TAG: Chemicals

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

A few summers back, I tried to have a completely organic garden…and failed. Miserably. My garden was free of all pesticides and chemicals, and the only protection was fencing to keep the wildlife out. Good cultivated earth, nutrient-rich topsoil, seeds, sun and water only. It’s amazing how these simple ingredients can invite a whole slew of little things, overnight even, that will take over your entire carefully tendered space. My organic experience ended up looking like, well, a science fiction experiment. Several strange creatures swarmed my garden, and at times my entire yard. The party had started, and it lasted… read more

Polluting The Seas

biofouling-on-boat-hull

If you have ever walked by a sea harbour, you may have noticed a few organisms attached to a docked large ship by the waterline. These attachments may be telling of a worse situation that lies beneath the water than the naked eye can sea. These attachments consist of micro-organism, plants, algae, molluscs and other marine organisms, and such attachment is known as biofouling. Biofouling is not a new phenomenon, it can occur on all marine vessels if appropriate anti- fouling measures are not taken. Environmental scientists have long stated that biofouling provides transportation of non-indigenous species of aquatic plant… read more

Pressure On to Remove BVO From Soft Drinks

soft-drink

After pressure from online campaigns and outraged consumers, PepsiCo finally removed the controversial BVO, or Brominated Vegetable Oil, from their Gatorade products. Now, sport drink consumers are asking Powerade to do the same. Brominated vegetable oil is a patented flame retardant and has been linked with negative health effects, including memory loss, skin lesions, and nerve disorders. All are caused by too much bromine exposure. Because of the health concerns surrounding it, brominated vegetable oil has already been banned in Japan and Europe. Yet many U.S. soft drink and sport drink companies still have products containing BVO, as up to… read more

Make Your Own Mineral Makeup

Make Your Own Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup is a popular cosmetics choice. To save money and limit exposure to unwanted chemicals like fragrances, preservatives, parabens and other synthetics which are often found in products marketed as natural mineral makeups, try making your own. Homemade mineral makeup can be personalized with ingredients to suit to any skin tone and type. Keeping It Clean has a good summary of mineral makeup fundamentals, including explanations of common compounds as well as a basic recipe. Many recipes call for cornstarch, arrowroot or rice powder as a base. Cornstarch is good for oily skin, but may not offer the best… read more

Phosphate Free Products

Phosphate Free Products

Phosphates have been a major ingredient in cleaning items for some time, and their use has been scrutinized and forbidden in some cleaners. It comes from many sources, like runoff from rain, agricultural and water system industries and from using cleansers that contain phosphates, and all of this adds to the accumulation in water supplies. Phosphates have been used in many cleaners like dishwashing and laundry detergents. They reportedly can make soaps work better by assisting in dirt and grease removal, helping to prevent spots and keeping dirt particles from attaching to surfaces. Though they are helpful for cleaning, in… read more

Making It Clean With Homemade Soaps

Making It Clean With Homemade Soaps

Sensitive skin, irritating fragrances and expensive prices are some reasons to consider making homemade soap. Store bought soaps can contain synthetic chemicals that can be aggravating. Also, antibacterial soaps containing triclosan, an antimicrobial agent that was initially listed as a pesticide, have been under scrutiny for potentially causing developmental and health problems. Making homemade soap means that any recipe can be tailored to suit personal preferences or address specific skin conditions. Soap crafting can be perfected by the skilled soap maker, but it can also be done by novices. There are countless recipes for do it yourself soaps requiring varying… read more

Air Fresheners Or Air Poisoners?

Air Freshener Or POisoner

We are fed many advertising ‘untruths’ but one stands out. Air Fresheners suggests that these spray cans can actually “clean” or “freshen” the air that we breathe. How anything can be fresher than oxygen! There are numerous ways in which fresheners work. They either contain a nerve-deadening chemical that affects your ability to smell, coats your nasal passage with an oily film, covers one smell with another or by breaking down the bad odour. What is most dangerous about these sprays is that the chemicals, when mixed with ozone, can sometimes create Formaldehyde, a known poison which is carcinogenic. Some… read more

Cleaning Made Eco-Simple

Cleaning Made Simple

Sometimes cleaning takes more than soap and water. But chemicals in common cleaning products remain a cause for concern as they may release harmful toxins. They can also be hazards to safety, especially in a house full of kids or animals. You may already have items that can clean and disinfect just as effectively as store bought cleaning agents. Here are crucial items that should be part of every cleaning kit. Baking soda, when mixed with water, makes a paste that effectively cleans sinks and other hard surfaces. Mixing it with warm water cleans silver and removes tarnish. Vinegar is… read more

Green Spring Cleaning

Cleaning with natural products

When sunny days beckon the longing to be outdoors more, the opportunity for getting things organized inside begins to present itself. If your home, like many, has forgotten about projects and covert locations where dust has stockpiled, spring cleaning is a productive housekeeping ritual to adopt. The first step to a cleaner home is to inspect the cleaners already on hand. Toxic chemicals may in fact clean, but they can also offer health hazards that aren’t wanted. It isn’t necessary to have a separate product for every household chore, and most of the time money-saving, natural cleaning solutions can be concocted… read more

Toxic Tubes

Lead in lipsticks

Are you a label reader? If you use lipstick, this might not do you any good. Animal byproducts, heavy metals and lead can be found in lipsticks. Lead, even in slight amounts accumulate in the body and is known to cause health, developmental and behavioral issues. Despite that, lead as a component is not required for lipstick labels. So, even if you avidly scour ingredient labels you will not see it, along with some other harmful contenders, listed. Extremely high levels of lead in lipstick can be found worldwide. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration… read more