conventional household products.   Click through to Co-op America's Healthy Home Center to learn about solutions – ways to heal every part of your home.  (Also, all of the linked terms below, like "phthalates"‚  take you straight to our online glossary for a better understanding of the problems some of the worst chemicals can cause.)
1) Conventional body care products – More than one-third of personal care products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer, and very few products are tested for safety. Some products contain phthalates‚ which don't appear in the list of a product's ingredients --  instead they are covered by the general term "fragrance." Body Care Solutions »
2) Chemical Air Fresheners – Air fresheners contain dangerous ingredients like dichlorobenzene naphthalene‚ and formaldehyde. Air Freshener Solutions »

3) PVC Shower Curtains
Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC‚ the vinyl in your shower curtain‚ is a plastic that’s dangerous to people and the environment at every stage of its lifecycle. Shower Curtain Solutions»

4) Conventional Cleaners Many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde‚ harsh acids‚ and hormone disruptors. Cleaning Solutions»
5) Paints and Stains – Conventional paints contain three chemicals worth worrying about:  VOCs‚ fungicides‚ and biocides.  Other problematic ingredients can include mercury arsenic disulfide phenol‚ and formaldehyde. Painting Solutions »
6) Furniture Some wood furniture can release VOCs from adhesives and finishes.  Urea formaldehyde is used in particle board furniture.  Most upholstered furniture is treated with flame-retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs).  Furniture Solutions »

7) Flooring
Wall-to-wall carpets harbor allergens and trap toxins.  Most synthetic carpets and their adhesives also emit VOCs. Carpeting may be treated with benzyl benzoate or other chemicals for mothproofing or to repel moisture. Flooring Solutions »

8) Vinyl Siding Home siding can be the single largest use of vinyl‚ made from PVC‚ in a home.  Vinyl siding often contains DEHP‚ an additive‚ and a phthalate. Siding Solutions »
9) Wooden Decks and Playsets – Until a few years ago, pressure-treated wood for decks and play equipment was routinely covered in chromium copper arsenate (CCA) to kill insects and prevent rot. CCA leaches arsenic that sticks to the hands and is absorbed through skin. Deck/Playset Solutions »

10) Pesticides
– Too many homeowners needlessly use hazardous chemicals on their lawns, and these chemicals can drift into their homes and pollute indoor air. Lawncare Solutions »

11) Cookware
– Non-stick pans with Teflon or Teflon-like coatings contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which break down into the air at high temperatures. Cookware Solutions »

12) Plastics
– Hard-to-recycle plastics often contain toxins that can leach into food and water‚ especially when heated. Plastics Solutions »

13) Conventional Produce
– Many non-organic fruits and vegetables carry pesticide residue.  Twenty-three of the world's 28 most commonly used pesticides are suspected carcinogens, and several are possible neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. Produce Solutions»

14) Seafood
– Some fish can contain mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Some experts say that FDA and EPA fish consumption limits, established to keep pregnant women and children safe‚ are too lax.  Seafood Solutions »

15) Bed linens
– Toxic chemicals that resist flames, water, moths, stains, and wrinkles are sometimes added to textiles like bedclothes.  Labels like "permanent-press‚" "no-iron‚" "water repellent‚" and "flame retardant‚" may indicate fabric treatments that off-gas chemicals like formaldehyde and perfluorochemicas (PFCs).  Bed linens Solutions »

16) Mattresses
– Federal laws require mattresses to be fire resistant, so many manufacturers treat the mattress foam with flame-retardant chemicals. The most dangerous are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)‚ which some manufacturers are phasing out voluntarily. Mattress Solutions »


The Green Festival

Consider attending this autumn weekend event. Great introduction to products & services for a healthier home, body, & community!

You’ll be able to sample organic products, support Fair Trade organizations (some are now in the USA), see demonstrations, eat some healthy food, and come home with a lot of new ideas on how to make a positive impact in your home and your community.

 For 2013, the Festival is back in Washington, DC  at the downtown Civic Center!