7 thoughts on “The Trouble with Toxics: What Dateline Missed and Why

  1. Have you been able to find a good food processor? They typically have the plastic bowl, and I have one but don’t use it often, and try to take comfort in the fact that food isn’t in contact with it for very long at all. But I’d like a safer alternative, if one exists.

  2. Laura, have you found anything about the toxicity or safety of dyes in rugs (synthetic vs natural, chrome vs alum mordants, etc)? I’m confused about if a cheerful, brightly colored 100% wool rug with a cotton backing is still going to be toxic because of the dyes. The few companies I found with using vegetable dyes and alum mordants are just too expensive for me. Would love any of your insight!

    • I don’t know anything about this — check out the great blog O Ecotextiles and I’ll bet you’ll find an answer there. Do consider that at least dyes don’t off-gas (I think!) and the age of your child, if any — they may not have a chance to migrate much, even if problematic.

    • I would check out the terrifically informative blog — O Ecotextiles. They are absolute experts on these kinds of things. I’ve wondered the same thing, but also can’t afford the better stuff…

  3. It was such a pleasure to read someone else’s writing about #xenoestrogens. I have for years been educating the public. I agree that teaching people in simple easy to do steps is very valuable in our war against endocrine disrupting chemicals. I also discovered years ago that you need to provide people with healthy alternate choices in what products to use in their home.

    I am just in the process of completing a $30,000 dollar website (slated for release in February 2014) to educate the public on how to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals. Keeping it simple and with easy steps to encorage living xenoestrogen free.

    I once was very sick with multiple hormone related issues that I now no longer am plagued with. It has become my mission in life to help others regain their health and change our world for the better.

    Thank you for sharing. We can win the fight against chemical hormone disruptors one person at a time. Keep telling anyone who will listen!

    Bonnie Penner

  4. Pingback: Safer Cosmetics and Personal Care Products: Avoiding the Dreaded “Icky 11″ | Laura's "Rules"

  5. Sharing a new comment and question from a reader:

    I recently ran into your blog while researching non toxic things for my family and I just wanted to say hello! About two years ago my husband and I finally made the commitment to start shopping and living more sustainably. We try to shop locally as much as possible, and beyond that we shop made in USA or fair trade and do our best to keep organic and non toxic. As you also discovered, this is like a full time job. We had our first baby in September, and I spent all last summer, basically, on the computer making sure every single purchase we made for her was as ethical/sustainable as possible. I actually started a blog similar to yours when we first started, but found it was so time consuming just living this way that I didn’t have time to blog about it. This is all to say, I appreciate so much all the time and energy you have put into your blog and I think we are kindrid spirits in many ways. Your list of stuff you bought for Maya was extremely similar to one I could make for us and our daughter. 🙂

    So, I’m currently having a similar freak out that you went through about toxins in our furniture and carpet. Our entire home is hardwood except for this one small room. Unfortunately, it happens to be the room where we spend 90% of our waking time. Of course. So, we are seriously considering replacing the carpet and couch and entertainment unit with non-toxic alternatives. But, I remember reading on one of your posts that recovering a sofa was likely to release more toxins than just leaving it be and I was wondering if the same was true for carpet. I am sort of imagining the installers pulling up the old carpet and foam padding and dragging it through the house, releasing so much toxic dust that it almost negates the benefit of the new. Do you have any opinions on or experience with this?

    Any help/advice you have would be great. Our current debate is whether to replace with wool carpet/padding to maintain the coziness of the room or just replace with bamboo and get a wool rug. I’m worried about bugs with the wool carpet, personally… anyway. Enough rambling! Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    My reply:

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for writing! I will anonymize your email and post as a comment — hope you don’t mind!!

    I think if you had the carpet removed from your house and then vacuumed well with a HEPA vacuum, it would help, as would opening the windows.

    I can say that there are not many options for floor coverings that seem truly superior in terms of chemicals. With carpets, I would worry about VOCs off-gassing, as well as any plastics in the backing of the carpet. More on that summarized here: http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411598,00.html

    The best company from both an environmental sustainability and health perspective seems to be Earth Weave: http://www.organicandhealthy.com/carpet.html (I’ve seen them in person, and they are lovely. They can also be bound into rugs.)

    They do produce plush carpeting and rugs which would work for a nursery, though the color scheme is a bit dull. One post I read said the best prices for these were from this site, though the prices are not posted: http://compostablegoods.com/index.php?cPath=21_49

    There are also eco-rugs from natural fiber companies (that use sisal, grasses and jute, for example), but none of these would be particularly comfortable for babies and young children.

    Another option is to go with a simple wool-only rug, like these from Surya, for example (which are called “organic” for no reason I can determine): http://www.surya.com/rugs/organic-modern/omr1002/

    Or a 100% cotton one, like this bright and colorful one from Crate and Barrel: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/area-rugs/pax-5%27×8%27-rug/s229698

    I did think Flor carpet tiles were better, but it turns out that their backing is PVC, which is just too bad, given the cute designs and ability to replace tiles that get messed up: http://www.enviromom.com/2010/03/all-hail-flor-carpet-tiles.html

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