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12 Household Toxins You Had Better Get Rid of

Cleaning Chemicals

Consider banishing these tenants from your home to protect your health and environment as well as save money.
1. Coal Tar Driveway Sealant
Make sure you don’t seal your blacktop driveway with coal tar-based sealants full of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, toxic substances proven to cause cancer or other genetic mutations. When precipitation touches your driveway, the toxic chemicals get into your yard and into your local drinking water supply. The same effect would occur if you dumped quarts of motor oil right down a storm drain. The dust can be tracked into homes as well.
Better Alternative: Opt for gravel and other porous materials which allow rainwater to sink into the ground, where it gets filtered and doesn’t flood plants. But if you decided to seal blacktop, choose asphalt sealant but not products that have coal tar in its name (usually products called “driveway sealant”). Lowe’s and Home Depot have already stopped selling hazardous stuff. To get everything you need for your home and garden at the reduced price consider using Lowe’s Promo Codes or Home Depot Promo Codes.
2. Synthetic Pesticides
Try to avoid synthetic pesticides like chemical weed, fungus, and bug killers both inside and outside of your house. These pesticides are reported to cause various forms of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and brain damage in children.
Better Alternative: It’s easy to solve an indoor bug problem by cleaning up crumbs, sealing food in containers, and using wood shims and a caulking gun to fill pest entry points. If you regularly buy chemicals for a turf-like lawn, you had better stop doing so as pesticides and chemical fertilizers detract from the health of the soil and make lawn absorb less rainwater, which, in turn, leads to flooding. The best solution to the problem will be replacing some sod with plants native to your area that don’t need much water and maintenance.
3. Antibacterial Soap
Some toothpastes and antibacterial soaps contain the antimicrobial chemical triclosan which is believed to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels in people and when added to wastewater, it causes sex mutations in aquatic life. It is believed that excess use of similar antibacterial chemicals enhances the growth of bacteria resistant to antibacterial treatment.
Better Alternative: A traditional bar of soap and warm water will be enough to eliminate as many germs. If you need to use a natural hand sanitizer, choose the one that contains alcohol and is free of triclosan, triclocarban or other chemicals listed as “antimicrobial” or “antibacterial” on the label.
4. Synthetic Fragrances
Fragrances typically used in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, air fresheners, deodorizers, shampoos, hair sprays, gels, lotions, sunscreens, soaps, perfumes, powders, and scented candles and millions of other products should be avoid. The term “fragrance” or “perfume” on personal-care-product labels, in fact, disguises hundreds of harmful chemicals known to be carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, and reproductive toxicants.
Better Alternative: Prefer purchasing the unscented products whenever possible, especially when it comes to soaps and detergents. Stay away from any kind of air freshener or deodorizer, including sprays, gels, solid disks, and oils. These products are advertised as the ones that clean or disinfect the air, but, in fact, they only add hazardous chemicals to the air you breathe. Just use better ventilation and put a bowl of baking soda or white vinegar to freshen up a room.
5. Harsh Cleaning Products
The paradox is that we actually contaminate the air when we use harsh chemicals known to cause cancer to “clean” our homes. Ammonia can provoke asthma attacks, and harsh oven cleaners and drain openers can cause respiratory damage and even burn the skin of children who come into contact with them.
Better Alternative: Use Grandma’s homemade cleaning solutions, like one part white vinegar and nine parts water. This general cleaning solution will kill up to 90 percent of bacteria and most spores. Just spray it on and let it dry to a nice shine on its own. The best surprise about distilled white vinegar is that a gallon of it costs less than $2 and you will be able to make over 10 gallons of cleaning solution. When you’re finished cleaning, you may dump this vinegar solution down your garbage disposal or toilet for added odor control.
6. Nonstick Cookware and Bakeware
The slick and shiny nonstick surface is made from perfluoroalkyl acid, a synthetic material belonging to a class of chemicals that have been linked to ADHD, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease. They’re also known as potent sperm killers and are believed to cause female infertility.
Better Alternative: Consider using safer cookware, such as cast iron, glass or stainless steel. If you already use nonstick pots and pans, replace them with safer choices when scratches and chips start to appear in the finish.
7. Roundup Ready Food
Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in the USA which is sprayed on practically everything, including cotton, canola, lawns and even golf courses. Naturally this herbicide winds up in the air and water. When you eat “Roundup Ready” food, as well as food that’s been genetically modified to withstand all those Roundup doses, you get it too. Recently scientists have learned that Roundup destroys defensive enzymes of the human bodies that keep us healthy. Roundup also prevents a plant to absorb vital micronutrients that are required for healthy living.
Better Alternative: Corn, soy, and canola top the list of crops that have been genetically engineered to resist heavy applications of Roundup (or other glyphosate-containing chemicals), so foods that consist of these ingredients naturally contain higher levels of Roundup compared to other crops. Try to avoid genetically engineered (GE) foods and Roundup in your food, and purchase organic.
8. Vinyl
Environmentalists call vinyl the “poison plastic” because of its harmful production process and its negative effects on humans. Vinyl is used with phthalates, chemical plastic softeners that are responsible for hormone disruption, stunted growth, obesity, and other health problems, along with low IQs.
Better Alternative: Replacing floors in your home, focus on wood, bamboo, or cork that’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or for real linoleum, rather than vinyl. Never use plastic shower-curtain liners, as well as fake leather furniture, clothing, and accessories and try hemp or organic cotton shower curtains instead.
9. Flame Retardants
Flame-retardant chemicals are used in electronics, carpets, carpet padding, and furniture foam. They’ve been linked to a lot of health problems, such as infertility, thyroid problems, learning disabilities, and hormone disruption. Flame-retardant chemicals are added to materials in the event they come in contact with a lit candle or cigarette, but the chemicals can only delay a fire for several seconds. When these flame retardants burn, they emit more carbon monoxide and soot, the two primary causes of deaths from fire, than non-treated materials.
Better Alternative: When purchasing new furniture, find out whether it contains flame retardants. The tag saying “complies with California Technical Bulletin 117″ means that the given piece of furniture contains flame retardants (according to California legislation all upholstered furniture should be flame retardant). Be cautious when selecting electronics, too. Consider checking out Environmental Working Group that lists electronics that doesn’t contain flame retardants.
10. Canned Food
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is used in some No. 7 plastic bottles and most canned-food containers. This hormone-disrupting chemical is associated with male infertility, diabetes, heart disease, aggressive behavior in children, and other diseases. Some manufacturers have already stopped using this chemical in their cans, but the studies have not proved that the replacements are totally safe either. In 2010, scientists also found out that customers absorb BPA from cash-register receipts through their skin.
Better Alternative: Try to eat fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, and avoid buying cans. Never store or microwave food or beverages in plastic containers. And skip receipts for minor purchases like gas and coffee, and at the ATM.
11. VOCs
Scented, petroleum-based laundry detergents contain high levels of VOCs, volatile organic compounds, linked to asthma and even cancer, as they pollute the indoor air. Pressed wood and other furniture emit much of the VOC (and carcinogen) formaldehyde in the home, too.
Better Alternative: Opt for unscented, plant-based detergents, or even use castile soap or washing soda and borax to clean your clothing. For painting, choose readily available no-VOC paint, and never store paint in your garage as basement fumes can get through even tightly closed lids and get into your home. When purchasing new furniture bypass plywood and particleboard, and keep VOCs contained by sealing any plywood or particleboard furniture with AFM Safecoat Safe Seal.
12. Dry-Cleaning Chemicals
Having your clothing dry-cleaned is sure convenient, but the cleaning chemical used in the country remains perchloroethylene, also known as PCE, or perc. This chemical is associated with kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage.
Better Alternative: You just need to know how to treat different types of fabric. Even if the label says “Dry Clean Only” there are cheaper and safer ways for cleaning delicates like wool, rayon, and silk.

Ways of Saving on Back-to-School Supplies

discount-school-supplyAs kids go back to school, their parents are daunted by the startling cost of their children’s supplies for the year. According to the ninth annual Backpack Index survey from Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio, released this July, the average cost of school supplies for an elementary student this year totals $649; for middle school students it’s $941; and for high school kids – $1,402. The sum includes everything from pencils, crayons, and notebooks to musical instrument rentals, sports, and field trip fees. The data is based on actual supply lists from schools in several states and the cost of moderately priced items at popular online retailers. The first Backpack Index was released in 2007 and since that time the cost of supplies and activities increased 85 percent for elementary kids, 78 percent for middle school students, and 57 percent for high school students.
That’s a lot, and for many families, it’s too much. According to National Retail Federation the cost of school supplies is expected to mount $68 billion for students and college kids this year, and nationwide families are going to spend an average of about $98 on school stuff like notebooks, pencils, and backpacks.
If you are scares that schools supplies may ruin your budget consider following the tips below that will help you minimize your costs without sacrificing the quality.
1. Budget Ahead of Time
By making monthly budgets of your family income and expenses you will be able to spot the area of financing where you can generate extra cash. Or you can trim some other spendings that month like dining our or going to the movies to create the allotment you can easily spend on the purchase of school supplies.
2. Shop during the Tax-Free Sales Holidays
At least 17 states have special tax-free sales holidays that typically take place in August. During this time customers can save around 10% simply by buying then.
3. Go to Dollar Stores for Basics
A notebook, pens and pencils can be purchased at your local dollar store. It’s not worth spending extra money for a brand-name version.
4. Check Your Closet
Always check the back of your kids’ desk drawers before going shopping back to school supplies. The chances are that you will find a lot of stationery products in good condition that kids can absolutely use. So make sure you make a list of what you already have not to duplicate purchases and waste money.
5. Swap with Other Parents
This is an excellent way to get the items your child needs without spending a cent. Consider reaching out online to a parent club or community group and propose a barter. Maybe somebody will be happy to trade in something you need.
6. Purchase in Bulk
Find out whether your school offers bulk purchases through the district. This way you buy in advance but instead of spending time, gas and money you will get all the necessary school supplies at a discount. In most cases, the full box of supplies is 25 percent off, which is much cheaper than a discount that might be offered when buying individually in stores.
7. Always Use Coupon Codes for Extra Discount.
For example, by using Discount School Supplies Coupon Codes you can get everything you need from the convenience of your home and at the amazingly low price. Just order the goods online and have it delivered right to your doorstep.