We are buying/building a home and found out that there is some mine rock that was used as fill for the lot that our house will be on.
I don't know much about mine rock and was wondering if you could tell me if there is anything to be concerned about? Thank you!
This is a difficult question to answer, and someone more experienced in this field than I may have a better response. But I'll tell you my best logic.
First, according to National Wildlife Federation: Hard Rock Mining Pollution, hard rock mining is "the single largest source of toxic waste and one of the most destructive industries in the country." These are the mines that product gold, silver, copper, and uranium.
A lot of rock waste is produced and that may be the rock that is used for fill on your property.
But is it toxic?
As best as I can determine, it's not the rock that is toxic, but the cyanide and sulfuric acid and other toxic chemicals that are used in the mining process and then are dumped into waterways that are the toxic problem.
If you are concerned and in doubt, I would suggest you get your soil tested or ask around locally to see if you can learn more about your particular local rock fill. It's likely others nearby have asked the same question.
Help! I just learned that the high chair tray my daughter eats off of is not so good. I'm looking for a non toxic surface for her to eat off of. She's eating finger foods straight off the tray at the moment. Bowls are out of the question. She'll simply play with them. I'm thinking that some sort of a placemat to cover the tray would be best. I've heard silicone isn't all that safe. I've heard even the safer plastics such as #4 aren't really all that great either. What about eating off of a cotton placemat? What other options are there? Thanks a million!
You could use a cotton placemat if you wash it every time you use it. Or a cotton napkin or towel. These are items that regularly come in contact with food anyway.
I personally am not concerned about silicone baking mats. I use them almost every day for baking and roasting.
I piece of wood chopping board would be good.
It would just need to be something you can easily clean and sanitize with hot water.
Readers, any suggestions?
Hi Debra, Re: Disaster Food Storage
I have been searching for a reputable company that sells organic freeze dried fruit and vegetables to be used if we have a disaster e.g. major earthquake. Someday maybe I'll have the time to learn to dehydrate fruits & vegetables but right now I need to stock up. Most of the freeze dried food mixtures are loaded with salt. Any information would be welcome. Thank You & Happy Holidays
Have you checked out the Survive2Thrive 40 Days and Nights Organic Preparedness Pail? It contains wholefoods and superfoods like beans and quinoa rather than prepared foods that contain salt.
Another place to look is www.prepsos.com, which has prepackaged kits but also individual foods stored to last 20 years.
But rather than buy someone else's idea of what you should eat, I would suggest getting your own foods and packaging them properly. It's suggested for emergency supplies that you rotate them out into your regular meal plans, anyway.
For example, there are foods I always have on hand, like nuts and beans. When the beans run down, I buy more, so I always have a couple of pounds of half a dozen different types of beans.
Here is the contents of the Survive2Thrive box:
Well I don't want gluten pancake mix, or brown rice. I've got the beans on hend, and I've also got chia seeds and flax seeds and more than 1/16 of a pound of various spices. So I've practically got this in my kitchen right now, and more.
I think if you just keep in mind what you want to eat, and keep stores of those foods on hand, you'll have them when you need them. And learn how to cook these foods too.
Hi Debra, I've searched high and low for an office chair free of flame retardants. I sit at work for the most of eight hours, so a wood chair wouldn't work. I thought I'd found the answer when I found the Bradley Bungie Chair by EuroStyle made of bungee cords. However, when it arrived, it had a very strong chemical odor. After some research, I found that the cords are most likely made of synthetic rubber, but they are covered in some type of thick material. Do you think this chair is safe?
This looks to me to be a chair made up of a lot of plastic. Without knowing the exact materials used to make it, I can't tell you how toxic it might be.
My general rule of thumb is: if it smells bad, I don't buy it.
Here is an office chair that was designed to be less toxic and more sustainable, though I've never seen one so I can't vouch for it. I also don't know the price range. http://c2ccertified.org/products/scorecard/mirra_chair
Readers, any suggestions? I sit on a wooden chair with a wool pillow. All day long.
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat: Is this product safe to cook with or does it leach chemicals into the food? If it is safe, can you line a non-stick coated pan with it to protect from leaching of chemicals from these coatings? Thanks for your help. Roll over image to zoom in
Though some disagree with me, I've done the research (see Q&A: Silicone baking mats vs parchment paper and have concluded that Silpats are OK to use. I use them myself almost every day.
I don't know if they would block the fumes from a nonstick baking sheet, but I use mine over aluminum/steel baking pans to block the aluminum. Seems to be working fine.
I have allergen pillow covers. The inside of the covers has polyurethane lining. The outside is cotton. Are these pillows safe?
The polyurethane film on the lining of your pillow covers is a petrochemical plastic, but it is not toxic.
Polyurethane foam used to make mattresses and seat cushions, on the other hand, has many toxic additives and flame retardants.
But plain polyurethane is not very toxic by itself.
I was looking to purchase a hair dryer called T3. It is tourmaline enhanced, ceramic and ionic (negative ions). Do you see anything harmful with this description?
There's nothing toxic about tourmaline and ceramic, but what about the plastic housing?
I just bought a home and am having the floors refinished. I plan to move in in a couple months. I'm concerned about the finish though, as I have a toddler. I can't find a new refinisher because I put down a deposit. Will the finish off gas sufficiently? I thought it would, but then I realized I'm buying all this zero VOC paint, but putting poly on the floors?!
Yes, you should be concerned about the VOCs in floor finish as well as the VOCs in paint.
I don't know what type of finish you are using, but please ask the floor finisher to use a water-based finish. An oil-based finish will take months to cure before it is safe.
Hello Debra, I joined a club that has 100% Toxic free products. Searching for more knowledge I stumbled across your site. Could you review Mommy's Club for me. I am excited on what I have learned so far about their products and would like an evaluation from an outside source that I am representing something good. www.MommysClub.com.
There are two types of products in the "bundles": baby care products and nutritional supplements.
The baby care products have some good ingredients, but contain sodium benzoate as a preservative, which I have been not recommending for more that thirty years. There are many products that don't contain this preservative.
The vitamins look to be from synthetic sources, rather than wholefood, which is not my preference. Read more about why I only recommend wholefood vitamins at
My mother will not use any down comforters because she fears the ducks/geese may have been contaminated from sources; ex. radiation from Japan's disaster, etc. Is there any way to assure her these products are safe to use?
I have never seen any reports on toxic chemical exposure from goose or duck down, however, down and feathers are porous materials, which means they can easily absorb anything they come in contact with. So this is one of those cases where I can't guarantee they were not exposed to anything, but there have been no reports that I know of regarding toxic exposures from this source.
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