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Which is a Better Choice: Synthetic or Natural Dyes

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Let's consider the dyes used in textiles, which are part of our furniture, drapes, carpets, area rugs, bedding, towels, clothes, bags, backpacks, toys, and more.

These dyes can be made of natural and/or synthetic ingredients, but be aware that they can influence indoor air quality and our health.

In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of natural and synthetic dyes.

Natural Dyes

Natural dyes...

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Is My House Making Me Sick?

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Do you feel tired or under the weather when you’re at home, and feel better when you leave the house?

New moms spend more time at home with the kids and, along with it, sometimes comes congestion and a scratchy throat.

When you take the kids to the park, you enjoy fresh air and feel much better.

But when you return to your new home, you become dizzy or nauseous.

Why?

Since you’re spending more time in the home, your...

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Using Wood as a Stress Reducer at Home

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

In today’s fast-paced world, stress is increasing. Along with the amount of time we spend indoors.

On average, people spend 90% of their time indoors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1) The need for a low-stress, indoor environment is more important than ever.

Studies show that indoor environments that have wood, plants, and other natural elements improve health. However, there are...

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Fragrances Don’t Smell as Good When You Know What’s in Them

labels nose overview Mar 25, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Floral and fruity scents make our homes smell good, but if you knew what they were made of, you might reconsider.  

Synthetic fragrances or scents are made from chemical concoctions that are created in a laboratory. One scent in one product can contain any number of chemicals—sometimes 100 or more for that one scent.  

We would never know, though. Manufacturers are not required to list individual chemicals on labels...

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You Can Buy Furniture Without Flame Retardants

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Did you know that a doctor’s note is needed in order to buy a mattress without flame retardants?

It’s federal law.

You might assume, then, that flame retardants added to mattresses and other furniture are critical life-saving additives. After all, laws are meant to keep us safe.

Scientists have found that there is no meaningful difference in having flame retardants in furniture. (1)

And, actually, those flame retardants may...

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Mixing Cleaning Products: Is it Safe?

cleaning Mar 23, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

It’s sooo tempting to mix household cleaning products to create the most powerful cleaning solutions to fight stubborn stains and grime. However, this may create a “chemical cocktail” that can be dangerous.

Even products that are widely considered “safe” (like vinegar) can be toxic when combined with other chemicals.

The Chemical Cocktail Effect

The chemical cocktail effect...

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5 Reasons to Avoid Synthetic Clothing

textiles Mar 23, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

When I first learned about chemicals found in everyday products, I looked to make simple, gradual changes.  

Clothing was one of the areas that seemed logical.

As my clothes wore out one by one, I replaced them with cottons instead of polyesters.

Boy, am I glad that I did. Here’s what I found.

Synthetic Fiber vs. Natural Fiber

Synthetic fibers are made from plastics and oil byproducts. Whenever I think of synthetic...

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Healthier Window Treatments

bedroom interior design Mar 22, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

“Eco-friendly” is a term used to describe things that are good for nature, to preserve this beautiful earth. Recycling and conservation (of trees and energy) are cornerstone ideas and actions when it comes to eco-friendly efforts.

But what about the impact of toxic chemicals that are found in everyday products? They too are affecting our world—harming aquatic life, the animal kingdom, and humans as well.

You...

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Why Does New Furniture Smell?

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

If you want to reduce toxic chemicals in your home, evaluate your furniture.  

Originally, furniture was made from 100% solid wood. Today's furniture, however, is made of various chemicals that exist as composite woods that are held together with adhesives and resins, plastic coverings, paints, synthetic fabrics, and chemical finishes (for resistance to flames, water, stains, and/or bacteria).

These...

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Adhesives May Be Gripping Our Furniture And Our Health

building materials Mar 19, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Furniture would fall apart without the use of adhesives or another method that holds the parts together.

Imagine trying to sit on a chair that’s not secured by adhesives and screws.

Are you picturing yourself on the floor with chair pieces around you? Me too.

While important, adhesives are often made from hazardous chemicals. These chemicals enter our bodies as we inhale their fumes and absorb them through our skin.

...
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