I am SO excited to have my best blogging friend Molly from http://www.maisonpur.com do a guest post for me today, and on such an important topic that I have been wanting to share for awhile now! I recently told Molly about my awful experience buying a new rug that consumed our living room with off gasses and chemical fumes so I immediately returned it. That led to a conversation about toxins in our home and I knew Molly would be the absolute best person to do this post, she has so many great tips and is the research queen! lol Enjoy free birds!
Hi everyone! I’m beyond excited and so honored that Lauren asked me to write a guest post for Free Love Beauty. Lauren and I talk a lot about products that are safe to put on your body, but I have a little bit of a different post for you today, to help keep you healthy in every aspect. Did you know that indoor air pollution can be up to 8 times higher than outdoor air pollution (according to the EPA), and most of it has to do with products we use or bring into our homes? Bad indoor air quality can contribute to everything from asthma to migraines even cancer. Pretty crazy! The good news is that I have a few tips to keep some of the worst offenders out of your home and help protect you and your family.
Ditch the energy saving bulbs!
Wait, what? Yes, those twisty, “eco-friendly” bulbs pose a huge risk- to the environment and to you. These things may be long lasting but they’re filled with mercury which is very hazardous to the environment when they do inevitably kick the bucket and get tossed. Some areas have CFL recycling centers but many do not, unfortunately. They also do lots of damage while they’re in your home. Studies (http://www.telegraph.co.uk) have found they release carcinogens like phenol, naphthalene and styrene when turned on, and they have been linked to things like higher rates of migraines and breast cancer. Oh and what if they happen to break while in your home? You should see the EPA’s guidelines for cleaning up this toxic hazard.(http://www2.epa.gov)
Off-gassing furniture not looking so pretty!
There’s nothing better than making your place into a home and picking out new furniture to fill your space. Have you ever gotten that new couch home and noticed your living room having a slight odor? Not a bad odor- just kind of like a new car smell? New furniture off-gasses chemicals like nobody’s business and the first weeks and months it spends in your place, it’s filling your air (and lungs) with flame retardant particles, stain protectant chemicals, formaldehyde and microscopic pieces of the foam filling inside with is generally full of toxins like phthalates. One solution is to unwrap new furniture and place it in a well ventilated area outside the main living area for the first couple of weeks (like a garage). The more economical option is to use second-hand furniture, even if you have to have it reupholstered. It’s also wise to choose solid wood pieces over particle board, which release many toxins from the bonding that’s used to hold it together. That being said, I know this is a hard one to stick to. At the bare minimum try not to get a whole room full of new furniture at once and try to give adequate time for off-gassing before placing items in a child’s or baby’s room. (The same rules apply for most rugs)!
**We are loving this mid-century modern bench made by http://www.kagedesignstudio.com. Their pieces are all custom made with reclaimed, raw wood and are absolutely beautiful. This is a perfect example of furniture that won’t “off-gas” into your home. Go with real, solid wood pieces!!**
Ewww that smell!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (probably 1,000 times): Stop filling your home with scented candles, plug-in air fresheners and room sprays. Everyone from your pets to your children will thank you. Synthetic fragrance is a sneaky little devil because it comes packaged all nice and can smell of roses, literally. But dig a little deeper under that Caribbean Escape facade and you will find a host of dirty little secrets.. Neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens and hormone disrupters can all hide in a single scent. I detailed even more dirty secrets on my previous post about fragrance (http://www.maisonpur.com). Candles may be your worst choice considering that in addition to the added synthetic fragrance, most conventional candles are paraffin based and when burned studies (http://www.greenlivingonline.com) have shown they release toluene and benzene and actually pollute your air even more.
SO what can you bring into your home?!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to live in a barren, dark little box to keep the toxins at bay! No matter how much you avoid them though, there will be some present in your home. They are a few things that can help!
-A good first step is to open the windows whenever possible and let the old stale air out and fresh air in. I know that you may not want to do that in the middle of February in Boston, but whenever the opportunity presents itself, make it a point to let some fresh air in. Simple enough right?!
-Adding plants to your home can actually help to cleanse the air and remove the pollutants. It’s natures way of cleansing the air. Here’s a list (http://www.mnn.com) of some of the best plants for keeping the air clean (and there’s even some on there that I’ve managed to keep alive!).
-For cleaning up odors in the air look to essential oils. Not only do they provide actual therapeutic benefits to you, but they also can help cleanse and disinfect your air while providing almost any scent you want. Oil diffusers and reed diffusers are both easy options to freshen your air at home.
**This Now Solutions Ultra Sonic Diffuser is a great option to diffuse oils in your home. It is affordable and works like a charm. Just make sure the essential oils you use are therapeutic grade which means there aren’t any fillers or synthetic fragrances in there!! Find this diffuser at http://www.nowfoods.com
Hopefully this gets you started on cleaning up the air at home! Not as glamorous as the latest nontoxic makeup items, but just as vitally important to your health. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. xo!