Jan 23, 2018
by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée
When detoxing the home, details—such as the materials and maintenance of curtains—can impact your health.
Similar to table runners, furniture fabrics, bathroom towels and other types of textiles, curtains can be made from natural materials or synthetic chemicals. Curtains made from natural materials are healthier since they contain fewer chemicals.
Healthier textiles are made from natural sources, like plants and even animals. Examples include cotton, hemp, wool, bamboo, and silk.
To select nontoxic window curtains, we should assess the textiles, dyes, and fabric finishes. Chemicals often found in each of these components include chlorine, formaldehyde, pesticides, and PFCs. They may contribute to health issues, like asthma and cancer.
Below are tips for choosing natural materials, dyes and finishes.
Naturally-colored materials can be labeled as “color grown,” or list the dye source as clay, spices, nuts, roots, tree bark, and plant parts.(1) Dyes labeled as “low-impact dye” are made from synthetic materials (chemicals), but are considered by some to be better than standard dyes. There are varying views about low-impact dyes and their effect on health.
Curtains come with a variety of finishes that may or may not be listed on the label. If you see words like “easy care,” “protected,” or “wrinkle-resistant,” there may be chemical finishes added. Avoid curtains that contain finishes.
3RD PARTY CERTIFICATIONS
Opt for window curtains that have been certified by a credible third-party. Here are a few to look for:
In addition to choosing nontoxic curtains, maintenance and cleaning of curtains can help create a healthier home.
Curtains attract dust, mold, and chemicals that are floating in the air. Dust contains dead cells, bug parts, mold spores, pet dander, and particles from clothing, curtains, furniture, and other household products. In addition, chemicals such as flame retardants and SVOCs, absorb onto (attach reversibly to, without bonding) (5) indoor surfaces such as dust.
Below are three curtain maintenance tips to help detox your home.
Replacing synthetic curtains with natural curtains is one way of detoxing your living room, playroom, bedroom, and kitchen curtains. In summary:
(4) USDA Organic
(5) Berkley Lab
Would you like to join a community of like-minded conscious consumers as well?
Do you want to read less about practical nontoxic choices and just see checklists of thoughtful options?
Then join the D-Tox Academy!
Each month, we will "meditate" on a body part or system. The goal is to connect with our body, senses, and symptoms to rely on this curiosity and "listening" as guidance for a gentle, detox journey.
Access Sophia's shopping list for her household staples. They're her favorite low toxic items that she can't live without. Also see which EMF protection products she uses.