Healthy Housholds

Healthy Housholds:


Avoid Arsenic in Chicken Meat

This article explains how and why arsenic gets into chicken meat, and what you can do to minimize the danger of injecting this harmful substance.

Advice on Flourescent Light Bulbs

View instructions from the EPA on how to clean up after a broken CFL bulb.

Here is advice from the Environmental Working Group on purchasing flourescent lighting:  Government, lighting industry and environmental groups all agree that CFL bulbs can be a prudent choice: Each bulb uses about 75 percent less energy than its incandescent counterpart, lasts at least 10 times longer and prevents more than 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, CFL bulbs contain mercury, creating a quandary for disposal and potential dangers when bulbs are broken. But the Environmental Working Group said mercury pollution from broken bulbs is offset, and more, by larger gains from energy conservation.

Coal-fired power plants are a major source of mercury emissions, totaling 104 tons of mercury nationally each year. The government estimates that each CFL bulb generates 70 percent less mercury pollution than a comparable incandescent bulb.
In its review, the Environmental Working Group found that seven bulb lines made by Earthmate, Litetronics, Sylvania, Feit, MaxLite, and Philips contained a fraction of the mercury allowed by Energy Star. Some bulbs contained just 1 milligram to 2.7 milligrams of mercury, compared with the Energy Star standard of 5 milligrams.  These same low-mercury bulbs also last up to 12,000 hours – much longer than the Energy Star standard of 6,000 hours, according to the EWG report.


CFL bulb buying checklist:

  • Environmental Working Group found seven bulb lines with much lower mercury levels: Earthmate, Litetronics, Sylvania, Feit, MaxLite, and Philips.
  • Start with the fixtures you use the most – Choose CFLs for locations where breakage is rare, for instance, for ceiling fixtures rather than table lamps in high traffic areas.
  • Buy a few test bulbs of several brands and try them out in different areas. With standard use, CFLs will last a long time, and you want to be comfortable with their quality of light.
  • Buy CFL bulbs with the lowest mercury content – The Energy Star logo is not a good indicator of low-mercury bulbs.
  • Don’t use CFL bulbs where mercury exposure is unacceptable or cleanup is difficult – children’s rooms, playrooms, recreation rooms, workbenches or near irreplaceable rugs.
  • Don’t use CFLs in closets and other spots lit for short periods – CFLs take 10 to 15 minutes to reach optimum light and energy efficiency.


Organic Mattresses & Bedding

Check this link for purchase information about organic mattresses and bedding.

Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database

Skin Deep provides information on the ingredients and health impacts of most commonly known cosmetics and skin care products. They present information in a format that makes it as relavent to children’s health as it is adults.

Products Targeted to Children Contain Hazardous Chemicals and Ingredients Not Found Safe for Kids. This new children’s products safety guide helps parents navigate around bogus claims and find safer products with fewer ingredients linked to allergies, cancer, and other concerns for childrens.

Choose safer products:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash and liquid soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Wipes
  • Lotion and moisturizer
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby powder
  • Play makeup


Non-Toxic Household Paints

Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint. These new paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health. Check out this link for more information about non-toxic paints. Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air, and according to the EPA, is considered to be one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes.

Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variey of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint.

Quick Tips for Cleaning Pots and Pans

By now we all know that non-stick pans are full of toxic chemicals that we should avoid, but hate the messy clean-up that stainless steel, enamel, or glass pots and pans require.

Here is a tip that should help make clean-up a breeze:

Fill the pot or pan with water one-fourth of the way full and bring to a boil. Add 5 TBSP of baking soda, and turn off the heat. Let it sit for a few hours. The caked-on mess should slide off.


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