Know the Toxins

When I was growing up we trusted doctors, furniture stores, grocery stores and yes…even restaurants. These days we’re realizing that  our doctors have been taught to be reactive … not proactive. Which means it’s our job to be proactive. We’ve been influenced to think that the pharmaceuticals we’re taking is okay, and it’s not. Furniture stores have been selling us fabrics that are causing cancer, damage to the heartlivercentral nervous system and kidneys.  Our grocery store and local restaurants have been selling us food that is addictive and causes all kinds of physical problems. To say it’s confusing would be a gross understatement.

What does all this tell us?  We have to be responsible for our own health.

I’m going to take one room and tell you about some potentially dangerous materials you may have in your home and what you can do about it.


Did you know that some mattresses have more chemicals in it than a barrel of crude oil? Most mattresses are made of petrochemical derivatives (glue). They may also have added fire retardant chemicals, toxic dyes and sometimes even pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Hard to believe, I know. All you want is a good night’s sleep, but are you really getting one?


So, what can you do?


  1. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, it should be made of natural materials like cotton, wool or organic materials. If you choose wool, you’ll need to be sure that the wool was sheared from sheep who were untreated.
  2. Make sure the mattress (and pad) have no synthetic material (foams, glues, chemicals), no mothproofing or fire retardants.
  3. The frame should be built without toxic glues, particle board, chemical stains or paint.
  4. It is important that your mattress does not support mold and mildew and can absorb and release moisture.
  5. Use a tightly woven organic cotton barrier cloth that does not allow dust mites.
  6. Launder bedding with unscented, non-chlorinated soap.

When replacing carpeting be sure to look for natural fibers. If you already have carpeting that is a few years old, the chemicals have probably already off-gassed. Carpet is associated with more and more health problems. Toxic chemicals are in the fiber bonding material (glue), dyes, backing glues, fire retardants latex binders, fungicides, antimicrobial, antistatic and stain resistant treatments. These are all the so called great advances we’ve been exposed to over the years. Any way you look at it, it’s all toxic.

But there is good news. There are wallpapers (yes, wallpaper is back in vogue) now that are being manufactured responsibly. Mainstream wallpapers like York Wallcoverings have collections that are beautiful and safe. Vinyl wallpaper out-gasses toxic fumes so you’ll want to stay clear of that. The glues used to adhere wallpaper can be a problem and water can get trapped behind the wallpaper and cause mold. There are many wall treatments available today that are safe and green. One particular wall covering takes a mixture of natural fibers and minerals in a high- density composition that is troweled on the wall and provides acoustical benefits as well as safe ambiance.

Paint is available in low VOC and no VOC alternatives. That strong and annoying odor of new paint is dangerous. You should stay out of the room until the smell is gone.

There are a million choices for window coverings today. The fabrics for your window treatments should be natural (non-synthetic) and be free of formaldehyde and flame retardant. Manufacturers have become more responsible in the materials used to make shades and blinds. The products that are safe will usually be certified.  

Here is a link that has lots of great information, check it for answers to any questions you may have. 

It can expensive to create a home that’s free of toxic elements, so do what fits your budget. As items need to be replaced, research natural alternatives to get the best options and price.

We’re in the home stretch of our Clutter Cleanse. The bedroom is one of the most rewarding spaces to have clutter cleared. It creates a restful environment that in turn reduces the stress in your life. Keep up the good work!

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