I help consumers find toxic-free products

Debra’s Mission


Our #1 Health Problem

Toxic chemicals in consumer products are a problem. In fact, they may be our number one health problem in the world today.

Toxic chemical exposures are continuous in homes and offices, unless we specifically choose products that are unlikely to do harm.

Not only are we exposed to these toxic chemicals day in and day out, but we are carrying them around in our bodies too! Day by day these chemicals of concern are undermining our health, and work against any actions we take to improve health.

When we are exposed—through breathing, eating and drinking, and skin absorption—to more chemicals than our bodies can process, they build up inside our bodies into what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls “body burden.

Save $$$ on Health Care

Are you paying too much for health care? Reducing toxic chemical exposure will improve your health and reduce health care costs.

In early 2010, the organization Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families released a report called “The Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act.

According to this study, 133 million people in the USA—almost half of all Americans—are living with chronic diseases and conditions related to toxic chemical exposures, which now account for 70% of deaths and 75% of US health care costs.

They calculate that if only a fraction of toxic chemicals were removed from consumer products, it would save the U.S. health care system an estimated $5 billion every year.

I Recovered My Health By Eliminating Toxic Chemicals

my-story-before-debra1980_2I first learned about toxic chemicals in consumer products when I became very ill in 1978, at the young age of 23.

At a time when I should have been enjoying life and getting married and having babies, I instead had constant headaches, insomnia every night and most of the time I couldn’t think clearly. I had sudden, uncontrollable urges to devour sugar in any form—a carton of ice cream, a whole coconut cream pie, a box of cookies—and I was very depressed.

My father serendipitously met a doctor who was treating patients for sensitivity to petrochemicals, and this doctor found I was sensitive. But it wasn’t until another patient asked “Are you still sleeping on permanent press sheets?” that I became aware that all the toxic chemicals that were making me sick were in the consumer products I was using every day.

I couldn’t believe it! Wasn’t the government watching out for toxics in consumer products? I thought everything sold on store shelves was safe.

Suddenly I had a reason to get out of bed every morning: I had to find out where these toxic chemicals were in my home so I could get rid of them.

season_in_a_tree_by_stevewaite-d41t89rMY TOXIC TRANSFORMATION

Because there were no books for the general public about toxic chemicals in consumer products, I had to look in the reference section of the library. There I found one book: The Clinical Toxicology of Consumer Products. My father gave me a thick chemical dictionary and I started to research. I ended up in medical libraries and poison control centers. There was no internet then, in 1978. Every morning I dragged my body out of bed and looked for information about toxics. For some months I spent hours each day in poison control centers and medical libraries.

Day by day I began to associate symptoms with specific exposures. I remember the day that I found formaldehyde (embalming fluid) was being released from permanent press sheets in a book on industrial processes, and that formaldehyde causes insomnia in a medical book. I went straight home and took those permanent press sheets off my bed and finally was able to sleep.

As I learned more and more about where toxic chemicals were hidden in the consumer products I was using every day, my home began to seem like a hazardous waste dump. And it was. It wasn’t until many years later that household hazardous waste collection programs were set up to collect hazardous waste from homeowners. Hazardous waste includes many products that are used every day without thinking twice—chlorine bleach, nail polish, car wax…

I learned there were pesticides in my coffee, chloroform in my tap water, lead in my lipstick…

I was living with my father at the time, and could only control my bedroom. As I learned more and more about the toxic chemicals in my home, one day I just had enough. I gave my home an EXTREME DETOX. All in one day I removed all the toxic chemicals from my home that I could identify.

When I was done, all I was left with was

  • four bare walls,
  • a cement floor with dried paint spatters all over it
  • a metal rollaway bed frame with a pile of cotton thermal blankets for a mattress.

But there were no toxic chemicals in the room.



One of my favorite quotes is from William Morris, an English textile designer from the Arts & Crafts era. He said,“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Even though my health had greatly improved from living with only the stripped-down bare necessities, I just wasn’t happy with cement floors, white t-shirts and jeans. I wanted a beautiful home, delicious food, pretty clothes, and red lipstick. I wanted my life to be about joy and abundance and adventure, not deprivation. But it also had to be nontoxic.

Deep inside I knew there must be safe products in the world that were useful, beautiful, and free from toxic chemicals—I just needed to find them. As I began to look for products—with the clear intention that they had to be nontoxic and be products I loved—I began to see that there were many nontoxic products.  I just needed to know how to recognize them, I was now determined to live toxic free for the rest of my life. It just became my truth, as inherent to who I am as my brown eyes.

Once I saw the dramatic change in my health that came from removing toxic products from my home I thought “Wait a minute. If someone had told me that all these toxic chemicals were in consumer products, I could have avoided them and not gotten sick in the first place.”

Right then I decided I needed to tell others that they have a choice. Their homes are filled with toxic products and safe products are available. I just couldn’t not tell them. I had information that could save lives. I couldn’t not share it.

And so I gathered up all the information I had and I wrote the first book on toxic chemicals in consumer products, which was published in 1984. My updated books on the subject have been in continuously in print since.


Today we know much more about toxics in consumer products than was known then.

We know now that toxics in consumer products cause cancer, obesity, infertility, loss of libido, birth defects, autism, and much more. Every symptom and illness has now been associated with toxic exposures from consumer products used every day at home. 

Exposure to toxic chemicals can be the difference between a life of suffering and a life of health and happiness.

I’ve been living toxic free for almost 40 years. I’m healthy enough to do whatever I want to do.

My body is able and healthy, my mind is clear, everything is functioning as it should. I’m 61 years old and everyone thinks I look 45. No wrinkle and no grey hairs. No cavities either, despite no fluoride. I am active about 16 hours a day and I can lift 100-pound weights.

I love my toxic free life. I love my beautiful home full of natural materials, the delicious food I make myself from fresh organic ingredients, the filtered water I drink that tastes like it came out of a spring. And I even occasionally wear the most lovely shade of red lipstick—toxic free, of course. I have no desire to go back to the toxic life.

I love the work that I do. It is a delight for me to discover more and more toxic free products every day. After all these years, I still light up when I find products that we all can use with pleasure, and be healthy and happy.

Today it’s easier than ever to make the switch and live toxic free.
You can do it!!

Let me show you how.

How to Live Toxic Free

I’ve prepared this list as a guide for you to explore this website. I suggest you print it out and use it as a checklist.
For exceptional layout of printed pages, I suggest using PrintFriendly.com.



email-icon Sign up for my newsletter

Every Tuesday I send out a newsletter that tells what’s new on my website and with my work, including new toxic free products and, answers to your questions and news about what’s going on in the world with toxics.



book_toxic_free Read my book “Toxic Free”

Find out the basics about toxic chemicals in consumer products, their health effects and what you can do to be toxic free. Includes how to remove the top 50 toxic products from your home, and how to remove toxics from your body.



selected-canstockphoto19316584 Get Started With the Most Important Products

Wondering where to start? I’ve selected the most important products to start with and put them on a special page so you can find them easily. These will give you the greatest reduction of toxics right away.



open-sign Find more toxic free products

There is information on toxic free products all over this website. Start with Debra’s List, which lists websites for all types of products. Then explore the Find Products page, which outlines many other ways to find products on this site.



question-marks Got a Question? ASK

I’m here to help—and so are many of my readers who also have years of experience with toxic free products. You can post a question on my Q&A, or call me directly for a paid phone consultation. I can even come to your home or office for a consultation—anywhere in the world.



french chocolate cake whole Eat OrganicOne of the major sources of toxic exposure is processed food. A giant step to live toxic free is to prepare your own organic food at home. I’m cooking my own food everyday and have delicious recipes to share with you.



three glasses Detox Toxics From Your Body

The cutting edge of medicine now is to remove toxic chemicals from your body before you do any other treatment. Often a proper detox will have amazing results.



on-air Meet Toxic Free Innovators

I’ve recording more nearly 400 interviews with innovators who are working to make our world toxic free—authors, manufacturers, nonprofits, regulators. Listen to audio and/or read the transcripts. This is a gold mine of information.



organic_product_label Learn About Labeling

In order to determine if a product is toxic or not, consumers need to know the materials used to make the product. Unfortunately, labeling is inconsistent, disclosure is often nonexistent, and there are many illegal false and misleading claims. I’m working to improve how manufacturers communicate with consumers, so we can all have the information we need to live toxic free.



“Thank you SO SO MUCH Debra!!! Your insight, research, and opinion means so much to me. We went ahead and bought the powder coat one (and saved hundreds!) tonight. Thank you. I also am grateful for your VERY fast response.

Since we have become parents, and my sister pointed me in the direction of low chemical load, I am horrified by how our environmental choices as a society are poisoning us and we have slowly eradicated many of the worst offenders (as far as I know!!!) from our home.

We still have a ways to go, but I have looked at your site as a reference MANY times and am grateful for your presence and accessibility to those of us who want/need a cleaner, safer environment arounds us. Thank you again!!”

— Carol Ann