Art | Resources
Question from Marilyn
Have you looked into Graphenstone paint?
Question from Stephen
I’m looking for MCS safe Windshield replacement products. What is the best adhesives/primers to use? How long does the chemical off gassing take? and any tips to speed up the off-gassing process?
Question from Pamela
Brilliant website thank you! I’m concerned about the chemicals in our standard jacuzzi tub (all that plastic! and whatever is in the actual tub–hot plastic?)! AND I’m concerned about the old school tub at my ex’ place coated with a chipping paint of sorts. Is there any bathtub on the market made in Europe perhaps–that will be a healthier choice? IT seems there is no regulation and i worry about my son with medical condition and hormone disruptors etc….I know you can lead test but really want to be able to buy or replace what we have but cannot find info on healthier tub material?
Question from Stacy
I am using Ziplock freezer bags to keeps things dry in the car for my emergency supplies. Do I have to worry about offgassing in the car and with the high temperature? It it made of PE.
Food grade polyethylene is the safest plastic there is.
Question from Miriam
My son needs two cavities filled. The MSDS of the 3M filler our dentist uses has some unpleasant ingredients. What is the least toxic resin or non resin solutions for tooth fillers for a kid with allergies (including nickel allergy)? He also needs braces and I want to know the least toxic materials we can have placed.
I can’t speak to allergies. You would need to look at the individual MSDS to identify ingredients that your son is allergic to.
Is your son unable to wear metal braces due to his allergy? If you are looking at plastic brackets, polypropylene would be a less toxic option.
Another thing to watch out for is that many bracket adhesives have slow -releasing fluoride in them. Ask your orthodontist for an adhesive without fluoride.
Question from Debbie
I have a bike trailer which I’m guessing has flame retardants on it. Do these wear off over time? It is about 5 years old and I was wondering if I can safely use it for my new baby now?
It is impossible to tell without knowing what the product is and exactly what chemicals are used. In general, flame retardants are designed to not wear off. Other concerns are the use of PVC or water- proofing chemicals.
Are you wondering if it’s safe to use your stainless steel cookware? Searching the internet for answers can be confusing because some tout it as among the safest of choices and others deem it a toxic source of heavy metals and recommend complete avoidance. A more detailed assessment reveals that the safety of stainless steel is more complicated than a “use it” or “avoid it” label. Some individuals can use it safely under certain conditions while others should avoid it completely. Let’s break it down.
What Are the Concerns About Cooking with Stainless Steel?
Studies show that stainless steel cookware can leach nickel and chromium into acidic food. Before we get into specific results of these studies, let’s look at the health effects of nickel and chromium.
Is Nickel Harmful?
Nickel is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in human metabolism (1). Too much nickel can be toxic, and therefore the National Academy of Sciences sets a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) at 1000 µg (micrograms) per day. Adults ingest an average of 69-162 µg per day. Most nickel exposure comes from food and water. Foods that are naturally high in nickel include chocolate, soybeans, nuts and oatmeal. Once nickel is ingested it is removed by the kidneys and quickly passed out of the body.
Jewelry that contains nickel can also be a significant source of exposure and is thought to be why women are more at risk of developing nickel sensitivities than men. An estimated 10-20% of the population have a sensitivity to nickel that leads to dermatitis. For those who are sensitive, a single dose of 67 µg can cause a flare up or lead to systemic dermatitis.
The most serious risk is to people who breathe dust containing nickel compounds while working in an industrial setting. The EPA has determined that, under these conditions, nickel is a carcinogen.
Is Chromium Harmful?
Chromium is not as much of a health concern as nickel. It is an essential trace mineral in the human diet but is poorly absorbed. The recommended intake for adults is 50-200 µg and the most adults get 60-80 µg from their diet. Up to 7% of the population may have a chromium sensitivity that can cause dermatitis (2).
How Much Nickel and Chromium Leach During Cooking?
One study found that nickel and chromium leached into acidic food. A number of variables were studied:
The grade and composition of the stainless steel. The most common grades of steel are 304 and 316. The grade refers to the quality, durability, and heat resistance. Higher numbers mean higher quality. Many cookware items will also have a ratio, such as 18/8 or 18/10, which tells the percentage of chromium and nickel, respectively. This study did not find a correlation between the percentage of nickel and the amount of nickel leached, so it is unclear if there is any advantage to buying 18/8 over 18/10. Similarly, the study did not show that the higher grade (316) leached less than the lower (304) in all cases.
The cooking duration. In general, the longer cook times resulted in more leaching.
The age of the cookware. New cookware leached significantly more nickel and chromium. After the 6thcooking cycle, the amount of leaching levelled off.
On average, after the 6thcooking cycle, the cookware leached 88 µg of nickel and 86 µg of chromium. This is well within the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of 1000 µg. For perspective, a ½ cup of peanuts contains 68 µg of nickel. So, cooking with stainless steel may add a significant amount of nickel to an average daily intake but still be within acceptable levels. All tests were done using a high-acidic food (tomato sauce), so presumably foods with lower acidity would result in less leaching. It is important to note, however, that sensitive individuals could react to just one meal cooked in stainless steel cookware.
Recommendations for Using Stainless Steel Cookware.
- If you have a known sensitivity to nickel or suspect you may have one, avoid all stainless steel cookware.
- If your cookware is new, wash it thoroughly. Cook a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water for a 2 hour period and discard the solution. Repeat these steps 6 times (3).
- There is a very high grade of stainless steel (430) that has only trace amounts of nickel. If you can afford it, look for cookware with this grade. Avoid any products that have an aluminum core as it could leach aluminum if deeply scratched.
- Avoid cooking highly acidic food, such as tomato sauce or chili, for long cooking durations.
- Rotate your cookware so that you do not get too much exposure to the same materials.
If you are simply more comfortable avoiding stainless steel cookware, it is a personal choice and do what it right for you. But, if you hate the idea of giving up your favorite pot or pan, follow these simple guidelines and keep cooking.
Question from Audrey
Would like to know what you and your mcs followers use for dry, chapped lips. I used to use vitamin E in a dropper from Needs – but they stopped making it. Too expensive to open up a vitamin E capsule. Coconut oil which is supposed to be great , smells and I cannot tolerate it. I have been using olive oil, but it gets rancid too fast and if I put it in the refrigerator it makes the oil get hard and cannot use.
I use Badger Unscented Lip Balm. It is non-toxic, but I can’t tell you if you will react to it or not. Everyone reacts to things differently.
Question from Page
Some years ago, thanks to Debra’s info, in order to avoid toxic metal, I purchased Xtrema ceramic cookware —& have been very pleased. But now am needing to cook faster (especially brown rice and legumes) and am wondering if you could guide me as to the possibility of a pressure cooker which would be acceptable.
Or if not, could you guide me how to cook brown rice, etc a little faster than the Xtrema can do. Please advise.
I am not aware of a pressure cooker that is not stainless steel. I use one for cooking rice and am not concerned about leaching since I only use it every now and then and for a short duration. This may not work for someone who has a nickel sensitivity. See more on stainless steel here.
Question from Tanya
During an exhaustive search for truly non toxic toilet paper I came across the following brand: Monkeylips Green Tea Toilet Paper on Amazon.
Have you heard of this toilet paper? If not could you please look into it to see if it really is non-toxic? It’s not very clear so I’m not positive about this but they claim (on Amazon) that it is made of organic green tea. 100% virgin (green tea plant?) pulp. And also unbleached but lightened with green tea as well. I am also not 100% sure about fragrances being involved.
It sounds interesting but I can’t confirm how it’s whitened, what type of pulp is used and if fragrance is added. They claim there are no synthetic chemicals or additives. The websites has no phone number but I submitted questions and will post any answers I receive. If the virgin pulp is from trees, it will have environmental impact even if it’s not toxic but that is a personal choice.