Avoid Chemical Air Fresheners —
The problem: Air fresheners can contain dangerous ingredients like dichlorobenzene, naphthalene, and formaldehyde. Conventional scented candles aren’t much better. Many are made from petroleum-based paraffin wax, which releases carcinogenic soot when burned, and some have lead-core wicks, which release toxic lead into the air when burned. Linked to: respiratory irritation, cancer.
The solution: Avoid candles and air fresheners with synthetic fragrances. Instead, leave out a bowl of baking soda to absorb odors, and switch from paraffin to 100-percent beeswax or soy candles with cotton wicks. To test a candle wick for lead, rub the tiip on a piece of paper. If it leaves a mark, there’s a lead core in the wick. This method doesn’t work with candles that have been lit already, so when in doubt, throw them out.
Purge PVC from your Shower Curtain (and elsewhere) —
The problem: Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, or the “vinyl” in your vinyl shower curtain, is a plastic that’s dangerous to people and the environment at every stage of its lifecycle. DEHP, an additive used to soften many vinyl products, is aphthalate. These toxins are linked to: endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and cancer.
The solution: Avoid PVC products for your bathroom or anywhere in your home. PVC is often recognizable by its distinctive odor (think that “new shower curtain” smell). When shopping for a shower curtain, look for a non-vinyl one. Ikea and Vita Futura both make polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) liners, which are PVC-free. You can also get a hemp curtain from green companies like Rawganique.com and Greenfeet.com. Hemp dries quickly and is resistant to mildew.