Just wondering if you have heard of "Kalso Earth Shoes." I'm trying to find less toxic shoes, but it's not easy since you really don't know what materials are used, and the information is not available sometimes (most times). These shoes have a "negative heel" technology, and supposedly are made of leather. However, when I received a pair, there is an odor to them. I tried contacting the company but got no response. Just wondering how you chose shoes?
It's very difficult to find toxic-free shoes. Part of the problem, as you said, is that the materials are not disclosed.
In another post, Q&A: Safe Sneakers?, today I talked about the shoes I wear. I look for shoes made from leather or natural fibers. Like I would wear shoes made from cotton or linen. I don't have any at the moment made from natural fibers, but I would wear them. And I basically avoid any shoes made from plastic or that contain antifungals. That's about the best we can do at this point in time.
Leather does have a natural odor to it that can smell a bit like cows. But if the odor is a chemical odor, return the shoes. Leather can be treated, but isn't always. Always ask and try to get information.
What do people with MCS use to fertilize flowers in pots outside and in the outside garden for acidic and non-acidic loving plants? Are the 3 month feed pellets ok to use outside in the garden? I haven't fed my plants outside for 6 years now because I don't know what is safe to feed them. We have river rock as mulch in our main flower bed so I'd need something that doesn't have to be worked into the soil. I was thinking mushroom compost for the bed that didn't have river rock in it but that has cocoa in it and I don't want to use that because it could poison our dogs. Thank you for your help.
I use organic potting soil in my pots along with these products from Organic Living For All
These made a huge difference in my Florida garden. I suggest you find a local organic nursery or Permaculture group and find out what is right for the place where you live.
Hi Debra, I have two questions that go hand in hand.
I've been reading a lot lately about lead dust on PVC products, but I'm confused. Does the item (like a toy or window blind) need to be deteriorating to produce lead dust, or can household dust settling on an item (that's intact) get lead in it?
Also, our house is six years old, and the builder used faux wood doors throughout. They're made of some kind of plastic, and now I'm worried that they're PVC but have no way of knowing for sure. They're hard plastic with a fake wood grain. Are you familiar with these doors? If they are PVC, would you suggest replacing them? We have 24 of these doors!
Again, thank you for all you do!
I think things get confusing when people with no background understanding try to write about toxics.
Lead dust gets created when an item that is painted with lead paint--such as doors or windows--breaks down the paint into dust through the friction of opening and closing it. PVC products contain lead, but there would be no dust unless the PVC item were cut, such as sawing a PVC pipe or window. Lead CAN be released by touching PVC, but it's not dust.
The only way to know what type of plastic was used to make your faux wood doors is to contact the manufacturer and ask them. If you can't find out who the manufacturer is, look for a similar door in a store and ask that manufacturer what their doors are made from. It may or may not be the same. I don't think it's PVC.
I can do this kind of research for you as a paid personal consultation. If you have 24 of these doors, you might want to know what they are made from. But if your house is six years old, you probably have other materials that are of greater concern. We can go over all of this in a personal consultation. It's beyond the scope of a blog answer.
Hello Debra, I was wondering if you could suggest a natural or one of the 'safer' non-natural twines or yarns that someone could use for an outdoor doormat. I would like to have something that didn't mildew or mold, since I am sensitive to mold and I have heard that sisal can be bad when it gets wet. Any ideas?
Thank you so much!
I've never made an outdoor doormat. If you could send me some possibilities you are considering, I could review the materials, but I don't even know where to begin with this.
I purchase my doormats, which are usually recycled rubber. I've given up on natural fibers because it rains so much here in Florida that they just fall apart.
Readers, any experience with this?
This morning there was a spider on my balcony, in a corner, about two feet off the ground. It was about three inches from the sliding glass/screen door to the living room. It looked like a baby black widow spider, so I didn't want to take the chance that it would come inside. Fortunately it was within arms' reach, so I finally put on a very long plastic glove, smooshed it with a damp piece of toilet paper after it fell to the ground, and threw it in the trash. But I got to thinking, when it appears that the spider is not harmless, and we don't want to spray it with Raid, I am wondering what the options are, especially if it doesn't look like it will be an easy job to kill it, and I most definitely didn't want to try to catch it and take it somewhere else. The wall texture is stucco, so I couldn't surround it with Chinese Chalk, which isn't nontoxic anyway.
Sounds like you came up with a good solution.
Readers, any thoughts on this?
Hi Debra! Thanks so much for your site and all the great info you provide. I have a question about vinyl shelving. We currently have shelving in our rental home that is vinyl. Unfortunately removing it is not an option as we are renting. The shelving is in our pantry, every closet, and our laundry room so going without using it would drastically cut down on our storage space. Is there anyway to protect ourselves from the shelves out-gassing? This is our second year living here, and I don't think the shelves were put in right before we came so I am guessing they have been here at least two to three years. Is it safe to store things in the closets but not actually on the shelves? Thank you so much---this site is such a valuable source of information!
Very simple. Cover them with heavy duty aluminum foil. The foil will block any fumes. Tape around the edges. Best would be to use foil tape, but you want to have something removable, so you may need to use blue painter's tape that can be removed without leaving a mark.
Not the most attractive, but will block the fumes.
If you think heavy duty aluminum foil is not heavy duty enough for the wear-and-tear, go to a building supply store and get foil-backed building paper and lay it on the shelf with the foil side up. It's a lot more durable and gives the same foil protection. Nothing I know of gets through a layer of metal, even a thin layer like foil.
I was wondering if you could share any thoughts on how to travel/vacation with the least amount of toxins. I struggle every time we go on vacation with things like water. At home we have a whole house water filter but what do you do when on vacation? Is it better to buy bottled water rather than drink the local water (in the U.S.) from the tap? How about using the water pitcher filters even though they don't filter out a whole lot of contaminants? Is it worth it to take a shower filter? I try to keep thing in perspective that this is only a week away from our normal toxic free living but always worry since my 6 y/o son had leukemia.
I think the answer to this question really depends on how much exposure the body in question can tolerate.
For myself personally, my body is healthy enough that I can travel without taking precautions for several weeks and still be fine. It takes a lot of exposure now for me to have symptoms, since I have reduced my body burden so much, so for a short trip, I just eat and drink and sleep and shower with whatever.
That said, I DO do things like choose less toxic lodging when it's available, seek out organic food, often drink bottled water, and bring my own soap and shampoo. Once we went on a 3-day trip and packed many glass bottles of home-filtered water. We we VERY happy to have it, along with our homemade organic food we also packed, but what we missed was the enjoyment of being in a new place, eating local foods and having a different experience. Bodies are resilient. I've found I can take a few days or a week away from my toxic-free life and my body is fine as long as I go back to toxic-free basics when I come home. But you need to determine for yourself if you body is able to do that.
When I was really sick with MCS however, I took a lot more precautions while traveling, as you might want to with your son.
And I also take PureBody Liquid Zeolite and all my Touchstone Essentials supplements. The PureBody zeolite removes up to 99% of all of the various types of toxic chemicals for 4-6 hours, as soon as they enter your body, so it's a great thing to take on a trip. Just keep taking it every 4-6 hours and it will remove chemicals almost as fast as they come in.
what is the least toxic way to pack a drink for a kid's school lunch? I was using Honest kids juice pouches but they get so expensive and so does organic milk in the mini containers. I am curious to know what the inner lining of those types of containers is made out of? It seems my only options would be a reusable plastic water bottle (ugh!) or a stainless steel water bottle. Both have leaching issues. Kids can't take glass to school so the glass water bottles are out. thanks for your help.
Moms, I'm going to let you answer this one. I don't have children to pack lunchs for, so no experience for this one. What do you use to pack drinks for lunch when not allowed to use glass?
Debra, Any suggestions for a non-toxic water nozzle? Every one I've seen has brass or plastic and is not good. How about aluminum? What's the lesser of all these evils? And what do you use in your garden? Thanks.
Well, I will tell you that this is of so little concern to me, I can't even tell you what I use in my garden. I have in the past used both metal nozzles and plastic nozzles.
The thing about nozzles is that there needs to be contact time for anything toxic to leach into the water. Since water is flowing through these nozzles at practically the speed of light (no, not really, just exaggerating!) I don't see that there is enough contact time to be concerned.
Dr Oz amazingly enough is finally debunking the myth of sunscreens and their cancer-causing, endocrine-disrupting dangers. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/oz-investigates-your-sunscreen-poisonous-pt-1
Sorry, this isn't a question but of interest to all here; after years of hearing Dr Oz recommend sunscreen & wanting to yell at my TV about the danger of toxic chemicals being worse than any sun-promoted cancers, this is long overdue! (We can only hope the air "fresheners" dangers show will follow soon).
Warning: on part 2 there's this nightmare of a woman from the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) with her horrible (to be polite) denial & useless, ignorant rebuttals about "lack of scientific proof" that will make everyone here cringe. (Why people fall for that line will forevermore be beyond me!)
Now if only he could stop promoting the toxic chemical face & eye cream lines! Not to be mean but he says he uses them and obviously they're not working for him! Well one step at a time, I guess!
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