Steam Cleaners: The Healthy Way to Clean

Steam CleanerThe only thing more disgusting than walking on a grimy floor is “cleaning” it with the same old dirty mop and filthy pail of water. Sure the bucket of water starts out smelling fresh and looking soapy, but by the time you reach the middle of the floor, what was once a bucket of fresh suds has become a cold, gray bacteria fest. And to think we actually dip a spongy mop into that “water” and smear it all over our tile or hardwood floors. Yuck!

It’s ok, we’re all guilty. But there is a better way. A chemical-free, eco-conscious, allergy- and asthma-friendly way. More hygienic than a traditional floor mop and more cost-effective and durable than disposable Swiffer sweepers, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to truly clean your floors of dirt and grime without releasing pollutants from chemical detergents into your indoor environment.

Continue reading…

Are Your Home Improvements Harming Your House?

Home ImprovementsIf you are thinking about starting some home improvement projects, a new study released by HealthyStuff.org and conducted by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Mich. reveals that you might have more to think about than comfort and décor. The study tested 3,300 home improvement products: 1,016 samples of flooring and 2,312 samples of wallpaper. The results are a bit shocking.

Heavy metals and other chemical additives, which include lead, cadmium, flame retardants, tin compounds, and phthalates, were commonly found in residential flooring and wallpaper. In fact, more than half of the flooring samples tested positive for one or more chemical additives. Vinyl flooring was indicated to be the most harmful—containing the highest percentage of detectable lead and being twice as likely to contain hazardous chemicals.
Continue reading…

Remembering the Killer Smog Disaster

Earlier this week, residents of Donora, Pennsylvania remembered the killer smog of 1948 that killed 20 residents. Nearly half of the town became ill in one of the worst air pollution disasters in history. Now the town has a Smog Museum with the slogan “Clean Air Started Here.”

“It was the first time that people really understood that a lot of air pollution in a short period of time could kill people,” said Dr. Devra Davis of the University of Pittsburgh. Continue reading…

Synthetic Chemicals and Cancer

In our country, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight. In 1975, the risk was one in eleven. Why do cancer rates keep increasing? The Boston Globe suggests that it’s because of the continuing proliferation of synthetic chemicals:

Since World War II, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals has gone hand-in-hand with the increased incidence of breast cancer. About 80,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, and their number increases by about 1,000 each year. Only about 7 percent of them have been screened for their health effects. These chemicals can persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. According to a recent review by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, 216 chemicals and radiation sources cause breast cancer in animals. Continue reading…