Non Toxic Living 
This Topic Covers:  
The importance of Living Green for our household, our planet and ourselves.  How external and environmental factors, pollutants, cleaning products, pesticides, air pollution, air fresheners, mold and lead, poison our air, poison our water and poison our health. 

Find inexpensive, non-toxic,  alternatives for cleaning products; Learn what to look for when you buy groceries; Which foods have the most pesticides and chemicals;  Which  foods you should eat organic; Learn which toxins are silently poisoning your health; Consumer resources for you to voice your concerns and take action;  Resources on why, on how, and where you can make a difference, and more...




Source -

Exposure to a few toxic substances, or to a wide range of molecules from a variety of synthetics may not trigger illness or disease in you. But then again, it might. Medical science simply cannot predict who is susceptible to which chemicals, or at what dosage levels, or how synergies create toxic conditions in the human body. These risk factor uncertainties during the normal course of our lives constitute a form of biological Russian roulette that each of us play with our bodies every day based on our food, medicine and environmental choices.

We cannot expect to totally eliminate these risk factors, at least not in our lifetimes. Chemical toxins respect no boundaries and trespass against us whenever we breathe or drink or eat. Our only reasonable hope is to learn how to limit our risks and manage our exposures so that we might increase our chances of leading healthy lives.  - Quote from The Hundred Year Lie - Copyright ©  Environmental Defense Fund. Used by permission.

Most people use cosmetics and other personal care items without a second thought, believing that the government oversees their safety. Not so. No health studies or pre-market testing are required for these products.

Americans’ frequent exposures to cosmetics and personal care products raise questions about the potential health risks from the myriad of unassessed ingredients in them. These ingredients migrate into the bodies of nearly every American.

For instance, in August 2005, scientists from the University of Rochester reported that prenatal exposure to phthalates — chemicals found in personal care products and other consumer products — could cause the reproductive organs of male infants to develop abnormally (Swan 2005)…

At the Environmental Working Group we have researched and advocated personal care product safety for eight years and consider this issue an integral part of our work to strengthen the system of public health protections from industrial chemicals. Here’s why:

Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. Though some companies make products that are safe to eat, others choose to use dangerous ingredients like coal tar and formaldehyde, both human carcinogens, and lead acetate, a developmental toxin.

No premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into personal care products or the chemical industry as a whole. According to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the federal Food and Drug Administration, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.” (FDA 2012)

The FDA does no systematic reviews of safety, instead authorizing the cosmetics industry to self-police ingredient safety through its Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel. Over its 36 years, this industry panel has rejected only 11 ingredients as unsafe in cosmetics (CIR 2012). By contrast, the European Union has banned hundreds of chemicals in cosmetics (European Commission 2012).

When risky chemicals are used in cosmetics, the stakes are high. These are not trace contaminants that may be measured in parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion in food or water. They are substantial components of the product, just as flour is a primary ingredient in bread.

Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do. Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat. Do the concentrations at which they are typically found pose risks? For the most part, those studies have not been done. But a small but growing number of studies serve as scientific red flags (Swan 2005, Sathyanarayana 2008, Swan 2010).


Defining What is Natural - Copyright © Natural Products Association

The natural personal care industry is growing five times faster than regular personal care products. Roughly 63 percent of people are more conscious of the natural ingredients that go into personal care products than five years ago. But while public interest in natural personal care products is growing stronger each day, research confirms consumers are still confused about what constitutes a “natural” product.

Not everyone is going to automatically agree on what we believe is natural. Therefore, we encourage consumers to do your own research. To start with, we encourage you to keep in mind five important questions when purchasing products and compare the answers to the Natural Products Association’s standards given here:

On average, what percent natural is the product?

The Natural Products Association standard requires products to be 95 percent or more.

Does it include any of these ingredients: Parabens, Sulfates, Chemical Sunscreens, Petro Chemicals,Glycols, Pthalates, PEGs or PPGs, DEA/TEA, Synthetic Polymers, Formaldehyde Donors or 1, 4-Dioxanes?

The Natural Products Association Standard for Personal Care Products does not allow these ingredients. In addition, natural alternatives are available. Natural products should contain only ingredients that come from a renewable/plentiful source found in nature—in other words, flora, fauna or mineral sources. Any synthetic ingredient must only be used in a natural personal care product only when there is no viable natural alternative ingredient available and only when there are absolutely no suspected human health risks.

Truly natural products should not use any of these industrial processes. They have the potential to change the chemical make-up of ingredients that start out natural, so in the end, they aren’t natural ingredients at all. Instead, natural processes like distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking and hydrolysis, should be used to maximize the purity of natural ingredients.

On average, what percent PCR (post consumer recycled) is the packaging? Are they recyclable?

Our standard requires products labeled “natural” to use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.

Is the product tested on animals?

To meet our standard, an animal should never be tested on either at the ingredient-level or of the final product.

Are any of these processes used: Ethoxylation, Sulfination or Polymerization?

Truly natural products should not use any of these industrial processes.

They have the potential to change the chemical make-up of ingredients that start out natural, so in the end, they aren’t natural ingredients at all. Instead, natural processes like distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking and hydrolysis, should be used to maximize the purity of natural ingredients.


How to Know if Your Products Are Natural Copyright © Natural Products Association

NPA SealTo protect and equip consumers to maximize their well being, NPA developed the Natural Standard and Certification for Personal Care Products, a set of guidelines that dictate whether a product can be deemed truly "natural." The standard encompasses all cosmetic personal care products regulated and defined by the FDA.

The Essence of the NPA Natural Standard

The NPA Natural Standard is based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.

Natural Ingredients: A product labeled "natural" should be made up of only, or at least almost only, natural ingredients and be manufactured with appropriate processes to maintain ingredient purity.

Safety: A product labeled "natural" should avoid any ingredient with a suspected human health risk.

Responsibility: A product labeled "natural" should use no animal testing in its development.

Sustainability: A product labeled "natural" should use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.

What the NPA Natural Seal Means for You

Consumers: The standard will help you become more educated about ingredients and processes considered natural. It gives consumers the information you need to easily identify which personal care products meet the standard for natural, and make the best decisions when choosing products. Learn more.

Find nearby retailers that sell natural products with the Natural Products Store Locator


The Meaning of Green

Source - - US Environmental Protection Agency

Discovering a Sustainable Lifestyle: Green living means making sustainable choices about what we eat, how we travel, what we buy, and how we use and dispose of it. We can implement sustainability in our workplace practices, and by greening the buildings we inhabit. Our everyday choices can create a sustainable lifestyle. - ©Green America

What is Go Green? It's a powerful way that responsible shoppers can promote greater corporate responsibility and grow a just and environmentally sustainable marketplace. Consumers and investors can send a strong message to businesses by shifting their spending and investing to green and fair trade businesses committed to helping, not harming, people and the planet.

Get advice to green your home, your wardrobe, your office and more. Find out how to invest in a clean environment. Find out what others are doing to make healthy, just, and sustainable choices every day.

Green America's Responsible Shopper...Provides you with the real story about abuses by well-known companies, gives you actions to promote corporate responsibility, and helps you green your life and world.


How Do I Go Green?

Going green is often simply a matter of replacing old habits with new ones. Each time you make a conscious decision to conserve natural resources, you take another step toward green living. Many ideas for going green can be found at Here a just a few:

Turn Off Lights: Switch off lights as you leave a room, which saves energy and reduces your electricity bill

Set Your Thermostat: Set your thermostat above 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and below 60 in the winter. Wear less clothing in summer and more in winter. Open windows rather than running the air conditioner, if possible.

Conserve Water: Take shorter showers. Turn water off while brushing your teeth or shaving. Fix leaky faucets. Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.

Recycle: Recycle aluminum, cardboard, glass and plastic materials if possible. By doing so you reduce the amount of waste headed to landfills.

Reuse: Find ways to reuse things that can’t be recycled rather than throwing it away. Old clothing can be used as rags. Large containers can be turned into planters. Consider donating large items you no longer want or need.

Change Your Light Bulbs: Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs which last longer and use less energy.

Bring Your Own Grocery Bags: Reduce waste by bringing your own grocery bags to the store to use again. Purchase reusable cloth grocery bags to keep in your car for trips to the store.

Eat Greener: Support locally grown produce which reduces greenhouse emissions by reducing the demand for shipments of processed food products.

Carpool, Bike or Bus: Carpool with your co-workers or take your bike when weather permits. Familiarize yourself with your city’s public transportation and bus systems. You’ll cut your gas bill and reduce your car emissions.

Unplug: Even when appliances are turned off they continue to draw electricity. Unplug seldom-used appliances or plug related appliances into a power strip to turn off when finished using them. Unplug electronic chargers when not in use.

Go to for lifestyle guidelines and earth friendly advice about going green.

Source - - US Environmental Protection Agency

Measure Your Environmental Footprint: Every person consumes a portion of Earth's total resources. We can calculate an individual's consumption or Ecological Footprint   each year by the land required to grow our food, landfill our trash and generate natural resources. For the average American, the land required to sustain each of us is over 22 acres. If the entire population of the world consumed this many resources, the current population would require more than one Earth.

Another way to determine your impact on the environment is to estimate your household's greenhouse gas emissions. Calculate your carbon footprint with EPA's Greenhouse Gas Calculator. Learn more about things you can do, and here are some other tips:

FoodBuy local and organic food which requires less fuel for shipping or petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides that can be harmful to human health and the environment.

Goods: Assess products on the basis of their entire life-cycle, not simply the time you use it. Support companies that will take back products after their useful life and reuse the materials. Be informed about the contents of personal care products and pharmaceuticals.

Housing: Change your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights. The selection of energy efficient types is expanding and you'll save money on your electricity bill. Use strategies to green your home. If you have a yard, green landscaping can improve the sustainability of your yard.

Transportation: Use mass transit and carpool whenever possible. Explore biking and walking options and alternative fuels. If you drive, take the Drive Smarter Challenge.


Green Shopping Tips - Get advice to green your home, your wardrobe, your office and more. Find out how to invest in a clean environment. Find out what others are doing to make healthy, just, and sustainable choices every day. - The Green Guide is an invaluable resource for men and women, from young adults to grandparents, striving for a healthy and “greener” lifestyle. It is TGGI’s vision that one day The Green Guide will be, for millions of consumers, the go-to source of information about practical every day, environmentally responsible and health-minded product choices and actions. - Green Choices is about the choices we can make in our everyday lives to protect our environment, for the benefit of all. We aim to empower you with simple, direct information on green alternatives which make a real, lasting difference. - Consumer’s guide on green living, tips and advice, green cuisine, green news, living green and weather watch. - Led by Professor Dara O'Rourke of UC Berkeley, GoodGuide's science team – chemists, toxicologists, nutritionists, sociologists, and lifecycle analysis experts – rates products and companies on their health, environmental and social performance.  - The website was created to address the need for a single credible and comprehensive resource for everything healthy and green. It includes sections on natural health and healthy living as well as blogs and tips on going green.

GoodGuide's 0 to 10 rating system helps consumers quickly evaluate and compare products. Our mission is to help you shop your values wherever you shop.

With GoodGuide, you can:

  • Find better products that are healthy, green, and socially responsible

  • Search or browse over 145,000 food, toys, personal care and household products to easily learn about the best and worst products in a category

  • Rely on our scientific expertise and sophisticated rating system to simplify complex and confusing product information

  • Get mobile advice while shopping in a store by downloading our iPhone app

  • Create and share personalized favorites lists of products that are right for you and your family


Green Products & Services Resources is an eco-friendly home living superstore. Offering everything from personal care products and clothing to kitchen and office supplies, BuyGreen has it covered. At, we want to provide the best possible buying experience by offering a wide range of products, the tools you need to understand why a product qualifies as 'green’ and superior customer service.  

We want to make available an eco-friendly alternative to every traditional product you use today.  We have the largest selection of rated and reviewed green products.

Green Living Everyday is for people who care for themselves and the earth. Items in our store range from organic, recycled, fair-trade, and environmentally friendly. Along with our vast selection of fair trade gifts, we also over a wide selection of composters, push mowers, rain barrels, solar technology and natural remedy offerings.

The largest online LOHAS store there is, Gaiam offers an incredibly diverse selection of eco-friendly and sustainable home living products. We provide goods and services specially designed for customers who value the environment, a sustainable economy, healthy lifestyle, alternative healthcare, and personal development. 

Your go-to source to find sustainable household goods, clothing, wellness products, videos and much more…

Green Directories - The Green Spot Directory: We believe a sustainable economy is possible when consumers spend locally with businesses that tread lightly on our environment. The Green Spot is your online directory to local, green, sustainable businesses. - Find Green Products and Services in Your Area - Green Business Directory


The Purpose of Going Green -  ©  Go Green Initiative

The purpose of 'going green' is to address human illnesses that arise from exposure as well as damage to the environment (water, soil, air) from disposal of these products. The role chemical exposure has in creating allergic sensitivities, reducing immunity, and contributing to cancer and other diseases, is a long-respected field of research in medicine. {Fact date=February 2007}

For example, research on human and animal exposure to [formaldehyde] (formalin), [benzene] and other [solvents] has resulted in legislation to limit exposure but has not completely banned these products. {Fact date=February 2007} []

Chemicals Used:  Harmful chemicals are prevalent not only in cleaning products but also in foods, cosmetics, home construction, clothing and many industries. Among the more common toxic ingredients are [phosphates], [sodium hypochlorite chlorine bleach], [naptha] s and mineral spirits, [phthalates] found in furniture polish, [ether]-type solvents, [methylene chloride], [butyl] cellosolve and [petroleum] distillates found in oven cleaner, [sulfuric acid] and [sodium hydroxide] in drain cleaners, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) found in detergents and disinfectants are suspected hormone disruptors, ammonia which is poisonous when swallowed is extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled and can burn the skin on contact, indiscriminate use of antibacterial cleansers containing triclosan may be contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs, butyl cellosolve [ethylene glycol monobutyl ether] is poisonous when swallowed and a lung-tissue irritant, chlorine bleach [sodium hypochlorite] can irritate the lungs and eyes, and in waterways can become toxic organochlorines, diethanolamine [DEA] can combine with nitrosomes to produce carcinogenic nitrosamines that penetrate skin, fragrances may contain phthalates, chemicals linked to reproductive abnormalities and liver cancer in lab animals and to asthma in children, phosphates, water softeners for detergents, contribute to algae blooms which can kill off fish populations, sodium hydroxide, found in drain, metal and oven cleaners, extremely irritating to eyes, nose and throat and can burn tissues on contact, sodium lauryl sulfate, a common sudsing agent, can penetrate the skin and cause contact dermatitis.


Green Cleaning 

Content provided from the Wikipedia Encyclopedia

''Green cleaning'' is a term that has been coined to describe a trend away from chemically reactive and [toxic] cleaning products, which contain various toxic chemicals some of which emit (volatile organic compounds) (VOCs) causing respiratory and dermatological problems among other adverse effects.

Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed. If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term 'green' or eco-friendly may apply.

Standards set by the (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (EPA) limit human and environmental exposure to toxic chemicals but do not entirely eliminate them in general… Reading the small print on labels is the only way to verify the components of a product but manufacturing, packaging and distribution may all contribute to environmental degradation. - Typically, green cleaning means products and processes that are not only as effective at cleaning as traditional products, but that are also more cost effective when evaluated over the length of the maintenance cycle. Recent advancements in chemical technology have made it possible to develop cleaning products that are as effective as traditional products, but that do not contain harsh ingredients.  Green products are now available in a number of product areas.


Find Green Cleaning Products - Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

Green Seal focuses exclusively on environmentally preferable products, purchasing, and operations. Green Seal is the only U.S. organization that offers an existing body of life-cycle environmental standards and that recommends specific brands and models of environmentally responsible products from a life-cycle point of view. - Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small -- and consumers. - The products are spectacular - pure, potent and proven to work. Our Nutrition, Weight Management, Home Care and Personal Care products carry a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. - For more than 35 years, Simple Green has been producing environmentally friendly cleaning products that are non-toxic and biodegradable. Our current product line includes more than 20 different cutting-edge cleaning products for home and professional use. - Seventh Generation offers a complete line of non-toxic household products. All products are designed to work as well as their traditional counterparts, but use renewable, non-toxic, phosphate free and biodegradable ingredients as much as possible, and are never tested on animals. They are as gentle on the planet as they are on people and they don’t create harmful fumes or leave harmful residues that may affect the health of your family or your pets.


Difference between Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting - Copyright ©  Disinfected.Org

“Cleans,” “Sanitizes” and “Disinfects” are three different functions that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined.

  • Clean” is the physical removal of surface or area debris. Scrubbing with detergent or soap, washing and rinsing with water, in that order, are necessary to effect “clean.”

  • A product that “sanitizes” means it can kill 99.9% of identified germs as written on its label.

  • Disinfect” does the same thing, with a “nearly 100%” batting average.

Essentially, a sanitizer or disinfectant is used for killing bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases. Most of the time people use both of these two terms interchangeably and not many of them will realize whether there is a difference between the two of them or not. Ideally, agents that are used for sanitization are different from those for disinfection and a look at sanitize vs. disinfect will bring out these two differences clearly for an understanding.

How They Function: One thing that you need to know about in order to strike the difference between them is to know how each one of them functions. Ideally, when talking about disinfecting, you should realize that this action normally involves the use of commercial products, such as heat or bleach in order to destroy or kill bacteria found on the surfaces.

On the other hand, agents used for sanitization are usually used in destroying germs on surfaces in order to make them sufficiently safe to be used. This is one of the key aspects that you should understand when looking at sanitize vs. disinfect.

It is known that sanitizers are capable of destroying even 99.99% of germs. However, to achieve such a high level of effectiveness, it is necessary to point out that you must use them properly; otherwise the level of their effectiveness will be lowered.

According to some experts, disinfectants are known to be much more superior compared to the sanitizers. This is because there are some types of pathogenic bacteria that cannot be killed using the sanitizers. With this sanitize vs. disinfect comparison, you will understand that disinfectants are a much better alternative compared to sanitizers.

While sanitizers can work perfectly well in a span of about 30 seconds, disinfectants on the other hand work in a time frame of between 5 and 10 minutes. During this period, they are able to destroy most of the bacteria effectively. 


Which Natural Products Clean – Sanitize - Disinfect - Copyright © Disinfected.Org

Baking Soda as Cleaning: The use of baking soda for cleaning and as a disinfectant has equally been undermined and exalted. Admittedly, its versatility is to be reckoned with and its expanse of action is neither exclusive nor limited to the kitchen alone. Bakers know that baking soda is responsible for making cookies chewy and cakes soft, housewives are aware that it is indispensable as a kitchen sink cleanser, young women use it as an exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells and everybody knows how it deodorizes stinky feet and even more stinky shoes and socks.

The use of clean, sanitize and disinfect are easily interchangeable when making claims about a product’s efficacy. Arm and Hammer has the words “baking, cleaning and deodorizing” but it has never included “sanitizing” or even “disinfecting” on its boxes, although it does say that it has “over 101 cleaning uses.”

The use of baking soda to purportedly “disinfect” must have been mistakenly attributed to it, perhaps because people tend to associate, or even confuse, the term “clean” with “wipe out.” And because disinfectants “kill” germs, “kill” in this case becomes a synonym for “wipe out” when describing baking soda disinfectant usages. - Copyright ©  Disinfected.Org

Hydrogen peroxide as Disinfectant: This product has many other roles in its capacity as a decontaminant and an algaecide where it is applied in water gardens, aqua culture farms and commercial aquariums as well. For many decades, hydrogen peroxide has been the unsung hero as a key player in medical industry, disasters as well as a wide range of disinfection applications.

Hydrogen peroxide antiseptic is acquiring new roles day by day. This stems from the fact that there are various features that make it a competitive disinfectant compared to other products on the market. Actually, its newly acquire roles are all as result of the fact that it is non toxic, non polluting and environmentally friendly. It is nowadays been seen as the answer to many difficult questions that were hard to tackle in the past.

Hydrogen peroxide disinfectant is increasingly being used in many procedures involved dental sterilization. It has been widely used by many dentists when it comes to teeth bleaching. Most health care providers are adopting the use of hydrogen peroxide rather than other strong disinfectants which are hard to break both among human beings and environmentally as well.

Vinegar as Disinfectant: In fact, experts say that 5% vinegar has sufficient enough properties to destroy 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold and 80% of viruses. This should not leave you asking does vinegar disinfect but should tell you that it is indeed, quite an effective disinfectant. With that said, let’s leave it to rest that does vinegar really kill germs is effectively true, yes it does. This explains why it is one of the common household products that can clean surfaces prone to infections such as toilets, floors, sinks and kitchen store.

Alcohol as Disinfectant: Alcohols are highly effective when used to disinfect instruments and skin. They are quite fast in their action and leave no residues behind. And the best thing is that alcohols are inexpensive and still quite effective just like any other general disinfectant.

However, you should know that alcohol as a disinfectant is indeed flammable and may not be able to kill some viruses. Evaporation of alcohol is also very quick which minimizes the time span in which they are able to get into contact with viruses and bacteria. Lastly, alcohol has the ability to irritate the eyes so be careful in it’s application to surfaces and wear gloves if necessary.

Iodine as Disinfectant: Iodine - Since you cannot always carry water from your home when traveling, carrying iodine disinfectant is quite convenient and it assures you that you will be using water free from germs contamination. Iodine has the capabilities of killing those dangerous microorganisms which can make you suffer from waterborne diseases and death has even been a consequence of using contaminated water for consumption…

While iodine disinfectant can be quite effective in purification of the water, you are warned not to use water that has been purified using iodine or other chemicals for a prolonged time period. Such water is best when used on short term basis only. Try to disinfect clear water as much as possible as iodine does not work very well in very dirty and cloudy water. If possible, only water from flowing source should be used. Also, do not drink the water immediately after adding the iodine to disinfect water as you should let it to sit for some extra time for iodine to take effect.

When a person who has the flu comes into contact with doorknobs, the TV remote control, sink faucet handles and the like, the flu virus remains viable on these objects between 2 and 8 hours. Other than heat between 167° and 212°F, iodine-based antiseptics, soap detergents, hydrogen peroxide and several types of alcohol are effective against the flu virus if used in sufficient concentration within a particular length of time. Alcohol can be rubbed into the hands for 20 to 30 seconds or until it is absorbed by the skin.

Among the products recommended for home disinfection of reusable objects are bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. APIC recommends that reusable objects (e.g., tracheostomy tubes) that touch mucous membranes be disinfected by immersion in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 5 minutes or in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. Additionally, a 1:50 dilution of 5.25%–6.15% sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) for 5 minutes should be effective 327-329. 

Some environmental groups advocate "environmentally safe" products as alternatives to commercial germicides in the home-care setting. These alternatives (e.g., ammonia, baking soda, vinegar, Borax, liquid detergent) are not registered with EPA and should not be used for disinfecting because they are ineffective against S. aureus.

Borax, baking soda, and detergents also are ineffective against Salmonella Typhi and E.coli; however, undiluted vinegar and ammonia are effective against S.Typhi and E.coli 53, 332, 333. Common commercial disinfectants designed for home use also are effective against selected antibiotic-resistant bacteria 53.


Which Household Products to Use and Which to Avoid - Copyrighted ©  MCS America (MCSA)

Facts about Cleaning & Laundry Products

  • Indoor air is more seriously polluted than the outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities.1

  • Laundry and fabric softener products contain undisclosed hazardous chemicals with known health risks.2,5

  • Cleaning products, especially those with germ killing properties, are harmful to health.6

  • Air fresheners actually worsen indoor air pollution by adding toxic chemicals to the air.4

  • Analysis of fragranced products reveals undisclosed chemicals with known irritant and neurotoxic properties.3,5,7

  • Consumers need to make every effort to ensure work, school, and home environments are clean, comfortable, and safe. It is not sufficient to trust that products have been adequately tested before they go to market. They have not.

Domestic Household Products to Avoid

  • All Fragranced Products

  • Fragranced Laundry Detergents, Fabric Softeners, and Dryer Sheets

  • Air Fresheners

  • Window Cleaning Solution, All Purpose Cleaners, Sprays, and Aerosols

  • Scouring Powder

  • Fragranced and/or Anti-Bacterial Vacuum Bags and Trash Bags

  • Disinfectants, Solvents

  • Commercial or Industrial Chemicals and Concentrated Products

  • Solvents

  • Clean is the absence of dirt and grime that leads to odor. Toxic chemicals and strong fragrances merely cover up odors at the expense of health. There are many safe and effective cleaners.

Domestic Household Products to Use Instead

  • Laundry - borax, baking soda, or fragrance free laundry detergent

  • Fabric Softener - white vinegar in wash or towel wet with peroxide, tennis shoe, or tennis ball in the dryer

  • Air Fresheners - white vinegar, open windows, adequate ventilation, fresh herbs, and tea

  • Windows - white vinegar or water & squeegee

  • All Purpose Cleaning - white vinegar

  • Scouring Powder - baking soda or borax

  • Disinfectant - peroxide followed by white vinegar in separate cleanings.

  • Fragrance Free Products

Don’t Be Greenwashed! Just because a product is ‘green’ or ‘all natural’ does not mean it is nontoxic.

To download detailed brochures with inexpensive and safe household cleaning ideas, see: - Natural Products Association

Find Listings of Natural Certified Personal Care Products


Natural Household Recipes


These products have proven just as effective as common commercial products, yet are safe for you and the environment. Many household cleaners, including all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, floor cleaner, and bathroom cleaner can be made at home using ingredients such as baking soda, Borax, vinegar, and liquid soap. Not only can changing our habits improve our health and the health of our environment, it can also save money! – Household Recipes

Source -

The ever-expanding arsenal of home cleaning products now includes several dangerous weapons, loaded with strong, artificial colors and fragrances and harsh cleansing agents like bleach, ammonia and acids. These chemicals can produce indoor air pollution by off-gassing toxic fumes that can irritate eyes and lungs. (Children and pets are most at risk.) Many cleaners also contain unnecessary antibacterial agents (pesticides, technically), that can actually make bacteria stronger, and more resistant to antibacterial drugs. And commercial cleansers cost a lot. So make your own! Even the biggest messes and toughest stains can be attacked effectively with baking soda, borax, lemon juice and other simple ingredients.

Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease. 

Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. 

Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.

For additional recipes -


How to Sanitize Your Food 

Retrieved from -

Marinating meat in vinegar kills bacteria and tenderizes the meat. Use 1/4 cup vinegar for a 2-3 pound roast, marinate overnight, and then cook without draining or rinsing the meat. Add herbs to the vinegar when marinating as desired. - © The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Tenderize and purify meats and seafood - Soaking a lean or inexpensive cut of red meat in a couple of cups of vinegar breaks down tough fibers to make it more tender-and in addition, kills off any potentially harmful bacteria. You can also use vinegar to tenderize seafood steaks. Let the meat or fish soak in full — strength vinegar overnight. Experiment with different vinegar varieties for added flavor, or simply use apple cider or distilled vinegar if you intend to rinse it off before cooking

Wash store-bought produce - You can’t be too careful these days when it comes to handling the foods you eat. Before serving your fruits and vegetables, a great way to eliminate the hidden dirt, pesticides, and even insects, is to rinse them in 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar dissolved in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) cold water.


Why Recycle ©  National Geographic Society reports,

Does it make sense to recycle? The short answer is: Yes.

Consider the true cost of a product over its entire life—from harvesting the raw materials to creating, consuming, and disposing of it—and the scale tips dramatically in recycling’s favor. Every shrink-wrapped toy or tool or medical device we buy bears the stamp of its energy-intensive history: mountains of ore that have been mined (bauxite, say, for aluminum cans), coal plants and oil refineries, railcars, assembly lines. A product’s true cost includes greenhouse gases emitted in its creation as well as use, and pollutants that cause acid rain, smog, and fouled waterways.

Recycling—substituting scrap for virgin materials—not only conserves natural esources and reduces the amount of waste that must be burned or buried, it also reduces pollution and the demand for energy. “You get tremendous Btu savings,” Hale says.

In an international study published last year by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, a British group, researchers compared more than 180 municipal waste management systems. Recycling proved better for the environment than burying or burning waste in 83 percent of the cases.

It makes sense to reuse products, of course, and to reduce consumption altogether, as well as to improve initial product design. But given the rising mounds of waste worldwide, it also makes sense to recycle. - © Go Green Initiative

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world population is expanding at a mind-boggling rate. The world reached 1 billion people in 1800; 2 billion by 1922; and over 6 billion by 2000. It is estimated that the population will swell to over 9 billion by 2050. That means that if the world’s natural resources were evenly distributed, people in 2050 will only have 25% of the resources per capita that people in 1950 had.

The world has a fixed amount of natural resources - some of which are already depleted. So as population growth greatly strains our finite resources, there are fewer resources available. If we intend to leave our children and grandchildren with the same standard of living we have enjoyed, we must preserve the foundation of that standard of living. We save for college educations, orthodontia, and weddings, but what about saving clean air, water, fuel sources and soil for future generations?

Some of the greatest threats to future resources come from things we throw away everyday. Household batteries and electronics often contain dangerous chemicals that may, if sent to a local landfill, leak through the bottom barrier and pollute the groundwater. This can contaminate everything from the soil in which our food grows, to the water which will eventually come out of aquifers and into our tap water. Many of these chemicals cannot be removed from the drinking water supply, nor from the crops that are harvested from contaminated fields. The risks to human health are tremendous.

Throwing away items that could be recycled diminishes energy, water and natural resources that could be saved by recycling.

Did you know...

  • For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved: 7,000 gallons of water; 380 gallons of oil; and enough electricity to power an average house for six months.
  • You can run a TV for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminum can.
  • By recycling just one glass bottle, you save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

The more we throw away, the more space we take up in landfills. When a landfill becomes a “landfull”, taxpayers have to build a new one. The less we throw away, the longer our landfills will last. The amount of taxpayer money we save by extending the longevity of our landfills is an important community benefit. - © Natural Resources Defense Council

Recycling is one of the most feel-good and useful environmental practices around. The benefits go way beyond reducing piles of garbage -- recycling protects habitat and biodiversity, and saves energy, water, and resources such as trees and metal ores. Recycling also cuts global warming pollution from manufacturing, landfilling and incinerating.

But, recycling means a lot more than bringing your newspapers and cans to the curb. Truly successful recycling involves minimizing waste along the entire life cycle of a product, from acquiring raw materials to manufacturing, using and disposing of a product. Most environmental impacts associated with the products we buy occur before we open the package, so buying products made from recycled materials is just as important as sorting waste into the right bins.

And when we reduce the amount of stuff we buy in the first place, and reuse what we can, we reduce the environmental harm associated with acquiring raw materials and manufacturing.

Here are some tips that will help you cut down on waste and boost your recycling skills:

Shop smart: Purchase paper and other products for your home and office that are made with post-consumer recycled content and packaged in recyclable materials. (See our paper guides for businesses and consumers) Buy in bulk when you can to reduce the amount of packaging that gets thrown away.

Convenience is key: Put collection bins in various places around your home and office to make recycling convenient. Use different bins that follow your city's recycling policies, (see New York City's recycling guidelines as an example) so you don't have to separate it out later. If you tend to forget what's recyclable and what's not, make a sign like this one and post it near your bins.

Don't forget to reuse: Paper, plastic, glass and cans aren't the only items that should be diverted from incinerators and landfills. Reduce the environmental impacts of organic waste by composting food scraps, and by leaving short grass clippings on lawns to decompose. Donate old clothing to homeless shelters, thrift stores, animal shelters and other community organizations. Take advantage of manufacturer take-back programs for your unwanted electronics.

Make waste an endangered species: Bring your own reusable bags to local stores. Keep a ceramic mug for water or coffee at work rather than using disposable paper or plastic foam cups. Most cities in the United States have clean, drinkable water, so use tap water (you can filter it if you'd like) and refillable water bottles instead of buying bottled water.

Talk to your local government and businesses: Encourage local officials to consider incentives and more ambitious recycling initiatives. Give positive feedback to store managers and manufacturers who are making good environmental choices.

Take your good habits on the road: Recycling policies can vary from city to city and from state to state. A plastic container you recycle at home might be garbage-bound in another community. Or something you can't recycle at home might be recyclable in your school or workplace. When traveling away from home, learn the local rules (from the city's website or by reading signs) and follow them.


Recycling Facts

Source -

  1. The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.

  2. In 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times.

  3. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.

  4. We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.

  5. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.

  6. Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy used to make alum cans from new material.

  7. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.

  8. Over 87% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs.

  9. In 2009, Americans threw away almost 9 million tons of glass. That could fill enough tractor trailers to stretch from NYC to LA (and back!).

  10. In 2010, paper recycling had increased over 89% since 1990.

  11. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.

Source - -  © Copyright Recycle Across America

Recycle Across America™ is specifically focused on introducing solutions that make recycling more simple, comprehensive, effective and prevalent in the United States. Recycle Across America™ represents what can be accomplished when an industry unites to deliver simple solutions that have a large and measurable impact on society for the greater good.


  • Five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provides enough fiber to create one square feet of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
  • Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.


  • Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum in the landfills to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet.
  • The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 25,000 cans in a lifetime.
  • Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.
  • It requires 95% less energy and water to recycle a can than it does to create a can from virgin materials.


  • Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to NY (a new wall every year).
  • Making paper from recycled paper reduces the related contribution to air pollution 95%.
  • Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree. More than 37% of the fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. comes from recycled sources.


  • Glass can be recycled and re-manufactured an infinite amount of times and never wear out.
  • Making glass from recycled material cuts related water pollution by 50%.
  • Recycling just one glass jar saves enough electricity to light an 11 watt CFL bulb for 20 hours.
  • More than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills every year -- that is the equivalent of filling up two Empire State Buildings every three weeks.


  • Recycling cardboard only takes 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard.
  • Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.
  • Over 90% of all products shipped in the US are shipped in corrugated boxes, which totals more than 400 billion square feet of cardboard.
  • Nearly 80% of all retailers and grocers recycle their cardboard

Food Waste: (without paper product)

  • Food waste can be used for composting and sold to farmers or it can be provided as a food source for local animal farms that meet federal, state and local regulations for food scrap usage.
  • Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste - approximately 3,000 pounds per second.
  • Food scraps make up almost 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.
  • Many schools and businesses are starting to compost food waste on site.

Compost: (food waste with food-soiled paper products)

  • Food and paper waste used for food can be composted into nutrient rich soil and sold to farmers.
  • Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste - approximately 3,000 pounds per second.
  • Food scraps make up almost 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.
  • Many schools and businesses are starting to compost food waste on site.

 eWaste: (electronic waste)

  • In 2007, 82% equaling 1.8 million tons of ewaste (various electronics e.g. TVs, cell phones, computers etc.) ended up in landfills.
  • In 1998, the National Safety Council study estimated about 20 million computers became obsolete within 1 year. In 2007, that number increased to 40 million.
  • Electronic waste total approximately 2% of the waste stream in the U.S.
  • Several states have now created mandatory collection and recycling programs for electronics.

Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle:  Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

Concerned about the environment? Here are ways you can get involved and make a difference. You'll find tips to reduce waste, find eco-friendly products, and support community, government and corporate efforts to help the


Find a Recycling Center  - Recycling is important, but it can be complicated. What can’t go in your curbside bin? How many times can something be recycled? What about really large or dangerous items? We’ve rounded up answers to all these questions and more.

Also, search by your zip code for recycle location centers -


Find Recycling Center for Computers, TVs - The Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. Our goal is to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements.

Guide to Recycling Your Electronics: If you want to get rid of electronic equipment that you no longer use and want to protect the environment, follow these steps -


Buy Humanely Raised Food

Humane Farm Animal Care - In “food animals, stress can affect meat quality... and general [animal] health.”- Article in Agricultural Research

Reference -

The Certified Humane Raised and Handled® - The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Label is a consumer certification and labeling program. When you see the Certified Humane Raised & Handled label it means that an egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. Food products that carry the label are certified to have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment. The Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label assures consumers:

  • That the producer meets our standards and applies them to animals from birth through slaughter.

  • Animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress.

  • Ample fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed, without added antibiotics or hormones.

  • Cages, crates and tie stalls are among the forbidden practices, and animals must be free to do what comes naturally. For example, chickens are able to flap their wings and dust bathe, and pigs have the space to move around and root.

Producers must comply with food safety and environmental regulations. Processors must comply with the American Meat Institute Standards (AMI), a higher standard for slaughtering farm animals than the federal Humane Slaughter Act.

View HFAC’s Fact Sheets for consumers. The Fact Sheets provide information about specific humane issues as they relate to farm animals covered by the Certified Humane® program.

Looking for Certified Humane® products on the go? Download our Mobile App for iPhone and Android. Our website is also mobile accessible on all devices.

Look for the Certified Humane® products listed for each store when you shop.  If the meat in the butcher case is not marked, ask the butcher if the meat is one of the brands listed for that store.  Anyone can say they are Certified Humane® but only those listed actually are.

You can order online from some of the smaller producers that don't have retail outlets.  Most of them ship nationally.

If you're a restaurant or looking for food service, check that option as well.  Many distributors for these products are listed.

Find Certified Suppliers That Meet the Following Criteria:

Five certification standards



Best & Worst Seafood Choices

Source -

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Our recommendations indicate which seafood items are "Best Choices," "Good Alternatives," and which ones you should "Avoid."

Why Do Seafood Choices Matter? Nearly 85% of the world's fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished. Our seafood choices have the power to make this situation worse, or improve it. Seafood Watch recommendations don't hinge on any single issue. Instead, they consider the fishery, habitat, species, management, and a host of other factors that affect each species. In this way, Seafood Watch offers a complete vision of sustainability...

Combining the work of conservation and public health organizations, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has identified seafood that is "Super Green," meaning that it is good for human health and does not harm the oceans. The Super Green list highlights products that are currently on the Seafood Watch "Best Choices" (green) list, are low in environmental contaminants and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The Super Green list includes seafood that meets the following three criteria:

  • Low levels of contaminants (below 216 parts per billion [ppb] mercury and 11 ppb PCBs)

  • The daily minimum of omega-3s (at least 250 milligrams per day [mg/d])*

  • Classified as a Seafood Watch "Best Choice" (green)

Contaminants in Seafood: Seafood contaminants include metals (such as mercury, which affects brain function and development), industrial chemicals (PCBs and dioxins) and pesticides (DDT). These toxins usually originate on land and make their way into the smallest plants and animals at the base of the ocean food web. As smaller species are eaten by larger ones, contaminants are concentrated and accumulated. Large predatory fish—like swordfish and shark—end up with the most toxins. You can minimize risks by choosing seafood carefully. Use our Super Green list and learn more about contaminants in seafood on the EDF website

Our website offers a complete list of Seafood Watch recommendations, with background information. We also print handy, condensed pocket guides that consumers can use when shopping or dining out. Pocket guides are available for six regions of the U.S.: West Coast, Southwest, Central U.S., Southeast, Northeast and Hawaii. Each contains a short list of recommendations for the most popular items in that region. We also have national and sushi versions of the pocket guides. All of our guides are updated every six months. We also offer applications for iPhones and other mobile devices.

Best and Worst Seafood Choices Pocket Guide - Carry the pocket guide that’s right for your region to help you choose ocean-friendly seafood wherever you live or travel. Click on your state on the map  to determine the pocket guide that’s right for you. If you live near a boundary between two regions, we suggest that you look at both pocket guides and pick the one that lists the seafood items commonly found where you live.

(Download and print here -

View Additional Resources at Which Fish I Should Avoid


Which Foods To Eat Organic 

Top 12 Foods to Eat Organic: Not all of us can afford to go 100% organic. The solution? Focus on just those foods that come with the heaviest burden of pesticides, chemicals, additives and hormones. - Of the fruits and vegetables you buy every week, which should you buy organic? The Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides identifies fruits and vegetables that have the highest and lowest pesticide residues. New to the Dirty Dozen for the past two years are two extra foods, which they added as a “Plus” category.

The EWG included the Plus category to highlight foods that fell outside the normal criteria for the Dirty Dozen, but which are often found to have traces of highly toxic organophosphate pesticides. If you're worried about pesticides in your food, consider buying these 14 fruits and vegetables organic, starting with the most contaminated food. 


Why Shop at Your Local Farmers' Market 

Source -

There are more than 7,000 farmers' markets in the United States…Buying fresh-picked produce is not only tastier, but often more nutritious, since foods shipped long distances can lose nutrients over time. And there's nothing like savoring the variety of locally made artisanal foods.

Your purchase will also help the local economy, since your food expenditure won't be going to a national corporation but a local resident and his or her workers. Because local farmers' markets cut out the middlemen, most of every dollar spent goes straight to the people who grow your food. In a conventional grocery store, growers receive less than 10 cents on the dollar.

Finally, buying locally produced foods helps preserve open space, rural landscapes and — if crops are grown using organic methods — healthy local ecosystems. Working landscapes are a bulwark against sprawl and often add significantly to a community's property values.

Local Harvest Farmers' Markets - The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Shop in our catalog for things you can't find locally. -


Locally grown meats - Find food in your neighborhood and when you travel that is healthful, humane, better for the environment, and that supports family farmers.


Where to Find Your Local Farmers' Market

Use the USDA Farmers Markets Search to find one near you. Due to their flexible locations, some community farmers markets provide fresh, healthy foods when other sources aren't as easily accessed. Learn more about how the USDA helps to expand healthy food access through the development of local food systems.

To find farmers' markets, organic farms, and grocery co-ops in your area: provides research-based information about "eating on the wild side." This means choosing present-day foods that approach the nutritional content of wild plants and game—our original diet. Evidence is growing on an almost daily basis that these wholesome foods give us more of the nutrients we need to fight disease and enjoy optimum health.

Few of us will go back to foraging in the wild for our food, but we can learn to forage in our supermarkets, farmers markets, and from local farmers to select the most nutritious and delicious foods available.

Eatwild was founded more than 10 years ago. It's mission was to promote the benefits—to consumers, farmers, animals, and the planet—of choosing meat, eggs, and dairy products from 100% grass-fed animals or other non-ruminant animals fed their natural diets. Today it is the #1 clearinghouse for information about pasture-based farming and features a state-by-state directory of local farmers who sell directly to consumers.

Eatwild's Directory of Farms  lists more than 1,300 pasture-based farms, with more farms being added each week. It is the most comprehensive source for grass-fed meat and dairy products in the United States and Canada. To find pastured products near you, click on your state in the map below or from the alphabetical state list at the bottom of this page. Or choose Canada or Outside the US & Canada.


How to 'Green' Grocery Shop - Copyright © Environmental Working Group. Reproduced with permission.

When shopping, look for:

Grass-fed or pasture-raised meat. It has fewer antibiotics and hormones and in some cases may have more nutrients and less fat; livestock live in more humane, open, sanitary conditions.

Lean cuts: less fat will likely mean fewer cancer-causing toxins in your body.

No antibiotics or hormones: reduces unnecessary exposure and helps keep human medicines effective.

Certified organic: keeps pesticides, chemical fertilizers and genetically modified foods off land, out of water and out of our bodies.

Humane Certifications: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership and Food Alliance Certified ensure that animals were raised humanely with enough space for natural behaviors and without growth hormones or antibiotics.

Unprocessed, nitrite-free and low-sodium: avoid lunchmeats, hot dogs, prepackaged smoked meats and chicken nuggets.

Seafood: avoid air freighted fish and most farmed salmon. Consult Monterey Bay Aquarium’s list of the most sustainable seafood choices.

Consult  or to find a nearby store with greener, pasture-raised meat.

What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? © NON-GMO PROJECT

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

GMO's Safety Concerns © NON-GMO PROJECT

Are GMOs safe? - Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment. - American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Despite these differences, safety assessment of GM foods has been based on the idea of "substantial equivalence" such that "if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food."However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.

There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility.The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.2,6,7,8,9,10,11 

Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. 6,11 Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). 7,8,10 Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. 6,8,10 A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn.8 This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth9 and disruption of the intestinal immune system.

Regarding biological gradient, one study, done by Kroghsbo, et al., has shown that rats fed transgenic Bt rice trended to a dose related response for Bt specific IgA. 11 

Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans

In spite of this risk, the biotechnology industry claims that GM foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. However, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reviewed 12 academic studies and indicates otherwise: "The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn."12However, it was further stated that this increase is largely due to traditional breeding improvements. 

Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements.13 The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration that states: "In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."13 

Another often used definition originated from an environmental meeting in the United States in 1998 stating: "When an activity raises threats to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context, the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof (of the safety of the activity)."13 

“Call to Action”: With the precautionary principle in mind, because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks

  • Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.
  • Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.
  • Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.
  • For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

How Can Consumers Avoid GMOs? © NON-GMO PROJECT

Are GMOs labeled? - Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.

Do Americans want non-GMO foods and supplements? - Polls consistently show that a significant majority of North Americans would like to be able to tell if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs (a 2012 Mellman Group poll found that 91% of American consumers wanted GMOs labeled). And, according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified. The Non-GMO Project’s seal for verified products will, for the first time, give the public an opportunity to make an informed choice when it comes to GMOs.

How common are GMOs? - In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Click here for a current list of GMO risk crops.

How can I avoid GMOs? - Choose food and products that are Non-GMO Project Verified! Click here to see a complete list and follow the following tips:

Buy Organic - Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients. Buy products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.” You can be doubly sure if the product also has a Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.

Avoid at-risk ingredients - If it’s not labeled organic or verified non-GMO: Avoid products made with ingredients that might be derived from GMOs (see list). The eight GM food crops are Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed, Sugar Beets, Hawaiian Papaya (most) and a small amount of Zucchini and Yellow Squash.

Sugar - If a non-organic product made in North American lists “sugar” as an ingredient (and NOT pure cane sugar), then it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets.

Dairy Products - may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. Look for labels stating No rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones.

Download Non-GMO Shopping Guides - The Non-GMO Shopping Guide has features over 150 brands currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project. This purse/pocket-sized guide will help you identify and avoid foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foods while you shop -

We devote an entire page in each guide to help you uncover hidden GM ingredients on food labels that often read more like a chemical periodic table. If you have an iPhone, download our ShopNoGMO guide for free from the iTunes store.

Look for Non-GMO Project Seals - Products that carry the Non-GMO Project Seal are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to providing consumers with clearly labeled and independently verified non-GMO choices. Look for dairy products labeled "No rBGH or rBST,” or “artificial hormone-free.”

What does “Non-GMO Project Verified seal” mean?

The verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through our verification process. Our verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance:

What about the other products that I see on the store shelf that claim they are “GMO free?” While you may see other claims regarding GMO status (e.g. “GMO free”), these are really not legally or scientifically defensible, and they are not verified by a third party. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the U.S. and Canada. Buying products that are verified by our program is the best way to support the sustained availability of non-GMO choices in North America.

Are products bearing the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal GMO free? Unfortunately, “GMO free” and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible due to limitations of testing methodology.  In addition, the risk of contamination to seeds, crops, ingredients and products is too high to reliably claim that a product is “GMO free.” The Project’s claim offers a true statement acknowledging the reality of contamination risk, but assuring the shopper that the product in question is in compliance with the Project’s rigorous standard. The website url is included as part of the Seal to ensure that there is transparency for consumers who want to learn more about our verification. While the Non-GMO Project’s verification seal is not a “GMO free” claim, it is trustworthy, defensible, transparent, and North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.


Hazards - Pesticides © Copyright  Pesticide Action Network North America

Q: How much pesticide exposure is too much?

A: Depends on the pesticide. Depends on the person.  Depends on the timing and type of exposure.

What we do know is this: Pesticide regulations in the U.S. are well behind much of the rest of the industrialized world. This is mostly because agrichemical corporations like Monsanto have too much influence in Washington, but also because pesticide regulation in the U.S. does not adequately account for things like additive and synergistic effects.

Since the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) regulates most chemicals on a chemical-by-chemical basis, the combined and cumulative effects of a mixture of pesticides are nearly impossible for them to address – and so they usually don’t.

Given the complexities of chemical causality and disease-formation, the smart solution would be to follow the European Union’s lead and adopt the "precautionary principle"2 as the basis for regulatory decision-making. Put simply, this approach prioritizes protecting human health when there is significant doubt about the safety of a product. By contrast, pesticides and industrial chemicals in the U.S. are innocent until proven guilty. It often takes decades to prove a chemical guilty.

Meanwhile, we are exposed to dozens of pesticides in the food we eat, water we drink and air we breathe. People working on farms or living in rural areas near non-organic agricultural fields face even higher exposure levels.

How Are We Exposed?

  • In Our Bodies

  • On the Farm

  • In the Environment

  • On Our Plates

In Our Bodies: Most of us are born with persistent pesticides and other chemicals already in our bodies, passed from mother to child during fetal development. The human health impacts linked to pesticide exposure range from birth defects and childhood brain cancer in the very young, to Parkinsons’ Disease in the elderly. In between are a variety of other cancers, developmental and neurological disorders, reproductive and hormonal system disruptions, and more.

On the Farm: Farmers and farm workers are some of the hardest working people on the planet. Yet they and their families bear the highest health costs and face the greatest risks of pesticide exposure. Farm workers in particular remain the least protected class of workers in the U.S. – last year another slavery case was brought in Florida on behalf of farm workers there. Poisoning incidents among farm workers are vastly underreported – yet in California alone, hundreds of cases of pesticide poisoning are documented every year.

Occupational exposure to pesticides in acute cases range from dizziness and nausea to death; chronic exposures are linked to the same array of diseases listed above plus a few more listed below.

In the Environment: Pesticides don’t stay where they’re applied. They drift from their target and are carried in our air, oceans, rivers, groundwater and soil. They contaminate ecosystems and can poison fish, birds and wildlife. Water supplies around the world contain measurable amounts of pesticides, including atrazine. Atrazine, a suspected endocrine disruptor recently banned in Europe, is the most commonly used herbicide in the U.S.

Besides heavy use in industrial farming, pesticides are used in or near playing fields, parks, schools, public gardens, golf courses, grocery stores, offices, apartment buildings, hotels and resorts, airplanes, cruise ships -- the list goes on. Rural communities are routinely contaminated by pesticide drift, while city dwellers may trace pesticide residues on their shoes to public parks and even their apartment’s common areas.

On Our Plates: Does eating organic make a difference? When researchers compared the levels of pesticide breakdown products in the bodies of children who eat organic and conventional diets, they found children who eat  mostly organic foods carry fewer pesticides in their bodies. The good news is that some of these pesticides break down fairly quickly, which means increasing your consumption of organic foods can have an immediate impact on your pesticide exposure levels.

By eating food produced organically or without pesticides, not only will you be reducing the amount of pesticide in your body, you will be helping create a better environment for other people, the planet, and future generations. By engaging in political action to change our food system, you'll be part of making sure that everyone can eat their meals without pesticides on the side.

Find out which pesticides are on your food with this valuable searchable by food, tool - Click Here - What Pesticides Are On My Food.

What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.

How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time

If you don't see a favorite food, check here

Source - 

The common diseases affecting the public’s health are all too well-known in the 21st century: asthma, autism and learning disabilities, birth defects diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s,  and reproductive dysfunction diseases, and several types of cancer. Their connection to pesticide exposure continues to strengthen despite efforts to restrict individual chemical exposure, or mitigate chemical risks, using risk assessment-based policy.

Read article reviews showing the mechanistic evidence lending support to the concept that either acute or chronic low-level inhalation or ingestion of pesticides may trigger these diseases.

The Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database, launched by Beyond Pesticides, facilitates access to epidemiologic and laboratory studies based on real world exposure scenarios that link public health effects to pesticides. The scientific literature documents elevated rates of chronic diseases among people exposed to pesticides, with increasing numbers of studies associated with both specific illnesses and a range of illnesses. With some of these diseases at very high and, perhaps, epidemic proportions, there is an urgent need for public policy at all levels –local, state, and national—to end dependency on toxic pesticides, replacing them with carefully defined green strategies.


Natural Alternatives to Pesticides 

Source -

Provides the public with useful information on pesticides and alternatives to their use. With this information, people can and do protect themselves and the environment from the potential adverse public health and environmental effects associated with the use and misuse of pesticides.The organization's primary goal is to effect change through local action, assisting individuals and community-based organizations to stimulate discussion on the hazards of toxic pesticides, while providing information of safe alternatives.

The quarterly newsletter, Pesticides and You (PAY) is one way we inform and provide a voice for pesticide safety and alternatives. Additionally, our Daily News Blog provides the most current information day-to-day updates on pesticide issues. Beyond Pesticides has available publications to assist you with pest and pesticide related issues.

Source -

Least Toxic Control of Pests in the Home and Garden: If you must use a pesticide, you should the least toxic pesticide available. Boric acid, formulated from a natural mineral, is an effective ant and cockroach stomach poison. When properly applied, it has a relatively low toxicity compared to other pesticides. Further, it does not evaporate into the indoor air of the structure, unlike many other pesticides. Look for boric acid that has less than one percent of inert ingredients, therefore you have a better idea of what you are applying and its risks than with most other pesticides. While boric acid is somewhat slower acting than other materials, it is highly effective over a long period of time. But remember, all pesticides are poisons designed to kill, and should be handled carefully and with respect. Boric acid should be applied only in areas where it will not come in contact with people - cracks and crevices, behind counters, and in baseboards. Applicators should wear protective clothing, gloves, and a filter mask.

The following Least Toxic Control of Pests factsheets can be ordered individually or as a compilation through How To Fact Sheets - Natural recipe formulas for ants, files, fleas, cockroaches, bees, wasps, and moths.

Source -

Are you looking for a pest management company that can take care of a pest problem safely without using dangerous pesticides? It is difficult in today's marketplace to sort through the safety claims and the meaning behind words such as "safe" or "harmless."

Because of this, we have put together a growing directory of companies that are interested in providing the services you want, without poisoning you, your family, or the environment.

The directory is intended to be used for pest problems in homes, commercial sites, schools, parks, golf courses, and more. 


Natural Insect Repellent Recipes 

Source -

Natural insect repellents take only a few minutes to make and they are truly effective. Repellent Soap: Add 10-15 drops of essential oils per ounce of liquid Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's soaps, $13 for a 32-ounce bottle at Try essential oils such as lemon balm (citronella), pennyroyal, lavender, and rose geranium. Wash before and after spending time outdoors.

Homemade Insect Repellent Recipe:

- 10-25 drops essential oil. Try lavender, rose geranium (for ticks), coriander seeds, peppermint, cajeput and citronella
-  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-  1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar; stir to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.

Homemade Insect Repellent Recipe 2:

- 25 drops essential oil (see above) 
- 1/4 cup water or organic apple cider vinegar

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab some on your skin or clothing.

Read more: Best Natural Insect Repellents and Homemade Herbal Bug Sprays - The Daily Green 


Hazards - Chemicals in Cleaners - Copyright ©  Health Care Without Harm

Why are Chemicals a Health Problem? The ubiquitous exposure to toxic chemicals in everyday life has increasingly become a health concern. Unfortunately, many products used in health care contribute to hazardous exposures — including cleaners and disinfectants, phthalates in medical devices, flame retardants in furniture, formaldehyde in furniture and solvents in labs. Emerging scientific research is raising the level of concern about the health impacts of chronic chemical exposures. We now know that:
  • Even small doses of chemicals can cause disease — interfering with sexual development, disrupting hormones and causing cancer at very low levels.[1]

  • Children and developing babies are most vulnerable. See Our Stolen Future.

  • Hundreds of synthetic chemicals are found in human breast milk and in the cord blood of babies in the womb. See Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns (pdf)

  • Chemicals can act like drugs in our body, disrupting systems at low levels of exposure, and potentially causing harm in combination. See Bringing Order to Chemical Chaos (doc)

...Despite their role as places of healing, health care institutions use a surprising number of highly toxic chemicals on their premises, including pesticides, cleaners and disinfectants and fragrance chemicals. As these chemicals vaporize, they contribute to poor indoor air quality, which has been identified as one of the top environmental risks to public health.

Patients are particularly vulnerable to indoor air quality threats, since many have compromised respiratory, neurological or immunological systems and/or increased chemical sensitivities. The U.S. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO) has also expressed concern over the growing number of respiratory problems among health care workers.

The good news is that health care facilities can manage pests and provide a clean and sanitary environment without the use of toxic chemicals. ©2014 Green Clean Certified

One in five people experiences health problems when exposed to fragrances, whether in perfumes, air fresheners or other household consumables such as laundry detergent and deodorant. Fragrances in these products can trigger asthma and allergy attacks or worse. Most fragrance chemicals are respiratory irritants that trigger and compound asthma, allergies, sinus problems and worse.


Hazards - Chemical Look Up - Copyright © Environmental Working Group. Reproduced with permission.

To learn about the safety of ingredients in personal care products, EWG has compiled an electronic database of ingredient labels for body care products and cross-linked these ingredients with large databases describing chemical toxicity and government determinations. The database also contains information about cosmetics ingredient restrictions in Canada, Japan and the European Union.

We consider the prevalence of possibly dangerous chemicals in personal care products cause for concern, and action!  Much study remains to be done on exposure levels and health risks. But what we do know shows that such study — and direct consumer action to avoid known toxic ingredients — is essential.

What are the limits of EWG’s Skin Deep? Skin Deep’s product ratings are based on the known hazards associated with ingredients listed on labels. These ratings represent EWG’s best effort to present solid information on cosmetic safety. But the answers are not as clear as we would like. Due to the weakness of the FDA’s cosmetics rules, many products with “green” ratings contain ingredients that have not been tested. These products appear to be free of ingredients that we know or suspect to present health hazards. But absence of evidence is not proof of safety. There may be chemical hazards that scientists have yet to identify. In cases where data are lacking, a “limited data” or “no data” rating is shown alongside the green hazard score.

EWG’s ratings are subject to revision based on new evidence in the scientific literature or new determinations by government bodies regarding the safety of chemicals used in these products.

EWG’s ratings are based on data suggesting that certain ingredients are hazardous. But we add a significant caveat:  in most cases it is impossible to predict whether a particular product poses a health hazard. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on how much exposure each person has to a toxic ingredient, as well as that person’s age, health status, genes and other factors.

For practical purposes, EWG’s ratings represent the best available information on the safety of personal care product ingredients. As science advances, Skin Deep will embrace new insights into the safety of chemicals in personal care products.

Make safer choices about personal care products for you and your family. Search over 66,000 products to know what’s in your products, are they toxic and to find better brands!

Cosmetic Database - Search makeup, hair care, nail polish, skin care, fragrance, oral products, sun products and baby products.

Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce EWG analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items. All 48 foods are listed below from worst to best (lower numbers = more pesticides). To see full list…

2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning - Search more than 2, 000 products for air fresheners, laundry, floor care, bathroom, all purpose, furniture and kitchen products.

Pollution in Your Community: Get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.

Resource for information about pollution problems and toxic chemicals by zip code...  See which geographic areas and companies have the worst pollution records. 

An online resource for identifying environmental and health polluting substances in household products and chemicals, to learn what health risks may be associated with those chemicals.

Outlines and provides detailed information on human health hazardous on more than 11,200 chemicals, including all the chemicals used in large amounts in the United States and all the chemicals regulated under major environmental laws. You can search for information by typing in the chemical's name (or any common synonym) or the chemical's standard identification number (Chemical Abstracts Service or CAS registry number).

National Institute of Health

Household Database of Cleaning Products for Known Hazards: Search Products by Brand Name, Type of Product, or Manufacturer

National Institute of Health

What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room? Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.

This database links over 12,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
  • What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?

The mention of specific products and brands at this site does not constitute or imply a recommendation or endorsement by the National Library of Medicine.


Hazards - Mold 

National Institute Of Health

Indoor molds can grow on virtually any surface, as long as moisture, oxygen, and organic material are present. When molds are disturbed, they release tiny cells called spores into the surrounding air. Exposure to these spores can produce symptoms such as nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation and blurred vision, sore throat, chronic cough, and skin rash.

After contact with certain molds, individuals with chronic respiratory disease may have difficulty breathing and people who are immunocompromised may be at increased risk for lung infection. A study conducted by NIEHS-funded scientists shows that mold exposure during the first year of life may increase the risk of childhood asthma. 

What can I do to get rid of mold in my home? According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), residents can do any of the following to prevent, and or get rid of, mold in their homes:

  • Keep your house clean and dry.

  • Fix water problems, such as roof leaks, wet basements, and leaking pipes or faucets.

  • Make sure your home is well ventilated, and always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.

  • If possible, keep humidity in your house below 50 percent, by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.

  • Avoid using carpeting in areas of the home that may become wet, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

  • Dry floor mats regularly.

Retrieved from - Mother Nature Network

Whether your home is new or old, there are specific steps you can take to make it resistant to mold. Mold affects indoor air quality and can make homes difficult to sell. Follow these mold-prevention tips, and you’ll breathe easier, in more ways than one.

Tips for existing homes: It’s important to remember that no action to make your home mold resistant will be successful if you have a perpetual moisture problem or if mold has already taken hold. Inspect your home thoroughly for problem areas, and keep in mind that mold can hide in places you can’t see, such as inside ductwork or above ceiling tiles. If you suspect you already have a problem, talk to a certified mold inspector to help resolve it before taking these steps to prevent mold growth.

  1. Be vigilant of areas of potential moisture and clean up spills and repair leaks immediately, removing water-damaged furniture and fabrics if they cannot be dried out completely.

  2. Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity to 30 to 50 percent and fans to increase air flow in your home, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate.

  3. Regularly clean and maintain roof gutters.

  4. Regularly clean and maintain AC unit drip pans and drainage lines.

  5. Vent moisture-producing appliances, like clothes dryers and stoves, to the outside.

  6. Raise the air temperature in your home so moisture doesn’t end up on surfaces as condensation.

  7. Open closet doors and doors between rooms and move furniture away from walls and corners to allow air to move freely through your home.

  8. Ventilate crawl spaces, and install heavy-duty plastic sheeting over dirt to prevent moisture from coming up from the ground.

  9. Add a mold retardant like Taheebo tea to houseplant water to stave off growth in soil and on leaves.

  10. Clean and vacuum your home regularly, removing those tasty food sources, like dust particles, that mold feeds on.

The EPA publication, "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", is also available in PDF (English (PDF, 20 pp., 257 K) and Spanish (PDF, 20 pp., 796 K)). This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.


Natural Household Remedies For Mold 

Source -

Tea Tree Spray: *Tea tree oil is one of the best ways to kill mold naturally. To make this spray, simply mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil per 1 cup of water. Load mixture into a spray bottle, shake well to combine, and spray directly on to areas of mold. Do NOT rinse. 

Vinegar: After cleaning the mold with a mixture of castile soap and hot water. Spray a generous amount of straight white vinegar on to the problem areas. In the shower, I keep a spray bottle full of vinegar to spray on the tub and tile after each use. Works like a charm in the prevention department! Read more here…

Grapefruit Seed Extract Spray: In a spray bottle combine 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 1 cup of water. Shake well to combine. Spray the problem areas. Do NOT rinse and allow to dry. Find grapefruit seed extract here…

Hydrogen Peroxide Spray: Mix 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water. Spray directly on to mold and allow it to dry. Note: Be sure only to make as large a batch as you will need for one application at a time.


Hazards - Lead

Please Link to Environmental Toxins for In-Depth Hazards of Lead & Lead in Cosmetics

Hazards - Mercury

Please Link to Environmental Toxins for In-Depth Topics


Hazards Water 

Please Link to Water  Health Risks for In-depth Information


What Are Endocrine Disruptors?

Reference - - National Institute of Health

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. 

Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides, causing developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects. The NIEHS supports studies to determine whether exposure to endocrine disruptors may result in human health effects including lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis and some cancers. Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming. To read more…

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the human endocrine system. These chemicals may occur naturally or be manufactured. The term “endocrine disruptors” describes a diverse group of chemicals that are suspected or known to affect human hormones. Effects on human hormones can range from minor to serious depending on the specific endocrine receptor and the amount of exposure. Because these chemicals are found in products you use every day and you are exposed to many endocrine receptors at the same time, it is difficult to determine the public health effects of these chemicals.

The human endocrine system is responsible for controlling and coordinating many body functions, including the production of hormones. The human endocrine system includes the pancreas, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and male and female reproductive glands.

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism, or elimination of the body’s natural hormones. They can mimic naturally occurring hormones, potentially causing overproduction or underproduction of hormones. They may also interfere or block the way natural hormones and their receptors are made or controlled.

Endocrine disruptors include dioxins, PCBs, DDT, and some other pesticides. Suspected endocrine disruptors include phytoestrogens and fungal estrogens, the herbicide atrazine, phenols such as bisphenol A (BPA), and plasticizers such as phthalates. Many products and industrial processes use and release several naturally–occurring heavy metals that affect hormone actions and reproduction, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

How might I be exposed to endocrine disruptors?

Chemicals that might be endocrine disruptors are commonplace in daily life. You can be exposed to endocrine disruptors by breathing, eating, drinking, or touching them. Exposure can occur through air, water, soil, food, and consumer products. You may be exposed through contaminated food, contaminated groundwater or drinking water, combustion sources, and contaminants in consumer products.

At home, you can be exposed to minute amounts of possible endocrine disruptors through food, beverages, and medicines. You can be exposed if you use products that contain endocrine disruptors, such as plastics, cleaning products, bottles, and cans. You can be exposed if you eat contaminated species, including contaminated fish. You can be exposed to the herbicide atrazine if you live or work on a farm.

You may be exposed if you use pesticides and other garden chemicals. You can be exposed by leakage from landfill areas. Sewage discharge and runoff may carry pollution that includes endocrine disruptors from factories, fields, and yards into waterways.

At work, you may be exposed to endocrine disruptors if you work at a facility that manufactures products or uses processes containing these chemicals, or burns medical waste. You may be exposed if you work on a farm or facility that uses pesticides and herbicides. - ©National Resources Defense Council

What are some likely routes of exposure to endocrine disruptors? Exposure to endocrine disruptors can occur through direct contact with pesticides and other chemicals or through ingestion of contaminated water, food, or air. Chemicals suspected of acting as endocrine disruptors are found in insecticides, herbicides, fumigants and fungicides that are used in agriculture as well as in the home. Industrial workers can be exposed to chemicals such as detergents, resins, and plasticizers with endocrine disrupting properties. Endocrine disruptors enter the air or water as a byproduct of many chemical and manufacturing processes and when plastics and other materials are burned. Further, studies have found that endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics, including the type of plastic used to make hospital intravenous bags. Many endocrine disruptors are persistent in the environment and accumulate in fat, so the greatest exposures come from eating fatty foods and fish from contaminated water.

How Can Endocrine Disruptors Affect My Health?

Different types of endocrine disruptors can affect your health in different ways.  It is important to remember that the amount of exposure to an endocrine disruptor may be as important as how toxic the endocrine disruptor is. According to the World Health Organization’s International Programme on Chemical Safety, there is still uncertainty about some links between human health effects and exposure to endocrine disruptors. Some endocrine disruptors are listed as human carcinogens or as "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens" in the Twelfth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program. Arsenic, cadmium, and TCDD dioxin are human carcinogens. DDT, lead, PCBs, and phthalates are anticipated to be human carcinogens.

Endocrine disruptors may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the endocrine system. They may cause reduced fertility and an increase in some diseases, including endometriosis and some cancers. Human health concerns about endocrine disruptors include reproductive effects, such as sperm levels, reproductive abnormalities, and early puberty. Exposure of infants and fetuses to endocrine disruptors can affect the developing reproductive and nervous systems and organs. Other human health concerns include nervous system and immune functions.

Retrieved from -  Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

While diet and exercise are important factors in the obesity epidemic, an emerging body of science demonstrates that exposures to chemical obesogens may be important contributors. A number of chemicals known to disrupt hormones also appear to affect the size and number of fat cells or hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. Read in entirety.. - Obesogens.pdf - ©National Resources Defense Council

How do we know that endocrine disruptors are dangerous? Many plant and animal species are showing signs of ill health due to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. For example, fish in the Great Lakes, which are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other man-made chemicals, have numerous reproductive problems as well as abnormal swelling of the thyroid glands. Fish-eating birds in the Great Lakes area, such as eagles, terns, and gulls, have shown similar dysfunctions.

Scientists have also pointed to endocrine disruptors as the cause of a declining alligator population in Lake Apopka, Florida. The alligators in this area have diminished reproductive organs that prevent successful reproduction. These problems were connected to a large pesticide spill several years earlier, and the alligators were found to have endocrine disrupting chemicals in their bodies and eggs.

Should humans be concerned for their health based on evidence that fish, birds and alligators have been affected? Yes. All vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans) are fundamentally similar during early embryonic development. Scientists can therefore use the evidence acquired on other species to make predictions about endocrine disrupting effects on humans.

Is there direct evidence that humans are susceptible to endocrine disruption? Yes. In the 1950s and 1960s pregnant women were prescribed diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen, to prevent miscarriages. Not only did DES fail to prevent miscarriages, but it also caused health problems for many of these women's children. In 1971, doctors began reporting high rates of unusual vaginal cancers in teenage girls. Investigations of the girls' environmental exposures traced the problem to their mothers' use of DES. The girls also suffered birth defects of the uterus and ovaries, and immune system suppression.

Are children at greater risk from endocrine disruptor exposure? Yes. Because endocrine disruptors affect the development of the body's vital organs and hormonal systems, infants, children and developing fetuses are more vulnerable to exposure. And as was the case with DES, parents' exposure to certain chemicals may produce unexpected -- and tragic -- effects in their children, even decades later.

These days don't chemicals have to be safe to be allowed on the market? No. The majority of the more than 2,000 chemicals that come onto the market every year do not go through even the simplest tests to determine toxicity. Even when some tests are carried out, they do not assess whether or not a chemical has endocrine interfering properties.

See Global Threat of Endocrine Disruptors


Threat of BPA Plastic Containers

Source -

Consumers who drink water (or ingest any food) contained in certain hard and soft plastic bottles can expose themselves to health risks associated with chemicals in the plastic. The culprit?  Phthalates.

The older the plastic, the higher the risks may be. Consumers may be wise to check the bottle’s expiration date before drinking the water contained within.  To read more…

Source -

You may have read or heard lately about Bisphenol-A (BPA) and its many disturbing side effects. It was developed in the 30's as a synthetic estrogen, but is used mostly today in polycarbonate plastic. It's found in sunglasses, CD's and the fillings in your teeth, and is used to coat the inside of tin cans and make plastic shatterproof.

Unfortunately, BPA can activate estrogen receptors that lead to the same effects as the body's own estrogens. Some hormone disrupting effects in studies on animals and human cancer cells have been shown to occur at levels as low as 2-5 parts per billion. These health problems include lowered sperm count and infertile sperm in men, and exposure during development has been proven to have carcinogenic effects and produce precursors of breast cancer. BPA has been shown to have developmental toxicity, carcinogenic effects, and possible neurotoxicity.

So what about all the plastic baby bottles made with BPA out there? The Environment California Research & Policy Center published a report in February that found that five of the most popular baby bottles brands (Avent, Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex) leach enough of this developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant into the liquids that come into contact with them to cause harm in lab animals. Scientists have linked very low doses of BPA exposure to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity and diabetes. In one recent study, a single, low dose of BPA administered to a newborn rat resulted in hyperactive behavior. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in the urine of over 95% of people they tested.

Since our book The Complete Organic Pregnancy was published we've seen public awareness of the dangers of BPA increase, but glass baby bottles are still not readily available. ...Evenflo's has a shatterproof glass bottles, and a company called Born Free has released a natural BPA-free alternative plastic bottle.

The study includes some other ways to limit your child's exposure to this toxic chemical:

At the store, parents should select baby bottles that are made from glass or a safer non-polycarbonate plastic. At home, parents should avoid washing plastic dishware with harsh dishwashing soap and hot water, which may allow chemicals to leach out of the plastic. For a useful tip sheet, parents should visit our toy safety page.

In June 2006 San Francisco banned the sale of baby bottles and other products for young children containing BPA, but the ban was never enforced, and in May 2007 the city repealed it.

BPA has been known to leach from the plastic lining of canned foods. There are no government safety standards limiting the amount of BPA in canned food. Manufacturers use 6 billion pounds of it a year.

The Environmental Working Group published a survey of BPA in U.S. canned foods in March and found BPA in over half of 97 cans of name-brand fruit, vegetables, soda, and other commonly eaten canned goods.

They also found:

Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.

For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government's traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals. The government typically mandates a 1,000- to 3,000-fold margin of safety between human exposures and levels found to harm lab animals, but these servings contained levels of BPA less than 5 times lower than doses that harmed lab animals.


Which Plastics to Avoid 

Reference - 

Ditching the synthetic material known as plastic is a tough endeavor for any American, even the greenest among us. In our everyday lives, it’s everywhere. It’s up to us to be vigilant about which plastic products we’re choosing to use and which ones must be avoided due to potentially toxic effects that can have serious consequences for our health. One trick you can use to figure out which plastics to avoid is to decode the recycling symbols and knowing what those numbers inside the triangular recycling code mean.

Here are three to avoid: plastics 3 6 and 7 to avoid

Plastic No. 3 - Found in condiment bottles, teething rings, toys, shower curtains, window cleaner and detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, wire jacketing, medical equipment, siding, windows and piping, No. 3 plastics are at risk of releasing toxic breakdown products like phthalates into food and drinks. Also, the manufacturing of PVC is known to release highly toxic dioxins into the environment.

Plastic No. 6 - Better known as polystyrene or Styrofoam, No. 6 plastics are found in disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles and compact disc cases. You should particularly watch out for insulated Styrofoam cups which, when heated, can release potentially toxic breakdown products like styrene into your coffee or tea. Number 6 plastics have also become notorious for being one of the most difficult plastics to recycle.

Plastic No. 7 - The so-called "miscellaneous" plastic, No. 7 is a catch-all for various types of plastics, including those found in baby bottles, three- and five-gallon water bottles, 'bullet-proof' materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod and computer cases, signs and displays, certain food containers and nylon. Number 7 plastics are made up of various resins, which fit into no other categories; while some are safe, some are suspect. Some contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen that could disrupt the human hormone system, causing various health effects.


The Smart Plastics Guide, from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, includes easy-to-read information on all seven labels for plastic products, health and environmental risks of chemicals used in plastics, the latest on green chemistry and tips for safer use of plastics in storing food.


What can I do to reduce my risk of exposure? © Natural Resources Defense Council

  • Educate yourself about endocrine disruptors, and educate your family and friends.

  • Buy organic food whenever possible.

  • Avoid using pesticides in your home or yard, or on your pet -- use baits or traps instead, keep in your home especially clean to prevent ant or roach infestations.

  • Find out if pesticides are used in your child's school or day care center and campaign for non-toxic alternatives.

  • Avoid fatty foods such as cheese and meat whenever possible.

  • If you eat fish from lakes, rivers, or bays, check with your state to see if they are contaminated.

  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap.

  • Do not give young children soft plastic teethers or toys, since these leach potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

  • Support efforts to get strong government regulation of and increased research on endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Source -

There has been put forth some recommendations for the general public to protect themselves and their families from reducing their potential exposures to endocrine disruptors. They are as follows:

  • Eliminate consumption of foods from plastic lined cans – instead buy BPA free can products
  • Avoid canned beverages including canned soda and beer
  • Avoid plastic food packaging and storage – instead buy BPA free plastic containers
  • No plastic of any kind should be placed in heat, particularly the microwave (National Toxicology Panel)
  • Avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher or using harsh detergents. Instead use warm soapy water. (National Toxicology Panel) – unless they are BPA free containers
  • Choose foods in glass bottles instead of plastic or metal containers with plastic liners
  • Soy foods, containing a natural estrogens, may offer limited protection
  • Avoid prolonged skin contact with cash register receipts and plastics containing PV
  • For a list of green chemistry bio-based certified plastic products, see

Non Toxic & Organic Product Lines

Online Organic Shopping

Take Action Links

TAKE ACTIONTell the nation's top ten retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals in consumer products! Retailers have the power to make substantial improvements in public health and safety, and with that power comes a moral obligation, a corporate social responsibility. Many of the retailers have gotten started, but they need to do more. And because they care about their customers, you can help them along.

Our coalition came together around a shared critique of our government's failure to protect the public from toxic chemicals and a shared platform for how to fix our policies. But most importantly we came together with a shared moral urgency to reduce the suffering caused by chronic diseases like cancer, disabilities and autism that are linked to chemical exposure.

Since we began in 2009 the evidence that unregulated chemicals are having profound health impacts has only grown. The Presidents Cancer Panel report and the recent United Nations report are just two examples. (Our own report summarizes the state of the science linking chemicals and various health impacts here.) And yet the government is too slow to respond in the face of chemical industry opposition.

We will continue to press for needed reforms like the Safe Chemicals Act and expose phony alternatives cooked up in backrooms by chemical companies, but in the meantime the private sector can and must act. Some of the greatest success stories in recent years have come when people with buying power have made getting rid of toxic chemicals a priority.

Educated consumers—particularly moms looking out for their families—have changed the marketplace for products like baby bottles, cosmetics and cleaners, and in the process made the world a better place. The companies that responded to that demand deserve some of the credit as well.

So as you continue to read labels, check out databases, and protect your family with your own purchasing choices, take some time to engage your favorite retailer in this great moral project of our time: reducing the suffering caused by preventable chronic diseases linked to chemicals. Take our action urging the retailers to Mind the Store. But feel free to get creative as well. Ask your store manager about the company's response to this campaign. Get a few friends together to meet with him or her. Engage with the company on their Facebook page or website.

In so doing, you won't just be looking out for yourself and your family, but for all families.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

When a comprehensive two-year study showed that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn, and even Roundup by itself, caused massive tumors, organ damage, and early death of rats, Monsanto’s minions jumped into high gear with a shoot-the-messenger, kill-the-study campaign. Now the study’s lead author, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, is fighting back. He’s filed a libel lawsuit against some of the “so-called scientist” attackers.

A global petition has been launched demanding that approvals of GM foods be frozen until studies proving long-term safety are conducted and verified. Sign the petition and visit this terrific new website: that completely shreds the biotech industry’s arguments. A bottom-line summary of the study’s findings is: Definitely Avoid Eating GMOs. - Discontinue Unwanted Catalog Choice

The mission of Catalog Choice is to reduce the number of repeat and unsolicited catalog mailings, and to promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices. They aim to accomplish this by freely providing the Catalog Choice services to both consumers and businesses. Consumers can indicate which catalogs they no longer wish to receive, and businesses can receive a list of consumers no longer wanting to receive their catalogs.

America's electric companies are taking smart steps now to plan for our electric future. You can be a part of this effort. Get involved today! Learn what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint—while using electricity wisely!



Non Toxic Consumer Guides - Consumer-Guides

[EWG] The Environmental Working Group offers you popular, easy-to-use guides to help you choose products and foods that are free of toxic ingredients, safe for your children and environmentally friendly.  – Consumer Product Guide

Kids’ and babies’ developing bodies are especially vulnerable to chemicals in the environment. Use EWG’s resources to learn how to avoid possible hazards in the products that kids encounter. Click Here – Children’s Product Guide

What you use to clean your surroundings can affect your health and the environment. EWG gives you the tools to make better choices. Clean wisely. Click Here – Cleaning Product Guide

Find safe, healthy, green, & ethical products based on scientific ratings. With over 200,000 products on our site, we can help you find what you're looking for.


Search to See If Your Cosmetics Are Toxic  

Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group. Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 37,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. - The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of women’s, public health, labor, environmental health and consumer-rights groups. Our goal is to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives.