Thursday, June 24, 2010

Video - GMOs: Hidden Ingredient

Video - GMOs: Hidden Ingredient

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Want to stay healthy? Take fewer antibiotics...

"...Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway’s public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics."

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Dangers of Carpeting

Wall to wall carpeting has an allure particularly for a family home-it is cozy, insulates, is soft and nice to lay on, offers noise reduction and serves as the perfect play yard for little ones. Unfortunately, there are major draw-backs, particularly when you are concerned with environmental friendliness, and even more urgently with the immediate health of your children and family. As with many lovely things found on the market today, most manufacturers are more concerned with finding the cheapest alternatives than making a safe, healthy & "Green" product.

What is so bad about "regular" carpeting? 'Second to paint, carpeting is the leading cause of indoor air pollution' (sited: Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living).

They are dangerous from top to bottom:

• The Carpet fibers are made with synthetic petrochemicals & covered with VOC's (volatile organic compounds)

• The backing material are made of reactive compounds and release toxins in the home

• Carpets are colored with chemical dyes

• Adhesives are toxic chemicals

• Pads are made from prime urethane and hydrocarbons

• Layers are treated with flame retardants (including Boric Acid and boric anhydride). Fire retardants often contain PBDEs which are known to cause damage to thyroid, immune system and brain development functions in humans.

• Stain guards (includes chemicals proven to cause miscarriages, neurological damage & other ailments)

• Include PVC ( Poisonous plastic PVC ) , vinyl & latex materials

Contain toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals that are known carcinogens and produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.

• That 'new carpet smell' comes from 4-PC, associated with eye, nose and upper respiratory problems. 4-PC is used in the latex backing of 95% of US carpets.

• Mothproofing chemicals contain naphthalene, which is known to produce toxic reactions, especially in newborns.

One should also be aware that if you move into a house with existing carpets, you are taking on all the aforementioned toxins, but you will also be exposed to their dust mites, pesticides, toxins brought in on shoes, pets and more. Carpets can hold eight times their weight in toxin-filled trapped dirt that is well hidden in the fibers and underneath the carpet. The EPA has stated that 80% of human exposure to pesticides occurs indoors. If the house has ever been sprayed for bugs, the chemicals settle in your carpet and remain there for years. If you paint your room or put in new wood or laminating flooring in any part of your house, the carpet is very efficient at holding those toxins for you to inhale long after the work has been completed.

So what are the alternatives?
The good new is, you can get safe wall to wall carpeting.

• Choose 100% untreated (pesticide free) wool or hemp (most are chemically treated, so you will have to ask). Wool is a great choice as it's biodegradable, naturally fire-resistant, hypoallergenic, soft, resists dust mites better than nylon carpets, and purifies the air (even absorbs airborne contaminants like formaldehyde). Hemp is durable and great for high traffic areas. It is also resistant to mold and mildew. Hemp is great in areas where there may be moisture, where wool is not as it takes a long time to dry.

• Make sure that the carpet is installed using nails or staples-no glue.

• Look for the Green Label Plus Certification (In 2004, the Carpet and Rug Institute started the Green Label Plus Certification, which certifies that carpets are free from 13 toxic chemicals.)

• Make sure to remove your shoes and have guests do the same to keep outdoor and other contaminants from getting into your carpet.

If you can not remove the carpet due to time &/or money limitations, you can do the following:
• Steam clean the carpets to kill dust mites and bacteria
• Leave windows open as often as possible.
• Use a HEPA Vacuum cleaner
• Get a great air purifier that removes VOC's (
• Have lots of great plants-many can actually reduce pollutants (Read a list here:

Where to buy safe carpeting? Here are some local (D.C area) places to get safe carpeting:

Want to read more about this? Here are some articles:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breastfeeding saves lives

(CNN) -- If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

(Now imagine if they would breastfeed LONGER than 6 months!)

Chemical in antibacterial soaps produces toxic dioxins

Chemical in antibacterial soaps produces toxic dioxins