Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do You Have Vinyl Floors In Your House?

I read some research lately that really got my attention, particularly this paragraph:

'Research from 2009 discovered that infants who lived in homes with vinyl floors were twice as likely to have autism five years later, compared to those with wood or linoleum flooring. Vinyl floors can emit chemicals called phthalates, which are widely used plastic softeners found in much more than just vinyl flooring. Hairsprays, perfumes, cosmetics, toys, shower curtains, wood finishers, lubricants, certain medical devices and more all contain phthalates. Researchers have suggested the chemicals may contribute to autism by disrupting hormones not only in small children but also in the womb'
Source: Mercola and seen also on 'The Doctors' tv show.

I have read this other times in many books on detoxifying your environment but this new research adds an extra sting to it.  Vinyl flooring offgasses into your home and continues to do so for most of its life, so it isn't just when it is new.  You cannot cover it or paint it to stop it offgassing (believe me I have looked into it as we have it in our apartment). The only remedy is to remove it. Get it right out of your house.

I have a friend who had vinyl floors in her house and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  On researching, she ripped up the vinyl floors and replaced them and lo and behold the sleep apnea and all the symptoms immediately left and have never reappeared.  I'm sure there are many other stories out there also.  It's scary.

I'm not going to go into great detail with this, the research is all out there and available.  For me, now, it's just a matter of knowing how to respond to this information and the seriousness of it as we are renting.  We found a place that has low VOC paints and is green friendly but they lost the plot and resorted to cheaper alternatives after the first building. So we still have the low VOC paint and recycled wood benches etc but we got the cheap carpet with toxic glues and the vinyl flooring instead of the tiles they initially were using.   And while I'm complaining about the apartment I'll add in the toxic cigarette fumes from all the neighbours around us that smoke on their balconies dropping their ash on our garden. The joys of apartment living.

For me, we need to change, but I don't know what right now.  I guess for all of us, change has to be gradual because we aren't millionaires able to create the perfectly safe home immediately.  I have made many changes this last year and it all makes a difference. The big ones left we need to deal with in our environment are:  vinyl flooring, bed and linen, carpets, couch.  I'm slowly getting organic linen and changing over.  The flooring and carpet are beyond our control as it's an apartment and our couch? well.. it's fairly new so I don't know how we'll get around that and its nasty flame retardants.

The Safe Alternatives are:

1.  Ceramic Tiles - make sure the grout and glues etc are non toxic though.  You can also get Ceramic tiles that look like wood which is really cool. I found it on pinterest here. I have no idea if that finish is safe or not though.

2.  Wool untreated carpets - again if glue is used it needs to be safe glue as glues offgas into your environment too. 

3.  Marmoleum - I haven't researched this too much yet but heard it's meant to be a safe alternative

4.  Cork - more pricey option

5.  Wood - again caution with this as you need to make sure the wood hasn't been treated with chemicals etc and if glue is used that it is non toxic

6.  Cement/Concrete - a great option as you can polish it and it comes up really nice.  

And remember it's not just vinyl floors, vinyl ANYTHING is unsafe and leaches phthalates into your environment which affect your hormonal system etc.

Hope this helps and please feel free to comment if you know more safe options or whatever!

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your day!

New Organic Product Range Discovered!

So excited I just have to post my new discovery here and share it with you.

Whilst in Target yesterday I thought I'd check out their 'naturals' section to see what's new.  I always go straight to the ingredients list, and to be honest wasn't expecting much because most of the things claiming to be natural slip something in there.

Anyway, happy to announce I found a brand that is safe and you can buy it here at Target and Walgreens...and I've heard some Walmarts are starting to stock it too!  Now here's the great bit - not only is it 100% safe, AND organic but it also comes in a range of 100% essential oil fragrance blends that are AMAZING!!! They smell great. No synthetic fragrances at all according to the ingredients list.  They do lotions, bath washes, hair products, shaving products etc.

It's called Shea Moisture.  Here is their facebook page.

At the moment Target has them on sale for $8.99 a bottle so go check them out.  I got the Shea Moisture Olive and Green Tea Lotion with avocado and it smells so delicious!  It is a thick texture but melts straight into the skin and not greasy at all.  As those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know, it was hard for me to give up Bath and Body Works and all those fantastic smells...which are toxic by the way, so this is great finding something safe that smells just as good as B&BW.

And may this continue with more safe products hitting the mainstream shelves giving more people access to it.

Go check it out and enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Still plodding on

Haven't updated for a while but still going strong.

I thought I'd share some links to recipes I found recently that look really good and I've added to my list to try sometime!,0,5431451.story

I've been getting into the spring mode and planted basil (which is proving itself to be a delicious addition in cooking - I think I'll have to plant another as it's not growing fast enough for me to use it as much as I want to!).  I've also planted a grape tomato plant and a bell pepper plant.  Looking forward to them producing as that will save us some money.  I found organic potting mix at Walmart which was great, so have planted them in that.

I continue to use soap nuts on my laundry and find they work great - been using them for probably over a year now.  I had 'Yoreganics' brand first and now am on 'Econuts'.  Very happy with both brands.  I actually have some soap nut seeds and am going to attempt to grow my own soap nut tree, as that will be great to source my own soap from my own tree! How cool is that?

Recently my husband and I had a really bad cough/cold and that really started me looking for home remedies as I don't want to have to take the sugared medicines etc that are available commercially.  It's amazing how much information is out there, so many people have different remedies for different things that they claim are tried and true.  While searching online I stumbled across a website called Vintage Remedies.  There is so much interesting information provided there as well as mini courses - there is one mini course in making herbal syrups that is only $5.99.   I'm also interested in their family herbalist course - great idea!  I would love to know about the power of plants so to avoid antibiotics and other drugs as much as possible for my family and I in the years to come.  Apparently elderberries are really good - so I need to get one of those plants at some stage too,  that will make some effective syrups I've heard.

Another link I found that I'll pass on to you is here.  It's a forum of different people posting remedies and it's really interesting.  I've been trying some on my husband like the honey mixed with turmeric (which works quite well) and the gargling of apple cider vinegar is an experience out of this world.  Never felt anything quite like it - not a nice experience. If you've experienced how horseradish or wasabi goes right up your sinuses - that is nothing compared to where apple cider vinegar goes!

I got up early and went to the farmers market - great to have fresh, organic local produce and meats etc again.   I love our farmers market!!!

I'm going to leave you with an article making me feel once again, SO GLAD, we made the decision to be chemical free in our home.  Children are too precious!

Study links Autism with environments...