Getting Toxins Out of Your Life: Fabric Softeners

So why the fuss over fabric softeners and dry sheets?  They contain chemicals that irritate the skin, trigger asthma and are toxic to our reproductive systems including:  distearyldimonium chloride, diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, variants of hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate or the vague terms “biodegradable fabric softening agents” and “cationic surfactant.”  The fragrance softeners are even worse, containing  phthalates, which disperse the scent; synthetic musks such as galaxolide, which accumulate in the body; and much more.

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Getting Toxins Out of Your Life: Bathroom Cleaners

The bathroom is the worst place to clean in the house, besides the soap scum and toilet goo, you are also dealing with little or no ventilation and traditional cleaning products, such as bleach, that are toxic.  In fact, many common household cleaning products may smell nice and quickly get the grime off of the shower but continued exposure to these products can cause health problems such as asthma, skin irritation, cancer, and hormone disruption. 

I am a big fan of using vinegar and water to clean my house, it’s a cheap and toxic-free solution.  You can find more DIY cleaners here.  However, the bathroom poses a challenge to my vinegar mixture.  Here are some easy and cheap DIY cleaning recipes to tackle the bathroom and keep you and your family healthy.

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Getting Toxins Out of Your Life: Triclosan

Triclosan is an antimicrobial, endocrine disrupting chemical that pollutes people and the environment. It is found in most Americans, where it may be interfering with the hormone and reproductive systems and increasing sensitivity to allergens.  According to a recent article from the Environmental Working Group, “Triclosan and other antimicrobials, added to many soaps and other everyday products…likely harm people's health and the environment, while providing no benefit to consumers, said more than 200 scientists and medical professionals.  Scientists are concerned that widespread use of antimicrobials in consumer products could contribute to growing antibiotic resistance and make the vital medical uses of antimicrobials ineffective.

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Talking About Lead in School Drinking Water with D.C. Councilmember Cheh’s Staff

Recently I had the good fortune to meet with knowledgeable staff from D.C. Councilmember (CM) Mary Cheh of Ward 3’s office and discussed D.C.’s efforts to eliminate lead in school and daycare drinking water.  A recent amendment to the Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Act of 2017 expands mandatory water testing and remediation beyond public schools to recreation centers, charter schools and daycare centers in the District.  The amendment also changes the action level for lead in drinking water from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended level of 1 part per billion (ppb) to 5 ppb---the FDA’s action level for bottled water.

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FACTs and Myths: Lead Present in Nashville, TN School Drinking Water

FACT seeks to educate citizens on the real issues surrounding lead in school drinking water.  Oftentimes we find that school administrators, school districts, policymakers, and reporters are misinformed on this issue and therefore, mislead in the public on lead test results and remediation actions.  Phil Williams from Channel 5 news in Nashville, TN is not one of those misinformed reporters.  His piece entitled "Test Show Lead in Metro Schools' Drinking Water" is well researched and exposes the dangerous myths that this school district attempts to spin into fact.  We applaud Mr. Williams and his exceptional reporting.  Take a moment to watch the below segment and see how many myths you can spot.

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