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Monday, 07 March 2016 15:59

Toxic Items You Have in Your Home

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A stain-resistant carpet seems like a great idea (hello, red wine). But several industrial chemicals used to repel stains are linked to a host of health problems. Older carpets with stain treatment probably included PFOA, the Teflon chemical linked to cancer and thyroid disease. A stain-resistant carpet from within the past decade more likely contains chemicals called PFASs, which build up in the body and are passed to babies through breast milk. Leading scientists are concerned about the health risks of PFASs.

What you can do: If you are buying a new carpet, look for untreated, natural materials like sisal or wool. Also, steer clear of wall-to-wall. Area rugs are easier to wash if you do get spills.

Until recently, almost all upholstered furniture contained industrial flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals easily migrate from the furniture into the air, dust, and nearby food. (There’s a reason we shouldn’t eat on the couch!). The history of these chemicals is like a game of chemical Whack-a-Mole: When asbestos and PCBs were phased out for health concerns, manufacturers started using PBDEs and Tris. When PBDEs were withdrawn in the mid-2000s, also due to health concerns, the industry upped its production of the suspected carcinogen Tris — even though Tris had been banned from children’s pajamas in 1977. The chemical industry also created a proprietary concoction called Firemaster 550, an endocrine disruptor and suspected obesogen.

What you can do: If you are buying a new sofa, it’s easier than ever to steer clear of these chemicals, which don’t actually improve fire safety. Within the past year, due to changes in furniture flammability standards and consumer pressure, many retailers have started making fire-safe furniture without the industrial flame retardant chemicals. Talk to your retailer, and look for a label certifying that materials “contain NO added flame retardant chemicals.”

Read 806 times Last modified on Saturday, 27 January 2018 16:03

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