Product Guide – Carpeting, Furniture, Mattresses & Baby

It is important to choose the products we use in our home carefully.  To learn more about why we need to choose only natural fiber, natural fabric, and natural foam or foam alternatives, read these posts:

 

Which fibers are safe?  — the true fibers of nature, listed below.

  • cotton
  • linen
  • wool
  • hemp
  • linen (from flax)
  • stinging nettle
  • Latex is a natural foam that can be sought as an alternative to synthetic foam. It is essentially rubber sap, which is extracted from rubber trees grown in tropical climates, mixed with sulfur and soap.  Buying organic is very important for latex.

 

***Note***
Bamboo, viscose, lyocell, and other biomass pulp fabrics are NOT true natural fibers!
These are toxic!

 

Baby Products

I haven’t put together this list yet.  But be aware that baby carriers and car seats contain synthetic toxic fabric, which is covering toxic foam.

 

Blankets

 

Carpeting

Carpets release a ton of toxic gases over the entire course of its entire lifetime.  During the first 90 – 120 days after installing new carpeting, you’ll smell the big aromas coming from the carpet — a lot of that are the chemicals that the product absorbs during the manufacturing and shipping process, however, Andrew Pace of The Green Design Center has tested carpeting 25 years old and found that it is off gassing more than 400 parts per billion of formaldehyde!   A study done years ago by scientist Dr. Roselyn Anderson found that carpet more than 20 years old was still toxic enough to kill laboratory rats.

Carpet

Area Rug

  • Gimme the Good Stuff – heavily researched and vetted list of brands
  • The Citizenry sometimes offers 100% wool high pile area rugs – THEY HAVE NOT BEEN VETTED FOR stain/water repellants or flame retardants

Throw Rugs

Coming soon…

 

Curtains

Coming soon…

 

Furniture

In addition to the dangers of toxic fabric/upholstery and toxic foam (cushioning and shaping), there are dangers in the wood framing.

  • Plywood, MDF, particle board.  These products are held together with adhesives that contain urea formaldehyde and other chemicals.  Some of the new wood-substitute products are free of this, although they replace it with phenol formaldehyde, which is another version.  The phenol is 50-100 times less likely to become air-borne, so it is safer, but it is still toxic.
  • Wood Glues – even the water-based ‘non-toxic’ glues have 100-200 times the legal limit of formaldehyde.
  • Finishes/stains used by comericla furniture makers continue to offgass toxins for 4 years after it reaches a full cure.  there are a lot of safe finishes on the market.

Products/Brands

 

Additional things to consider

Keep dust down by buying cushions with removable covers.  If the cushions are filled with wool, the wool can also be washed once a year or every couple years.  To wash, place a heap of wool in a tub with boiling hot water, and agitate the water for three minutes.  Drain the tub, or lift the wool out of the water and place in the washing machine on spin cycle and then set aside until fully dry.  Modern cloth furniture with foam interiors are a repository of filth and fumes and a constant source of infectious dust.

Do we really want couches and chairs?  Some cultures squat or sit on the ground — then children could maintain their flexibility into their old age…but for those of us already lost, it would be hard to go without chairs.  I have a friend who got rid of all chairs in her house and her children are extremely healthy for it!  I don’t know how she and her husband deal with it though!  Pretty awesome when people actually try something radical!

Mattress

Unless you live in a completely EMF-free home, you might want to avoid mattresses with metal coils, as those act as antennas for electromagnetic fields and can intensify the electromagnetic fields all night long.

The Samina option is my favorite, because I believe it is the most supportive, as well as the most environmentally friendly.  Rubber tree plantations, who supply our latex, are destroying lands in developing countries, thus destroying the health of the residents of those areas.  Samina uses a fraction of what a standard latex mattress uses.

You may find Samina is too expensive.  If you travel to the California Samina shop to try out the mattress, they may provide you with a discount.

I couldn’t afford the whole system, so I asked if I could purchase just the base and use it with the wool topper that I had already purchased previously.  They want their customers to experience the Samina system in full, as that will provide the optimum experience, but if you can’t afford, you can’t afford it.

They may ask you to make a commitment to buy the whole system within a year, but I couldn’t afford that either, as I’m already financing a car and a few other things.  Tell them what you can afford and ask them to work with you.

In the meantime, search for another supplier of latex toppers.  Samina says that these other suppliers may not have the level of integrity needed to deliver a non-toxic product, but we can only do our best with the money we have at each point in time.  If you want to buy Samina’s latex topper, you can do so in the future when you have the funds.

 

Sheets

Make sure you check the fiber content before purchasing.  Whereas Coyuchi uses 100% natural fiber substances, Target and The Company Store offer both synthetic as well as natural fiber textiles.  Remember to avoid fabrics that SOUND natural, but are absolutely not, including bamboo and viscose, lyocell, etc.

  • Target
  • Coyuchi
  • The Company Store also offers some organic basic bed items, such as down comforters, down pillows, etc.  They also have organic sheets, but the colors are less beautiful and the design choices are less beautiful in general than Coyuchi or even Target sometimes, depending.