I am looking for hair care products for me and my daughters and came across shampoo and conditioner from the Honest company. Looks like it is ok, but I remember reading somewhere about orange oil that can act as formaldehyde. Would you recommend this brand?
Some good things...it's made in the USA, it's free from SLS, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, dyes, sodium chloride, formaldehyde, MEA, DEA, TEA, petrochemicals & most common allergens
So it's better than some that contain those ingredients.
Here are the listed ingredients. I've rearranged them in groups.
Industrial natural (natural raw material, but industrially processed)
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract
Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil
Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil
Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*
Basically it's you're average industrial natural shampoo, with some additional natural ingredients, extracts and oils.
Not the most natural on the market, but not toxic.
Orange oil that can act as formaldehyde? Hmmm. I found an article that says "The vast majority of synthetic air fresheners emit significant amounts of terpene, a volatile organic compound that can react with naturally occurring ozone to create formaldehyde. Ozone, a form of oxygen, exists at some level both indoors and outdoors, so formaldehyde formation is practically inevitable wherever synthetic air fresheners are used."
I don't think that shampoos contain "vast amounts of terpenes" and there would have to be ozone in your home for this effect to occur.
There is probably no more orange oil in this shampoo than would occur in an orange. I'm not concerned about it.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a set of regulations that, if implemented as written, will negatively affect many small farmers and could put some of them out of business.
These proposed regulations fall under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first overhaul to food safety rules in 75 years.
Read what Local Harvest has to say about how it could impact small local farmers, and what you can do.
Some cabinet Manufacturers (over 100) are ESP certified, which means they adhere to the California standards for plywood emissions of formaldehyde. Does anyone know how good these standards are? We are finding that solid wood cabinets are super expensive and out of our price range. There are many good companies that are certified, but I was uncertain how good this standard is.
The simple way to answer this question is to say that all of the certified cabinets must meet the requirements of the California law for formaldehyde emissions from cabinets.
The standard is 0.05 - 0.13 ppm formaldehyde emissions. This is consistent with OSHA standards.
So many cabinet brands are listed because they can't be sold in California unless they meet this standard. By law.
The question then becomes, is this a safe level? It depends on your body condition and how much time you are exposed, how much ventilation in your houe (will levels build up in the air or ventilate out?).
My personal rule of thumb is always get as close to zero as possible when it comes to toxic chemicals.
That said, we can't get to zero in today's world and we don't have to in order to be healthy. You can eliminate some other chemical somewhere else, increase ventilation, and improve your body condition.
Hi Debra, I am interested in learning more about disinfecting with sunshine. I have a few questions: Does sunshine just disinfect clothing/fabrics or is it useful on other objects as well (i.e. plastic, books, etc). How long does something need to be in the sun? Does it need to be outside or is through a window also effective? Does sun disinfect against cold/flu/stomach viruses? Thanks for everything. Your website provides very useful info.
Well, here is a reference I found on the subject.
Perhaps the most surprising natural disinfectant is sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation of the sun kills pathogens that cause diarrhea. In fact, scientists have found that exposing a bottle of water to sunlight for 6 hours is an economical way to provide developing countries with safe drinking water (see References 2). The disinfecting properties of sunlight can also be useful around the house. If you have an object that you can move outside, the sun's rays can help disinfect it. A stained piece of white laundry can be effectively brightened and disinfected by spraying the stain with lemon juice or vinegar and then hanging it in the sun (see References 1).
1. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare: Safe Alternatives to Hazardous Household Chemicals
2. "Environmental Science and Technology"; Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water in the Prevention of Dysentery in South African Children Aged Under 5 Years: The Role of Participant Motivation; Martella du Preez, et al.; October 2010
I think that answered all your questions.
Nine months ago, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families asked the top ten retailers to remove one hundred hazardous chemicals from their store shelves. After months of communications from this organization as well as consumer pressure, last week Target announced their first step in the Mind the Store challenge.
Target now has a new "Sustainable Products Standard."
I think it's great that Target is starting to look at toxic chemicals in the products they sell. They have identified authoritative lists of chemicals of concern and will give a product ZERO points in their rating system "if they have one or more ingredients on one of the designated hazard lists...A product can receive a maximum of 50 points if they have no ingredients on the hazard lists."
So can you now assume that all products sold by Target are or will be safe?
First, their rating system only covers a limited list of toxic chemicals. The worst ones, to be sure, but there are still others not addressed.
And I agree with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families that Target should make their ratings for each product known to consumers, so we can tell which products on their shelves are the safest.
Meanwhile, you can shop at Debra's List, knowing I've listed only the safest products I can find.
My parents' house is very old and has a lot of beautiful stained glass windows and doors. I understand that these items contain lead cames that can expose children to lead dust. Is there anything you can think of that we could do to these items protect my children from the lead exposure from these beautiful windows and doors that are attractive to them to touch? Thanks
My understanding is that lead does not become dust unless it is disturbed, but lead can be absorbed through the skin by touching an item that contains lead.
I have some great homeade recipes for face paint http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-homemade-face-paint-thats-safe-enough-to-ea/ but it would be nice not having to make something from scratch! I have come across this company a few times & wonder if their face paint is safe? http://www.naturalearthpaint.com/2013/07/07/introducing-our-natural-face-body-paint-kit/
Yes, this face paint from Earth Paints is safe. It's completely natural and organic, and tested by toxicologists to be free of heavy metals, parabens, animal products and formaldehyde.
Several years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had face paints tested, and found that 10 out of 10 children's face paints tested contained low levels of lead. Lead can be absorbed through the skin, and there is NO safe level. Lead is a neurotoxin that affects the nervous system.
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
Experts say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that parents avoid using cosmetics on their children that could be contaminated with lead. Lead exposures early in life can lead to hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, IQ deficits, reduced school performance, aggression and delinquent behavior. It can also impact fertility, including increasing risk for miscarriage and reducing sperm quality. Early-life lead exposure can even increase risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Other heavy metals found were nickel, chromium, and cobalt.
I have a pine armoire I have had for 13 years. When I lived in Ca I never noticed the smell but I was forced to close up the room it is in here in MI for a week. When I went into the room the pine smell was very potent. I know it is damper here than in Ca. Could that be bringing out the smell. Is there any thing I can treat this piece with to make the smell go away?
Are you sure what you are smelling is pine? I have a lot of unfinished pine furniture in my house and my experience has been that the pine smell is strong at the beginning, but as time goes by, it volatilizes and smells less and less. I would say that after 13 years, there wouldn't be anything left to volatilize.
I've noticed that as my pine furniture dries out over time and that may be contributing to it smelling less. Perhaps the dampness did contribute to releasing more odor.
If that is the case, the solution would be to remove the dampness from the wood, which is a good idea anyway. If it were me, I would probably close up the room with a space heater inside. The heat will pull the moisture out of the wood.
Is the armoire unfinished? If so, you could apply several coats of a water-based wood finish, but I would remove the dampness first.
I am interested in finding a dual-flush toilet that doesn't contain any toxic antimicrobial substances.
The manufacturers are apparently coating them with antimicrobial substances to make them easier to keep clean, etc.
I see that American Standard makes toilets with an EverClean Surface, which they say is "a silver based, double coat surface which inhibits the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew." http://www.americanstandard-us.com/learn/planning-center/faq/answer/?questionID=243&categoryID=29&categoryName=Toilets
Do you think this is a safe option? I don't know if it is ONLY silver, or if they might be including other things also.
Is there anything else you would suggest we consider when purchasing a new toilet?
I assume the dual-flush is a good idea, and I had no idea they were using antimicrobials. Is there anything else I should be aware of?
From browsing the American Standard site, it seems that EverClean is a "permanent glaze additive," which would mean that the silver is embedded into the standard glaze. The silver wouldn't outgas since it is an embedded particle, yet it would inhibit the growth of bacteria on the porcelain surface.
I don't see a health problem with this.
Hi Debra, I am looking for an organic comforter for my granddaughters and have found a lot of wool versions from your website. Thank You for that!
I was wondering if you know anything about something called Kapok seeds? Gaiam has a comforter with Kapok seeds which is covered with organic cotton. Do you have any info on this?
Thanks So Much! Dianne
Yes, I know about kapok. It is a silky fiber taken from the seed pod of the tropical kapok tree, which is also called the "silk-cotton tree." It is used as an alternative to down for stuffing in comforters and pillows.
It is totally fine to use this natural material.
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