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Fossil Fuels in Your Self-Care and Beauty Products

by Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

We use fossil fuels as coal, natural gas, and petroleum (sometimes called crude oil). These types of fossil fuels help us create not only energy (e.g. gasoline in cars), but also various household products—including those in your self-care and beauty routines!

This article highlights key things you should know about the ingredients in your self-care and beauty products that are made from fossil fuels.

If the idea of fossil fuels in your...

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Are "green" building materials and interior furnishings healthy?

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Building and renovating our homes are opportune moments to create a healthy indoor environment since building materials (like floors and cabinets) and interior furnishings (like paints and furniture) have a meaningful influence on our indoor air quality.

First, keep in mind that "green" is not necessarily "healthy."

"Green" is not necessarily healthy

People often assume that products marketed as "green"—or...

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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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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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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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PBDE Flame Retardants Are Still Around

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

PBDE flame retardants were phased out in 2004 and 2010, yet these chemicals are still around.

Scientific studies have found PBDEs in humans and the environment—over 8 years later.

They could still be in your home.

What are PBDEs?

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are chemical flame retardants.  They come in a variety of mixtures such as pentabromodiphenyl ether (c-pentaBDE), octabromodiphenyl ether (c-octaBDE), and...

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Phased Out PFCs Stick Around

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

With chemicals that are banned or phased out, you expect them not to be a concern anymore, right?

The reality is: Chemicals, like PFCs, stick around for years, even decades—both in the environment and our bodies—which is ironic when you consider how PFCs are used.

What are PFCs and why are they still around?

PFCs, or perfluorochemicals, are a large group of chemicals that have many names. Two...

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Formaldehyde in Furniture

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

When buying furniture the first consideration is usually about the look and feel of the furniture. Not about how it may be affecting health.

Furniture and other home furnishings often contain formaldehyde. In this article you will find:

  • What is formaldehyde?
  • Household items containing formaldehyde.
  • Short-term effects of formaldehyde exposure.
  • Can formaldehyde cause cancer?
  • How to avoid formaldehyde exposure at home.
  • Find more...
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Consider Phthalates in Furniture

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Did you know there are phthalates in furniture?

“More than 470 million pounds of phthalates are produced or imported in the United States each year,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1)

With amounts that large, it may be in your home.

Let’s look at where these phthalates could be lurking.

Where are phthalates found?

Phthalates are used to soften plastics and increase their flexibility. It’s...

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Nontoxic Window Curtains: Tips to Find the Best Ones for Your Home

interior design textiles 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,...

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