Super Search

Submitted questions will be posted with my response by the following Tuesday or before.
Submitted comments will be moderated and approved within 24 hours.

Looking for a Table for Kids

Question from Miriam

Looking for a table for our locked-down kiddos to learn!  Does this look ok?  not sure what the finish is:

One reviewer commented: “Super sturdy, heavy, solidly built table, with extra smooth silky table top (without a trace of any finish odor, which gives us peace-of-mind). ”

wanted to add to the question I just submitted and ask if either of these would be a better choice:
The 2nd has clear acrylic lacquer.  Do you know if AFM SafeSeal can be used on something like that?



Lisa’s Answer


I reached out to ECR4Kids to try to find out what finish they use and if they use adhesive but have not heard back.  You could absolutely use AFM SafeSeal on this!  That would be a very good option.  I would do this over either of the IKEA options.

The IKEA Mammut is made of polypropylene, which is typically a safer plastic.  However, as I discuss in this post, it is very difficult to know what additives are used in the plastic.  These additives are often more hazardous than the plastic.

The IKEA Ypperlig has even more materials of concern.  The top is made of particleboard, ash veneer, fiberboard, solid birch with a clear lacquer.  IKEA strives to use lower levels of chemicals in their products but they do use chemicals.  Particleboard and fiberboard often contain formaldehyde.  Veneers use adhesive which off-gas.  The lacquer could also off-gas.  It has many more potential sources of chemicals than the solid wood table.

Prop 65 Warning on Appliances

Question from Tammy

I have done extensive research on the Proposition 65 Warning on the Kitchen Aid Range, Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator and Maytag Washer and Dryer we recently purchased for our new home. I see that you’ve looked into this extensively. I have received mostly cut and paste responses. A customer service representative with Whirlpool indicated that “there may be exposure to freon if you mess with the sealed system in the fridge” and “there is also oil in the washing machines”. She also indicated that “as long as you don’t self repair you will have no issues”. She said that there is”no exposure in the plastics or water”. They indicate that the warning refers to the inner components of the appliances. Is this your understanding with home appliances? This Prop 65 Warning appears to be on most if not all home appliances (Range, Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator, Washer and Dryer). I would greatly appreciate your insight/knowledge.



Lisa’s Answer


You have done a good job researching!  It has been my finding as well that many of the warnings for appliances pertain to components or materials that the consumer does not come in contact with during normal usage.  This is a problem with Proposition 65.  In many instances, It does not disclose enough information to be useful.  I do recommending calling the manufacturer for any item that carries the label before you purchase the it.  Try to ascertain, as you did, what the material is that necessitates the warning, where is it used in the product, and how is the consumer exposed to it.  Unfortunately, manufactures are not required to disclose this and many times customer service representatives do not know the answer.

Lodge Cast Iron

Question from Emma

i am trying to click on the entry regarding Lodge cast iron skillets, but it doesnt redirect me to more info. what do i need to do.? i saw another entry about cast iron being: PTFE/PFOA/PFOS
free….and i am guessing that s what i need to ascertain about the Lodge cast iron skillet?



Lisa’s Answer

Lodge cast iron is generally safe to use.  They are free of PTFE/PFOA/PFOS and do not have a coating. They do releasing iron which has many important functions in the human body.  You can, however, get too much iron.  If you use cast iron, you may want to rotate it with other types of cookware to avoid getting too much iron.

Lodge also sells ceramic-enameled cast iron.  I don’t recommend this type of cookware.  There is emerging data that shows that quasi ceramic coating releases nanoparticles into food.  You can read more about it here.


Hair Testing for Heavy Metals

Photo by Liubov Ilchuk on Unsplash

There is always a high level of interest among my readers in the health effects of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, so I I thought I’d share my experience with Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). HTMA is a laboratory hair test that measures the mineral content in your hair and assesses both your mineral deficiencies and potential heavy metal toxicities. Unlike blood testing which only gives you information about recent exposure, hair testing can give you an indication of long-term toxic metal accumulation. 

I worked with Karen Stein, of Go Healthy with Karen®, a certified health coach who is also trained in Hair Mineral Analysis. Full disclosure, Karen is my sister. 


My Results 


Honestly, I was not expecting to see any dramatic results given my healthy lifestyle and avoidance of toxins. Needless to say, I was startled to find that I have high levels of mercury as well as some mineral imbalances that signify stress, environmental toxins, or heavy metals. According to WebMD (link), if your hair has toxins like mercury and arsenic, you could be more likely to get certain health problems. 

Karen warned me that results from your first hair test often show no or low levels of heavy metals because they can hide in our tissues, organs, brain and even bones. Once you begin to detox, the metals can show up in future tests, before diminishing as you complete your detoxification program. 

My Detox Program 


Karen developed a personalized supplement protocol based on my testing results. I have taken many supplements over the years and am impressed with the clean ingredients and affordable price. After 4- 6 months I will do another hair test to see if my mercury levels have gone down and my minerals are in balance. There is a chance that as my body is detoxing, I will see the presence of other heavy metals. If that is the case, we will adjust the supplements until my test is clean. I will continue to post updates on my progress. 

Things to Consider When Testing for Heavy Metals


I believe that it is important to test before taking any products that claims to remove heavy metals. Different binders (products that bind to and help remove heavy metals from the body) can have a greater affinity for different types of metals. It is important to know what accumulations you have in your body to know what type of binder is appropriate for each individual person. If someone has significant mineral deficiencies showing on their HTMA analysis, they should undergo a slower pre-detox phase while they build up their mineral levels. Blindly taking detox supplements can cause serious symptoms, once these metals are freed and circulating in the body without properly binding and removing them.

It’s also important to consider the laboratory that will run your test. There are only 2 laboratories in the country that do not wash the hair sample before analyzing it. This will distort the results. Make sure the laboratory that is being used for your hair test does not wash the samples.

Finally, look for a practitioner that has delivered results for their clients and who is specially trained in analyzing the HTMA data. The typical HTMA comes from the lab with a report that many practitioners will just pass along to their clients. It offers some basic supplement and/or nutritional recommendations. Karen is among a small group of practitioners who have been extensively and specially trained to further analyze the data contained in the HTMA far beyond what the report shows. This analysis can uncover trends in mineral ratios and patterns that can point to possible underlying issues with metabolism, thyroid function, brain fog, immune function as well as heavy metal toxicities.

If would like to learn more about HTMA read more here. If you would like to work with Karen you can contact her at Go Healthy with Karen ®- or call her at 770-508-8980.  Mention code Lisa10, or write it in the contact form, for 10% off any package on Karen’s website.  Expires 5/31/20.



Immune-Boosting Ginger Turmeric Latte

Photo by Freshh Connection on Unsplash


If you are looking to boost your immune system try this delicious, warming latte.  It packs a punch with immune-boosting ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.


2 cup almond milk (homemade preferred)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger (or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)

Pinch black pepper

Optional:  Sweeten with honey

Serves 2



  1. In a small saucepan, add all of the ingredients, except for the honey.
  2. Whisk over medium heat until heated but before boiling.
  3. Remove from heat, pour into 2 cups and let steep for 5 minutes.
  4. If sweetener is desired, add honey.
  5. If using fresh ginger, strain before drinking.

Regarding People Towels

Question from Danielle

Sad to hear that you didn’t have any information regarding people towels. Can you research an alternative organic towel and could you please provide alternative information in the form of organic cotton towels for cleaning the kitchen



Lisa’s Answer


I use Coyuchi Organic Waffle Towels as a dishtowel and to clean the kitchen.  They are durable and absorbent.  I also found several option on Etsy by searching for organic kitchen towels.  There are options that are more similar to People Towels (which appears to no longer be in business).

To ensure that the dyes and processing of the organic cotton is also non-toxic, I prefer using GOTS certified cotton, when possible, and found a few options on Etsy.



Question from Shelly

I just did a search on the site for information on humidifiers and most of it is quite old.

Might you be able to suggest a brand name/model of a good non-toxic humidifier?



Lisa’s Answer

It’s not something I have recently researched.

Readers, suggestions?



Question from Terry

I’ve recently sourced a flooring called
Marmoleum. They are click together tiles and planks. No glue needed.  Even mentions MCS friendly.




Lisa’s Answer

This is a good non-toxic option.  It contains linseed oil which is non-toxic but does have a smell.  I recommend getting a sample first and see if it works for you.


Leather Couch

Question from Donna

Where to buy chemcially free real leather couch that is affordable. ??



Lisa’s Answer


I wish it were as simple as directing you to a store to buy a well-priced model.  You can look at Debra’s List for sources for non-toxic couches but they are mostly made-to-order and are expensive.

As for leather, there is no chemical-free leather.  You can read more here about the chemicals used to process leather.  There are safer leather products that use less toxic chemicals.  There is a company called Pine Street Natural Interiors which can make a non-toxic couch using a safer leather.  Read more here.


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