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Love is in the Air…But What Else Might Be?

Posted by Allison on February 10th, 2012

Whether it’s a dozen roses to show a loved one how much we care, or an all-black outfit to show our couple friends how much we couldn’t care less, we can all go a little crazy around Valentine’s Day. Before you hit the mall to hunt down that perfect gift for your special someone (or yourself!), check out a few Valentine’s Day staples you might want to avoid this year.

Teddy Bears With Lead

In 2010, Target pulled some Valentine’s Day bears from their shelves after investigations found the vinyl letters depicting cute messages like “XOXO” and “I Love U” contained well over federal limits for lead. Lead exposure can damage the nervous system and other organs, and can be especially harmful to children.

While lead is most commonly found in plastic toys and toys made outside the U.S., it is undetectable without testing for it. If your special someone enjoys hearing “I love you” from a cuddly stuffed animal – and especially if there are little ones at your home – try to avoid these types of toys, or use a Lead Testing Kit to make sure your home is safe.

Perfumes with Toxic Chemicals

According to a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, top-selling fragrance products used by both men and women contain at least a dozen secret chemicals. These chemicals are not listed on the labels, and can trigger allergic reactions and disrupt hormones. (Talk about the opposite of sexy!) Unfortunately, there is no regulation of the fragrance industry, so it’s up to the buyer to be aware of the risks. Make sure you aren’t exposing your honey to hazardous fumes, and choose a perfume made by a company that fully discloses the ingredients in their products.

Chocolates with PVC Trays

Like most women, I physically cannot celebrate Valentine’s Day without chocolate. In many cases it’s better than the presents. But I always make sure my boy knows to pick a cookie or cake over a box of chocolates on February 14. Surprisingly, this is only partially due to taste. The plastic trays used to house the treats in many chocolate boxes can contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), commonly known as vinyl. PVC is not only one of the least recyclable plastics out there, but the manufacturing process of it disperses dioxin – the most toxic synthetic chemical ever tested. As an earth-loving girl, I try to avoid PVC products as much as possible. And what girl wouldn’t prefer her man to bake her a delicious cake from scratch on V-Day?

Also make sure to consider any allergies your Valentine may have. Allergens can be lurking in flowers, candles, fragrances, and candies – so make sure you know about your sweetie’s sensitivities before you shop.

What allergen-free gifts have you given or received for Valentine’s Day? Tell us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear your suggestion.

Have a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in General Health

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