The Green Queen Corner

It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to it’s own desires. It must abandon itself to it’s master… passion! by Rebecca West

Organic Air Purifiers – Cheap and Natural Filters that Improve Indoor Air Quality February 26, 2007

Filed under: organic — greenqueen @ 3:31 am
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Tip! Bananas: Non-organic bananas from Central and South America are produced using benomyl (linked to birth defects) and chloropyrifos (neurotoxin).

NATURAL AIR FILTERS

Plants are the original organic air purifiers! In our constant societal quest for newer, faster, and better technologies we seem to often overlook time-tested and common sense solutions to some of our basic needs. In our fast paced society we are more likely to shell out hundreds of dollars on a quick fix to our problems that to step back and examine each situation in a broader context.

The equatorial rainforests of our planet are the living and organic air filtration systems for our Earth’s atmosphere. Without this delicate biological air purification system our global ecological systems would slowly deteriorate over time. You can harness the same natural benefits of biological air filtration on a much smaller scale by introducing plants into your indoor living space.

 

INDOOR AIR POLLUTION RISKS

With the rise in the amount of time most people now spend within indoor air environments it has become even more important to understand the threats and risks of prolonged exposure to indoor air pollution. Our indoor environments are littered with chemicals, compounds, and poisons that are continuously breaking down at a chemical level and “off-gassing” their irritants and by-products into the air we breathe.

Examples of common indoor pollutants include cigarette smoke, building materials, floor coverings, paints, adhesives and other sources. The situation becomes worse in office buildings with lots of other sources of pollutants. Tools such as printers, fax machines, photocopiers, paper and pressboard furniture emit different types of harmful contaminants. Those include ammonia, benzene, xylene, toluene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, etc. Regular exposure these contaminants leads to different types of disorders such as breathing problems, headaches, burning eyes and throat, lethargy and other allergy-like symptoms.

Tip! Join a food cooperative. A food co-op is kind of a buyers club for affordable, fresh, local organic and natural products.

PLANTS CAN HELP

The most natural way to fight indoor air pollution is to use plants. Besides brightening up a room, they have real benefits in improving the indoor air quality. They absorb various toxic emissions from the synthetic materials such as carpeting, paint and furniture. As a result, we can have cleaner and more pure air to breathe inside our homes or offices. NASA scientists have found out that indoor plants can extract volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from the air. They contain toxic vapors such as ammonia, benzene, xylene, toluene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, etc. Plants break down the chemicals after absorbing them into their leaves. They absorb the chemicals through stomata, the microscopic openings in the leaves. Then the toxins reach the root zone where the root microbes of the plants biodegrade the pollutants. The plants use these biodegraded pollutants as food.

Tip! Strawberries: 500 pounds of pesticide an acre is sprayed on non-organic strawberries.

However, you need to remember that some houseplants can be poisonous to your health. Therefore, you need to be very careful while choosing plants for your home or office. Read more on which plants are good organic air purifiers.

AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS CAN SUPPLEMENT PLANTS

Depending on the amount of indoor air space you have the number of plants required to filter your air may be impractical and take up too much of your living space. This is where it may make sense to research and find a decent air purification system that suits your indoor environment and help your plants with some of the air filtration duties. There are many types, styles and models to choose from so we encourage you to do your research and compare them carefully.

Tip! Failing to plan – Planning is crucial to a successful organic veggie garden. You need to consider the aspect of your plot/s.

About the Author

S.A. Smith is a freelance writer, contributor, and editor of the Air Purifiers Review information portal.

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Why are there toxic chemicals in your skin care, personal care products and cosmetics? November 19, 2006

I was inspired to write this entry by http://beaut.ie/blog/?p=577.

Cosmetic companies are minimally regulated which means they can put almost anything they want into your cosmetics, skin care and personal care products. All of your conventional personal care and beauty care products are filled with toxic chemicals.

Just think in the morning you shower and apply chemical shampoos, conditioners, shower gel. You get out of the shower dry off and put lotion all over your body then your face. You put on chemical filled make-up and even worse perfume. Layer after layer of chemicals are slathered onto your body. And if your products have fragrance the danger is increased.

Everyday you leave your home as a toxic chemical time bomb. On the outside you look hot in your Lucky Jeans, your high heal pumps, cool Ralph Lauren blouse and blazer. While underneath all day long your body is absorbing and storing the toxic chemicals that you applied as part of your daily regimen. Metabolizing them through your body, organs and blood. It isn’t your fault though. How could you know that you were applying a toxic cocktail of chemicals to your body daily when there aren’t warnings, or labels to tell you the truth about your products. You have been in the dark.

Why do cosmetic companies and personal body care companies use these chemicals? They say because it is cheaper and easier. How much cheaper is it when you need radiation to kill the cancer in your body. Furthermore, there are many companies that have great pure, natural products that are affordable like Dr. Haushka, and Aubrey Organics. If you use Mac, Bobby Brown, Lancome, Prescriptives and Clairins, to name a few, like I did then you know that they are not cheap! Where is the savings?!

Go to your bathroom cabinet right now, where you keep your skin care and personal care products and pull out products you use everyday, input the name of the product into the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep data base at http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php to rate the toxicity of your products.

You can go to the same website and input the chemicals that are on the labels of your products into the data base to learn if they have health affects. After you have rated your products and learned about the health affects, notice how many layers of chemicals that you are slathering onto your body daily and what health affects have been linked to these products. Count the layers of chemicals how many do you wear underneath your Lucky Jeans everyday?

What you will find is that many ingredients in your products are cancerous. These ingredients are listed among the first 5 ingredients on the ingredient label which means they have the largest quantity in the product.

And what the cosmetic industry doesn’t tell you is that mixing one chemical with another can be carcinogenic. The chemical alone may be safe but when it is mixed with another chemical from another product the combination becomes lethal. You have to be a scientist to get ready in the morning

Furthermore, the EPA says that some chemicals like phthalates are safe in cosmetics because they are at safe levels for humans. However, what the EPA doesn’t consider or evaluate is that chemicals like phthalates are used in many cosmetics and personal care products like, fragrance-containing soaps, shampoos and perfumes. They are also used in plastics like your shower curtain, flooring, baby bottles and nipples, toys to name a few. Thus you are exposed daily to many layers of phthalates found in many products not just one product. This increases the level of exposure pushing it over the safe level and making the levels unsafe for humans.

Furthermore, not only are you absorbing these chemicals into your largest organ, your skin, but you breath them in, they may get into your mouth and nose which means you ingest them. Everyday you layer then onto your body. That means that the layers of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis increase with every layer. Thus the levels that you are exposed are at unsafe levels. Phthalates have been linked to reduced sperm count in men, genital abnormalities in boys, premature birth, sperm damage to name a few.

To illistrate my point, in September 2000, the US Centers for Disease Control released it’s assessment of the levels of phthalates in the bodies of the American public. After studying urine samples they found the levels of phthalates to be high. One demographic of concern was women of child-bearing age where they found the levels to be especially high in a disproportionately large number of women. This is of concern because the fetus is extremely vulnerable to the adverse affects of phthalates. Furthermore, this demographic is the one that should avoid exposer to phthalates. Phthalates are banned in the EU.

Another common dangerous chemical found in skin care, personal care products and cosmetics is parabens. It is used as a preservative and is found in breast cancer patients. You will find parabens in your shampoo, conditioner, lotions, body washes and make-ups to list a few. That means that they are also layered onto your body. Go to Skin Deep for more information, http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php.

To add insult to injury, there is controversy surrounding nano chemicals in our beauty products, ingredients engineered at the molecular scale. They aren’t listed on the ingredient lists and they aren’t regulated. They are harmful to your health and environment. For more information check out this link, http://action.foe.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=5475&msource=foe11006&tr=y&auid=2072979

I am very passionate about this and bewildered that our country and government would allow chemicals to be in our everyday personal care products. The increase in disease in our country is continuously on the rise. At this time in history 1 out of 2 women will have cancer. Think about it, that means that your friend, sister or mother or you will contract this terrible disease. The EU is banning one chemical after another to protect their citizens why isn’t the US? Why is the EPA constantly avoiding chemical matters when it comes to our skin care, cosmetics and personal care products? Isn’t it their job to protect us?

I strongly recommend that you visit http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php, to learn more about the toxic chemicals that are in your everyday skin care and personal care products and evaluate the products that you use.

There are safe solutions to skin care, cosmetics and personal cae products many are listed at Skin Deep. A couple of my favorite products are Dr. Hauschka and Aubrey Organics. A great way to try Aubrey Organics or Dr. Hauschka is their kits: Dr.Hauschka Daily Face Care Kit and Aubrey Organics – Silken Earth Makeup Kit, 1 kit

However don’t take my word for it or Skin Deeps anyones for that matter. Take your health care into your own hands and do your research, read the labels of all products before you buy and know what you are putting onto your skin, hair, body…

Look for my upcoming post on how to choose safe skin care products and personal care products and more product suggestions so that you can take matters into your own hands and protect your health. I will give tips on how to read through the hype and how to read between the lines on labels.

Thanks again for reading. Another toxic problem revealed.

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Toxic News About Plastic Baby Bottles November 15, 2006

I am shocked to learn that most baby bottles on the market today are highly toxic because of the materials they are commonly made with, and because mom’s are taught to heat them in hot water to sterilize them and to heat milk. Moreover, many moms’s put bottles in the microwave to heat the milk even though they know it is a big NO, NO. I also learned that the alternative to plastic is glass; however, glass bottles are scarce. Furthermore, once baby starts holding their own bottle glass becomes dangerous.

What you need to know about plastic before you use one more baby bottle
A common plastic used to make baby bottles is polycarbonate plastic. Studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumers Union and researchers at Nagasaki University in Japan show that when baby bottles made with polycarbonate plastic, recycle #7, are heated a hormone-disrupting chemical called, bisphenol-A (BPA), is released. That hormone leaches into the milk in the bottle. The same scientists found that used bottles leached up to double the amount of chemicals as new bottles because the plastic is less stable than in new bottles.

Bisphenol – A is an artificial estrogen and researches have known for years that it is harmful to animals and humans alike, especially during fetal development. Scientists have found and presented the dangers of BPA to the Environmental Protection Agency, who hasn’t yet banned it from the market place despite the health risks that have been identified. The dangers include decreased sperm production in males, prostate hyperplasia — excessive growth of prostate tissue, early onset of puberty, chromosome damage in female ovaries and a variety of behavioral changes.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), recycle #7, is another common plastic used to make baby bottles. It is the most toxic plastic to human health and the environment. PVC has been linked to IQ deficiencies, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, and reduced attention spans, as well as other behavior problems.

In general plastics like Tupperware and other storage containers that are commonly made with polycarbonate plastic or polyvinyl chloride are a dangerous place to store food, use glass containers. They leach toxic chemicals into the items they store, like the food that you eat. The dangers further increase when food is heated in these plastic containers, since the heat breaks down the plastic and destabilizes it, thus increasing the release of toxic chemicals into your food. An even more dangerous situation is heating food in plastic containers in the microwave; this further accelerates the release of toxic chemicals into the contents of the container, just don’t do it.

Safety concerns behind plastic pacifiers, teethers and nipples
Also beware of, plastic pacifiers, teethers, and nipples because they can be made with plastics that contains phthalates. Phthalates is a commonly used chemical that is found in nail polish, make up, soft plastics and much more. Because it is fat soluble it collects in fatty tissue of humans where it is stored. It is absorbed through the skin, lungs and by ingesting. It has adverse health affects in the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the reproductive system. It has been associated with premature breast development in young girls, adverse effects on genital development in male children, as well as reduced sperm count in adult males.

Beware because infants receive large doses of these chemicals because they spend most of their time indoors and breathe, metabolize, and ingest faster than adults do. Furthermore, these plastics are found in many household products, cosmetics, vinyl and toys. Additionally, food is contaminated by these chemicals through packaging.

So what do mom’s do to solve this problem and protect their babies from exposure to plastic?

  • When baby is old enough to hold the bottle then switch to a plastic bottle made with polyethylene or polypropylene they have the recycle #’s 1, 2, 4 or 5. Gerber, Evenflo and Rubbermade all make these kinds of bottles so they will be easy to find. Stay with the silicone nipples. Make sure that the bottle and nipples don’t have any cracks where bacteria can live. If they do don’t buy them or throw them into the trash.
  • Don’t purchase the bottles that have decorations on the inside of the bottle as they leach off into babies milk.
  • Never heat babies formula or any bottle in the microwave!!! If you are using a plastic bottle you are accelerating the leaching of chemicals into babies formula but you are also destroying and breaking down the nutritional value of the formula.
  • Don’t heat formula in the plastic bottle even when heating in a pan of hot water. Instead heat formula in a non-Teflon pan and then poor it into the bottle when it is warm not hot. (Teflon when heated gives off carcinogens, and is linked to birth defects and is found in 95% of humans. The dangerous chemical found in Teflon is not going to be used after 2015.)

Congratulations on another toxic problem overcome. Together we can make a difference in our children’s lives and our future generation’s lives. Let’s leave the earth a little better than we found it.

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The Complete Organic Baby on the Today Show November 3, 2006

Check it out. On the Today Show 2 women, Deirdre Dolan, Alexandra Zissu, talk about their new book, “The Complete Organic Pregnancy.” The book talks about organic non-toxic living and your baby, here is the link to NBC Today Show, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633/. Find the book at Amazon.com.

The book discusses remodeling, beauty products, organic food, toxic cleaning products in your home, furniture, carpet and more. Sounds like it is comprehensive and it offers simple solutions that you can implement in your home. Here is a link to a chapter in their book. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/TVNews/Today%20show/PDF/OrganicPregnancy.pdf

When you read it let me know what you think. I will also put my review here. I watched their interview on the Today Show and it seems like they really know what they are talking about. They offer simple inexpensive solutions to common toxic problems like new furniture. They also agree that when having a new baby it is wise not to remodel unless you absolutely have to. Check it out I can’t wait to read it and hear what you have to say.

 

Green, Organic, Sustainable, Eco-Living October 11, 2006

What My Blog is About

October 11th, 2006 by greenqueen

Hello everyone this is the Green Queen coming at you. I love everything green, organic, sustainable and clean. What is a Green Queen? I help others to transform their homes and life from a toxic chemical life to an organic, sustainable, green, clean, healthy life.

What does that mean? I’m glad that you asked.

I research, live, and test organic, sustainable, green products and write about them. I give tips and advice on transforming your life and home from a toxic, chemical life to a clean, green, organic, sustainable life and home. Why do I do this?

Because, there are many myths and the industry is clouded with them. I sift through the myths, so that you don’t have too. I tell it like it is so that you get the best information to make the best decisions about your health and life. I will interview experts in the field so that you can get other opinions.

I will also bring fun tips and recipes for you to try at home. As I find cool websites I will post their links here so that you can check them out. Everything from eco-shopping, where to buy biodiesel, to the daunting statistical data and news headlines, in case you decide you want to check them out.

I hope that you enjoy. Please feel free to give me feed back I love to hear all ideas, questions, comments. However let’s keep it clean, I will delete comments that aren’t appropriate or foul language.

I look forward to blogging with you.

Until next time,

” Think and go green”