New? (Posts by Topic)

Welcome! Hope you stay a while and we become friends.

Here, I write about the intersection of the political with the personal, and tend to take the news to heart. I’m never short on opinion, but always also try to keep an open mind and heart. I enjoy researching the everyday questions that arise as we bump around in the world, and trying to find the best possible option, however quixotic the search. I hope you find something you’re looking for in these posts, or at least a chuckle or two.

If you’re new to the blog, you may want to check out the top 12 posts to date, which also tend to be some of the most detailed ones, and cluster around the issue of flame retardants in furniture (plus a recipe!):

The Current Top 12 (as of August 1, 2013)

  1. Sofa Saga, Part 4: Some Success! Two Great Sources for Greener Sofas
  2. 20 Healthy, Easy Toddler & Adult Breakfasts (That Are Not Cheerios)
  3. Ouch, Couch! A Sad Sofa Saga… Part 2
  4. Curb Alert: Free (Toxic) Sofa
  5. Burning Questions: An FAQ on Flame Retardants in Furniture
  6. Yummy Veggies for Toddlers 10 Easy Ways
  7. Sofa Saga, Part 5: A Happy Place to Sit
  8. At Long Last: My Greener, Healthier Baby and Toddler Supply Guide
  9. A Perfect Pasta Salad: Basil-Feta-Orzo-Spinach Summer Salad
  10. The Safest Sippy Cups, Ever…
  11. Ouch, Couch! A Sad Sofa Saga…Part 1
  12. More Misadventures with Flame Retardants: So.Much.Fun.

Posts by topic are below: please click around and let me know what you like!

Flame Retardants in Furniture and Other Products:

Kids and Healthy Food:

Getting Started with Greening Your Home:

The Case for Better Rules on Chemicals:

The Need for a Real Information Democracy, and How Your Dollars Can Change the World:

Recipes for Tasty Living:

Eating Better and Avoiding Harmful Chemicals in Food and Kitchens:

Safer Products for Kids and Households:

Crafting and Upcycling Ideas for Greener, More Sustainable Living:

Reflections on the Ups and Downs of Parenting:

Humor and Tips for Parents and People Who Love Kids:

Work-Life Balance and Whether Women Can Have it All:

The Climate Crisis and Sustainability:

Gun Control:


Political commentary and notes on blogging:

Hot Reads: Interesting articles around the Web:

4 thoughts on “New? (Posts by Topic)

  1. RE: TB-117 and TB-117-2013
    So glad to find your website! I have been concerned about toxic chemicals in our homes and work places since years ago when I was getting severely ill every time I went to work. Every day I felt like I had the worst case of the flu with body aches, dizziness, headache, nausea, etc. Doctors kept telling me that I must have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome but that diagnosis didn’t make sense to me since I felt fine most of the time.

    After several years, I finally figured it out: My desk at work was stuck in the back of a storage room, between rows of unsealed particle board shelving that was giving off formaldehyde vapors. When I changed office locations, there were no more bouts of “flu” for me unless I was in a room full of the popular MDF furniture.

    Fast forward to 2011 when our house needed extensive repairs. How to avoid formaldehyde in building materials and new furniture?? To my delight I learned that California had passed legislation requiring the elimination of formaldehyde in building materials and furniture! It was gradually phased in over several years. But to this day, I still have not met one person who is aware of the labels on furniture boxes and parts that say MDF Phase 1 (that lowered formaldehyde levels) and MDF Phase 2 (that eliminated formaldehyde).

    So, I was quite shocked to realize how ignorant I was about the flame retardant issue! TB-117 and the major toxic-chemical problem with furniture in California was completely off my radar even though we live in Southern California – until we started shopping for a new couch last month and I started reading customer reviews on Macy’s website.

    Someone asked on the Macy’s website whether a certain couch was TB-117 compliant. That might not have caught my eye if the Macy’s reply hadn’t been filled with jargon: proprietary phosphorus ester blend. THAT caught my eye. Why were they being so incredibly vague? A few Googles later, I finally knew what TB-117 was and I knew that the Macy’s vague reply was stating that the couch was full of toxic flame retardant and other chemicals.

    Since then I have seen equally vague descriptions of flame retardants on other furniture sites but what shocked me the most was when I posted asking about flame retardants in a piece of furniture and immediately got censored by Macy’s! They sent me an email with the following:
    “Unfortunately your answer did not meet our guidelines for posting on our site. We encourage you to review our guidelines and resubmit your answer about Kenton Fabric Sectional Living Room Furniture Collection.”

    I also have learned by now that there is no happy ending coming along in 2015 with the new TB-117-2013 flame retardant bill having been passed — because the new bill does not require that stores stop selling flame retardant products. It only gives them the OPTION of selling furniture that does NOT have flame retardants in them. Big difference.

    Thanks so much for fighting the fight for us all. Flame retardant is the new Formaldehyde! The battle is not over yet on TB-117 but at least you have helped people like me realize exactly what is going on!

  2. Thank you for covering this!! I’m passionate about this issue and want to lend my voice to the campaign to remove toxic, carcinogenic chemicals from consumer goods in our country. So few people are educated on this issue it seems and so I am deeply appreciative of someone with your background, abilities and platform making the case. Blessings to you, and may your work be richly rewarded!

  3. Hi, thanks for the research. Do you know where I can send a piece of my sofa’s foam to to get it tested?

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