Eco Friendly Home Maintenance art-supplies

Published on April 13th, 2012 | by Sonya Kanelstrand

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5 Cancer-Causers Lurking in Your Home

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Much information is shared about carcinogens in everyday items such as formaldehyde, nitrobenzene and methylene chloride. Instead of feeling shocked and perplexed by the toxicity you are involuntary living in, you can take a few simple actions to rid your home of many cancer-causers and ensure a healthy environment for you and your family.

Shampoos

A large percent of ingredients in regular shampoos are toxic. Although their effects are still being researched, there is no scientific consensus  whether they cause cancer. Erring on the safe side,  use any of the myriad of handmade shampoo bars, offered on etsy, or you can start washing your hair with baking soda.

Antiperspirants

Most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contain several ingredients linked to virulent cancers. Since deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to stay on our bodies for hours, this allows the potential absorption of harmful chemicals through the skin. To learn more on how to smell good and stay healthy read Natural Deodorants and Antiperspirants.

Air fresheners

Many air fresheners employ carcinogens, volatile organic compounds and toxins such as phthalate esters in their formulas. A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study of 13 common household air fresheners found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development.

According to a 2008 study by Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington, all air-fresheners tested gave off chemicals regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, including carcinogens with no safe exposure level. None of these chemicals, however, were listed on  the product labels or Material Safety Data Sheets. As a replacement, try natural fragrances from essential oils.

Art supplies 

Certain art supplies like Epoxy and rubber cement glues, acrylic paints and solvents, and permanent markers contain chemicals linked to allergies, organ damage, and cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable to toxins because of their small size, higher metabolisms, and immature immune systems, so it pays to exercise extra care with the products they use. To find nontoxic and green alternatives to common art supplies, or recipes for making your own, read Are Art Supplies Toxic?

Candles

According to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 40 percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks. Scented candles most commonly contain lead wicks. Fragrance oils soften the wax, so the manufacturers use lead to make the wicks firmer.

A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC. Exposure to high amounts of lead may contribute to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and many other health problems.

If you want to keep your home softly lit and cozy without risking your health go for beeswax candles with cotton wicks. For more information on how to make your own beeswax candles read How to Make Beeswax Candles.

Staying away from these products, in addition to cleaners, will surely make your home your castle.


Did I miss some cancer-causing product? Tell us in the comments!

[Photo via Shutterstock]



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About the Author

Sonya is a photographer and a creative artist sharing her Scandinavian experiences. Her blog Kanelstrand Organic Living has become the meeting point of a vibrant green community of eco-conscious artists and crafters from around the world. Sonya believes that people and nature can co-exist together in a healthy and inspiring union without harming each other. She implements the knowledge gained from studying Philology and Pedagogy in her approach to sustainable and eco-friendly living.



  • Evelyn

    Don’t forget about shower curtains. Plastic shower curtains leached toxic chemicals not only into your shower or bath, but also into the environment, emitting harmful chemicals called volatile organic chemicals or VOCs.
    A couple of places to find eco-friendly shower curtains is
    http://www.arenaturals.com
    and
    http://www.beanproducts.com

    Thank you for your insightful article!

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