Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

GREEN AMERICAN

Live better.
Save more. Invest wisely.
Make a difference.

SPRING 2008

Heal Your Home Center
Three Steps to a Healthy Bathroom

 

1. Trash Conventional Body Care Products —
Healthy Kitchen

The Problem: More than one-third of all personal care products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer, and very few products are tested for safety. Some products contain phthalates, which don't appear in the list of a product's ingredients. Instead, they are covered by the general term "fragrance." Other troublesome ingredients include coal tar, which is made from petroleum waste; diethanolamine (DEA); 1,4-Dioxane; and parabens. These toxins may be linked to: endocrine disruptions, skin problems, and cancer.

The Solution: Look for body care products from one of the 600 retailers that have signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' Compact. These companies have pledged to phase out the 450 chemicals banned by the European Union in 2005 because they're strongly suspected of being mutagens, carcinogens, or endocrine disrupters. You can also search the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database to learn about the products on your shelves.

Eco-bonus: Your green body care purchases help stop environmental contamination of our waterways. Buying organic supports sustainable, pesticide-free agriculture.

Visit our National Green Pages category: body care

Check out our article: The Ugly Side of Cosmetics


2. Avoid Chemical Air Fresheners —

The problem: Air fresheners can contain dangerous ingredients like dichlorobenzene, naphthalene, and formaldehyde. Conventional scented candles aren't much better. Many are made from petroleum-based paraffin wax, which releases carcinogenic soot when burned, and some have lead-core wicks, which release toxic lead into the air when burned. Linked to: respiratory irritation, cancer.

The solution: Avoid candles and air fresheners with synthetic fragrances. Instead, leave out a bowl of baking soda to absorb odors, and switch from paraffin to 100-percent beeswax or soy candles with cotton wicks. To test a candle wick for lead, rub the tiip on a piece of paper. If it leaves a mark, there's a lead core in the wick. This method doesn't work with candles that have been lit already, so when in doubt, throw them out.

Visit our National Green Pages categories: aromatherapy and candles

Check out our article: The Ugly Side of Cosmetics


3. Purge PVC from your Shower Curtain (and elsewhere) —

The problem: Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, or the "vinyl" in your vinyl shower curtain, is a plastic that's dangerous to people and the environment at every stage of its lifecycle. DEHP, an additive used to soften many vinyl products, is a phthalate. These toxins are linked to: endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

The solution: Avoid PVC products for your bathroom or anywhere in your home. PVC is often recognizable by its distinctive odor (think that "new shower curtain" smell). When shopping for a shower curtain, look for a non-vinyl one. Ikea and Vita Futura both make polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) liners, which are PVC-free. You can also get a hemp curtain from green companies like Rawganique.com and Greenfeet.com. Hemp dries quickly and is resistant to mildew.

Visit our National Green Pages categories: hemp, housewares, and toys

Check out our article: Greener Paths for Plastics

 

 
 

Green American
Green American -  a vision of the future delivered right to your door
Your Green America membership includes:
a FREE subscription to the Green American
a FREE copy of our National Green Pages™
a FREE copy of our Guide to Socially Responsible Investing

 



Vision Capital

 



Vision Capital