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Once Again Nut Butter

A line of nut butters from peanut to hazelnut, some organic, others not. The difficult thing about natural nut butters is they separate. This company has made the first certified organic peanut butter that doesn’t separate.” It’s stabilized, like supermarket peanut butter, but uses organic palm oil instead of unhealthy fats. Like other stabilized peanut butters it contains sugar, but if you want a peanut butter that tastes and spreads like a favorite supermarket brand, but is all organic, this is it. And if you are a fan of that chocolate-hazelnut spread, here’s an organic version (first ingredient organic sugar). These might not be the healthiest nut butters, but if you’re going to eat them, here’s an organic alternative.

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Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray (and Other Alternatives)

Question from JC

Hi Debra,

Thanks for all your efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy!

I was wondering about using the Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray (lavendar scent) on my son’s mattress where he was sick recently.

His skin would not come into contact with it directly and it dries quickly, but I wanted to double check with someone more knowledgeable regarding its safety!

Thanks again!

Debra’s Answer

Here are the ingredients for this product from the Seventh Generation website

Thymol (present as a component of Thyme Oil): 0.05%.


  • Water
  • sodium lauryl sulfate
  • copper sulfate pentahydrate (bluestone)
  • citric acid
  • sodium citrate
  • essential oils fragrance††

Compressed air (propellant).

  • Coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil
  • cymbopogon martini (palmarosa) oil
  • eucalyptus globulus leaf oil
  • lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil
  • lavandula hybrida (lavandin) oil
  • mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil
  • pelargonium graveolens (geranium) extract
  • pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil
  • vanilla planifolia flower extract
  • vanillin

†† Linalool is a component of this fragrance

OK so first, let’s note that the active ingredient is Thyme Oil. That’s what is doing the disinfecting. Just search on “thyme oil” and you’ll find many articles on it’s effectiveness as a disinfectant. So you could simply buy thyme oil and spray it on his bed and it would be like using the herb in food, but stronger. And there are other essential oils that could be used for disinfecting as well.

But back to the product you want to use.

I don’t see any ingredients that are particularly toxic here, they are just unnecessary to do the disinfecting.

I’m not sure about how they have worded the fragrance ingredients. There seems to be an “essential oil fragrance” that contain Linalool along with other essential oils. And then they list some other essential oils. So I’m not really sure about all this fragrance. And linalool might cause skin rashes but…

I don’t have a toxic reason to tell you not to use this product,

My only reasoning is simpler is always better.

Here’s another interesting post I came across while researching this:
KITCHEN STEWARDSHIP: EPA Says Natural Disinfectant as Effective ass Bleach

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Beautiful handcrafted hats for women and men, bags and accessories made from “upcycled bits of leather, silk, hemp, organic cotton, and precious findings, along with a diversity of fine fabrics, leather, and locally sourced materials from their Northern California Fibershed. This exclusive, limited edition handmade collection is a fine balance of craft and art .” These really are works of wearable art.

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Recycled Nylon Nontoxic?

Question from Jason

Hi Debra,

I was wondering is clothing with recycled nylon in it such as Tracksuits,outwear jackets &etc are they safe to wear? Reason i ask is i am intrested in buying this Rain jacket


Debra’s Answer

Here’s a page from Patagonia about their recycled nylon.

Nylon is made from petroleum but it not a major chemical of concern. So I wouldn’t call this fabric “toxic” but it may not be suitable for some people sensitive to petroleum.

My greater concern for a product such as this is waterproofing. Patagonia is a very conscious and responsible company that is working hard to eliminate toxics in an industry where waterproofing has historically been very toxic.

The description says they use ” H2No® Performance Standard ”

You can go to this page to see all their materials and this page to see H2No® Performance Standard specifically. It has a lot of data about how they test for waterproofness but doesn’t say anything about the chemicals, nor does it claim to not be toxic,

I think I’ll give Patagonia a call and see how far I can get with them about full disclosure or materials.

I’ll report back next week.

For now, recycled nylon OK, waterproofing UNKNOWN.

UPDATE 12 March 2019

As promised above, I did call Patagonia customer service at 800) 638-6464.

I have not recommended Patagonia clothing in the past because of their use of toxic waterproofing. While Patagonia has taken many steps to improve the environmental impacts of their products, human health does not seem to be as much a priority.

If you do want to purchases a Patagonia product, please call customer service and find out what type of waterproofing is used on the product, which is NOT clearly disclosed even on website descriptions.

So this particular jacket description says that it has a DWR (durable water repellant) finish. Sounds like it will keep you nice and dry, but what they don’t tell you is that DWR waterepellants are made from fluorinated chemicals (think Teflon).

I went to their Durable Water Repellant page . It says, “Patagonia has long relied on a DWR with perfluorinated compound (PFC) but we have been searching diligently for an alternative because of its harmful environmental impacts.” No mention of health effects to their customers.

Then later on the page they say “And for the Fall 2019 season, we are pleased to introduce our first products that use PFC-free chemistries.”

Customer service told me the above statement applies to only a few products, and this jacket in question is NOT one of them. So it has PFC waterproofing.


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Choosing a Toxic-Free Range


Question from Andie

Hi Debra,

So grateful for you and loving your new website! Congrats!

My question: we desperately need a new oven and don’t know what to do!

Is it safer for us to purchase a floor model, that’s been sitting in an open room for a time? Or will it still outgas when it’s home and used for the first time(s)?

Really do not know what to do about ovens and this issue. Thank you!

Debra’s Answer

I wish I could just tell you to go purchase a certain brand but haven’t found one yet that has been designed to be toxic-free. This is one of those items where I need to educate the industry. That’s part of why I’m establishing my Zero Toxics website.

The last time I purchased a stove, I purchased a floor model at Lowe’s. And it was fine.

The last time I purchased a refrigerator was at a Sears Appliance Outlet. Just type that into your favorite search engine and your local outlet will come up. Also try Sears Scratch and Dent Appliances.

These appliances have been returned or refurbished or scratched during shipping. They all work just fine but have minor imperfections. I bought my last washer/dryer at a Sear Appliance Outlet store too.

So that would be the first place I would go.

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Fruit & Vegetable Wash Safe?

Question from LM

Hi Debra,

I buy organic produce but I still feel like I have to wash it. Are the “non-toxic” fruit and vegetable washes safe? I’m reading the ingredients for a popular one by ECOS that sells at my local food co-op and the ingredients are:

  • Water
  • Alcohol Denatured. (corn-derived solvent)\
  • Decyl Glucoside (plant-powered surfactant)
  • Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative)
  • Citric Acid (plant-powered pH adjuster)

Comments? Thanks Debra!

Debra’s Answer

I can’t make a case for this product being “toxic.” It certainly doesn’t contain any of the major chemicals of concern. So in that sense I would have to call it toxic-free.

But here’s my concern. It’s basically an industrial product made from industrial ingredients. Yes the source material for these ingredients are plants, and they appear to be organic (at least there is an organic logo on the label, though nothing says “organic” in the ingredients list.

So these plants are put into a factory and broken down in some way into industrial ingredients that are then combined in a factory into a wash that you are going to push on your organic vegetables and fruits.

Just look at this for a moment. You’ve purchase organic produce. Now you are going to clean it with industrial ingredients. The first ingredient is water. Hmmmm. What kind of water. Probably tap water. If you are buying organic produce you probably are using filtered water. We don’t know what their water is. They are not telling us.

Is this really a necessary product? What is it that you want to remove from your organic produce with this product?

I just rinse my organic produce with filtered water. I’ve never used produce washes and don’t find them necessary.

UPDATE 3/17/19

I just found a very long list of certified biobasaed fruit and vegetable washes.

If this is a product you are interested in, this list would be a good place to compare what percentage of their ingredients are not petroleum.

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Aura Air


Question from Catherine

Hi Debra,

This product says “The World’s First Total Air Solution. Detect pollutants then clean them right up.

What do you think of it?

Debra’s Answer

I’ve been studying and reviewing air filters for forty years and I just want to say that this is an interesting piece of marketing but it won’t clean your air.

It’s a Kickstarter campaign, not for sale yet.

There just is not enough carbon in this filter to remove much of anything. It might work well enough for a day or a week but if you really need to remove pollutants, this is not a dedicated air filter.

Please consider the EnviroKlenz Mobile which uses more advanced technology that actually breaks apart toxic chemical molecules, and has enough filter media for enough contact time to make a difference.

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