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How to Make Your Home Toxic Free Conscious Design

How to Make Your Home Toxic Free Conscious Design

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Virtually every object used in building your home and the objects within it-the insulation in your house, your sofa, food storage containers, floor cleaners and even fabric softener-impacts both your health and the health of the planet.

You may be shocked to discover that many seemingly harmless household products contain dangerous chemicals. However, most of these products can be easily removed and replaced and some will lose their toxicity over time, so you needn't panic and think everything in your house must be replaced.
Virtually every object used in building your home and the objects within it-the insulation in your house, your sofa, food storage containers, floor cleaners and even fabric softener-impacts both your health and the health of the planet.

You may be shocked to discover that many seemingly harmless household products contain dangerous chemicals. However, most of these products can be easily removed and replaced and some will lose their toxicity over time, so you needn't panic and think everything in your house must be replaced.

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Published by: Norma Lehmeier Hartie on Jan 13, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/19/2011

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How to Make Your Home Toxic Free
Virtually every object used in building your home and the objects within it—theinsulation in your house, your sofa, food storage containers, floor cleaners and evenfabric softener—impacts both your health and the health of the planet.You may be shocked to discover that many seemingly harmless household productscontain dangerous chemicals. However, most of these products can be easily removedand replaced and some will lose their toxicity over time, so you needn’t panic and think everything in your house must be replaced.Indoor pollution greatly increased after the end of World War II, with mass-producedhousing. These new houses were made with new, lightweight materials, materials thatwere produced by the petrochemical industry. These products, made from petrochemicals,release chemicals into the air—through a process known as outgassing. Outgassing is theslow release from the material of chemical residues used in the manufacturing processinto the atmosphere. They include VOC’s and many other petrochemical derivatives.Materials made from petrochemicals include plywood, particleboard, carpeting, vinylflooring, adhesives, paints, fabrics and much more.
Petrochemicals
The biggest source of pollution comes from the use of petrochemicals, which causes bothenvironmental damage and damage to the earth’s inhabitants. A non-renewable resource,the use of petrochemicals is so pervasive in our lives that the removal of them overnightwould result in an unrecognizable world. Petrochemicals heat our homes and transport people and products. Plastic products are derived from petrochemicals. Many cleaningsupplies, paint, clothing, furniture, building materials, packaging materials, toys,carpeting, appliances, automobiles, planes, trucks, makeup, grooming products, soap,detergent and pesticides contain petrochemicals and require the use of them during themanufacturing process.
Guidelines for Eco-friendly and Healthful Purchasing Choices:Do:
Replace products that are made from petrochemicals with products that are madewith natural, non-hazardous and preferably renewable products. For example,use bamboo flooring that is finished with natural wax and tung or linseed oil;and purchase natural paints, lime plasters and cork floors.
Purchase raw materials near production sites to save on transportation expenseand fuel waste.
Purchase materials that were processed using renewable energy.
Extend product life by reuse and recycling of components.
Recycle waste to become ingredients in other products. Called “biomimicry,”these are manufacturing processes that take one product and turn it intosomething else. For example: carpets that are made from recycled plastic bottles,
 
 paints that are made from vegetable extracts, tiles that are made from ceramicwaste and rubber flooring that is made from recycled tires.
Support companies that employ safe and clean methods to produce products or that use recycled products.
Support companies that sell healthy, organic, sustainable products.
The following products are toxic and cause pollution and should be avoided whenpossible:
Most commercial cleaning products and other household chemicals
Garden pesticides
Carpets glued with solvents, treated with fungicides and containing residual pesticides
Fabrics treated with chlorine, benzene and/or formaldehyde
Most plywood and particleboard, which contain formaldehyde, urea and other dangerous glues
Many paints and stains, which contain fungicides, VOC’s and other chemicals
Vinyl flooring, furniture and plastics that contain VOC’s such as bromides andchlorine
Dry cleaning and dry cleaning solvents
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
While the dangers of the most commonly used individual chemicals have beendocumented, there have been few attempts to study the effects of combining one or morechemicals.Fortunately, there are many non-toxic, natural cleaning products that are on the market or you can make your own. For example, use baking soda and distilled white vinegar:Combine when ready to use—mixing creates a science-project like foam. This mix cleansall kinds of things, including:
o
Stubborn stains (let sit, then rinse)
o
Stainless steel
o
Water fountains
o
Silver 
o
Brass
o
Stained glassThere are a number of natural cleaning products that you can purchase at natural foodstores or online. In your grocery store, Bon Ami is all natural and works especially wellon stainless steel and borax is a natural laundry booster and multi-purpose householdcleaner.
Greener Choices for Your Home
Purchase refurbished furniture and building materials when possible.

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