Submitted questions will be posted with my response by the following Tuesday or before.
Submitted comments will be moderated and approved within 24 hours.
Question from Nikki
If an item that uses organic cotton is blended with 5% spandex is it considered fairly safe? I am trying to get natural products for my baby but some things are very hard for me to find without a small percent blend. I’m very limited it seems.
Also I am finding many organic cotton baby play Matt’s but all of them are filled with polyester filling!!!! Is this ok or do I need to continue the search?
I’m finding strict toxic free is overwhelming me as a mom preparing for a baby!
Between gots certified materials that still include spandex and Oeko-Tex certs that don’t use organic cotton ….
I am confused and just want to know what a realistic acceptable balance is!
Worried and overwhelmed mom 🙁
I understand how confusing it is! Your baby is already benefiting from the steps you have taken. Stress isn’t good for you or the baby. There is not a right or wrong answer about what is an acceptable balance. Focusing on the big things is important; like a nontoxic mattress and crib. 5% spandex in clothing is not something to worry about, particularly if it is certified.
An organic cotton mat with polyester filling that is Oeko-Tex certified is a good choice. I would choose this over the EVA mats that are popular. Have you checked Etsy? They do have some all organic cotton options. If you find one with polyester fill contact the vendor and see if they can make it with a cotton or wool fill.
I plan to do a deeper dive into playmats because I have gotten a lot of questions about it but I’m not sure I will have it before you need to buy one. Good luck!
Question from Mary
I have seen several discussions on this site about the lead in cords. Would covering them in washi tape be a good idea to reduce lead exposure? Are there any concerns with washi tape?
Or what about painter’s tape?
I’d recommend a fabric cover. You can find hemp or other natural material covers on Etsy. I honestly had to look up washi tape because I had never heard of it. Any tape is going to introduce an adhesive. Washi is typically made from a natural fiber paper but the adhesive can vary by manufacturer. Overall, I don’t think this is a big exposure but if you are going to the trouble of covering your cords why cover them with something that could offgas?
Question from Miriam
My daughter wears cochlear implants, which have cables that connect the magnet to the processor. Her audiologist kindly gave us some covers to strengthen then and keep them from kinking up but when I asked the Etsy vendor about them, she informed me they are made from PVC. Could you PLEASE help me think of an alternative? These are something she wears every day, and on her head :-/.
Here is a picture of a cochlear implant:
and here is the link to the covers we were given:
You can see a picture in the listing of what it is covering, as well.
Have you searched for silicone covers? I googled hearing aid covers and came up with several options. I’m not sure if they would fit your device but perhaps they could be cut. I don’t recommend silicone for baking but it is inert at room temperature.
Question from Greg
Any recommendations on no-Voc home exercise equipment? Looking for options from stationary bicycle to resistance bands.
-Here is an example of resistance bands :https://smarterlifeproducts.com/products/smartsport-resistance-tube-bands
-Home gyms are heavy on plastics.
-There may be some good examples of stationary bikes.
I think it would be a great business idea for someone to make truly safer gym equipment. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any that are truly No-VOC. I’m not sure that’s possible. The way I look at it is that the benefit of exercise outweighs the risks and you should minimize exposure where you can. Also, home gyms are a very good place to have a good air purifier that captures VOCs.
The resistance bands shown seem better. It’s good that they are not made with PVC but it doesn’t tell you what it is made of.
I haven’t looked into stationary bikes. Readers, any suggestions?
Question from Stefany
At the moment I can not afford real wood drawers or cabinets. Would metal drawer organizers be non toxic? I want to buy some down below for clothes and kitchen/pantry as well.
Unless you are sensitive to EMFs I think metal dressers are a good choice. Just make sure the metal is not coated with an epoxy or even vinyl coating. One of the items listed is powder coated which is a good choice. There were a couple that listed epoxy coating. I’d avoid those.
Question from Stacey
I’m wondering if cowhide rugs are toxic, or if the end product is toxic to touch. I am aware that the tannins used in the process of leather-making are toxic, so I avoid leather furniture.
Would a cowhide rug be safe for my home?
Most cowhide rugs are made with a chrome tanning process, similar to leather. It is toxic. Some of the more toxic chemicals are Chrome VI, AZO-dyes, and formaldehyde. Like leather, cowhide can be made with a vegetable tanning process which doesn’t use chrome VI or some of the other harsher chemicals, but it does use chemicals. If you are interested in a vegetable tanned product, you would need to understand the chemicals used for the particular item.
Question from Mir
Could you help me find a good jewelry glue?
This is not something I intend to use often; just to repair a few pieces of jewelry, so perhaps it’s less of a concern and the exposure is only while it’s drying?
I googled non-toxic jewelry glue but not sure what to look for. Ideally one I can get on Amazon or a low-shipping free :-/
These are the 2 I found recommended:
(1) Crafter’s Pick–The Ultimate
I’m inclined to go with (2) b/c their website seems more transparent and they said they can provide an MSDS (they volunteered this in their FAQ). I emailed them, I’ll let you know what they say.
I looked for a MSDS online for Weldbond and didn’t see one. I’ve never used a jewelry glue before so I’m not familiar with a safer one. If you expect to use this only on occasion, I am not too concerned about it being a significant exposure. Make sure you use it in a well ventilated area, ideally outside, and allow it fully cure.
Question from John
Readers, any suggestions?
Question from Duane
I haven’t done a full investigation on ovens in general. If you have read my guide on Toasters and Toaster Ovens you’ll understand how challenging it is to get information about appliances. It is something that I plan to dive into at some point but it will be a very big project so I can’t give you specific timing.
It’s hard to find safe, non-toxic kitchen appliances because manufacturers don’t always list the materials they use. Here’s a guide to help you find a toaster or toaster oven that uses safer materials.