In today’s world, people are constantly exposed to an ever-changing and expanding number of chemicals and toxins. Unfortunately, we have an inadequate understanding of how persistent exposure to such impurities will affect our health over time. There are, however, important steps that people can take to mitigate these risks, and improve their overall health.
Since we spend the majority of our time in our home environment, at least we have the opportunity to significantly reduce our exposure to harmful materials. People can do this by creating healthy homes and choosing natural products that promote their well-being.
We believe that every step that people take toward reducing their cumulative exposure to toxins is a step towards a healthier life, and so we created Maple Grace, a store where you will find only the healthiest products available in the marketplace.
Common Household Toxins:
Phthalate - Soft Vinyl - PVC
“Soft vinyl and plastic toys may be toxic. These materials often contain phthalates, a chemical which leaches out when handled or chewed. Although the effect of phthalates on humans is unknown, animal studies have linked the chemical to reproductive problems. Nine European countries have banned certain phthalates in teething objects and toys for young children. But those imported from some Asian countries contain up to 55 percent phthalates by weight. Health Canada has advised parents of young children to dispose of soft vinyl (PVC) "teethers" and rattles.”
“Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, smoking, household products, and the use of un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. Formaldehyde, by itself or in combination with other chemicals, serves a number of purposes in manufactured products. For example, it is used to add permanent-press qualities to clothing and draperies, as a component of glues and adhesives, and as a preservative in some paints and coating products."
"Used to manufacture building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in pressed wood products such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard, glues and adhesives, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, and certain insulation materials. “Before purchasing pressed wood products, including building materials, cabinetry, and furniture, buyers should ask about the formaldehyde content of these products.” International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. However, in a reevaluation of existing data in June 2004, the IARC reclassified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.”
Flame Retardants (PBDEs)
“PBDEs (or polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are brominated chemicals used as flame retardants on a wide-range of consumer products, including mattresses, furniture, carpet backing, and electronics (tv's, computers, and more)."
"Because PBDEs are sprayed onto products, they do not stay put and end up in our house dust, our bodies, and our environment. Research in animal models have linked PBDEs to altered brain development - resulting in learning disabilities and memory impairment - and to disruption of thyroid hormone levels. Most at risk are developing fetuses, infants, and young children."
"There is growing evidence that PBDEs persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms, as well as toxicological testing that indicates these chemicals may cause liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity. Environmental monitoring programs in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Arctic have found traces of several PBDEs in human breast milk, fish, aquatic birds, and elsewhere in the environment. Particular congeners, tetra- to hexabrominated diphenyl ethers, are the forms most frequently detected in wildlife and humans. The mechanisms or pathways through which PBDEs get into the environment and humans are not known yet, but could include releases from manufacturing or processing of the chemicals into products like plastics or textiles, aging and wear of the end consumer products, and direct exposure during use (e.g., from furniture)."
Bisphenol A (BPA)
“Researchers in the U.S. have linked exposures to trace amounts of bisphenol A, a widely used chemical that leaks from many plastics products, to prostate cancer in animal experiments."
"The discovery is considered the first direct scientific evidence connecting prostate cancer to bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make the polycarbonate for hard plastic water bottles and baby bottles, and the dental sealants used on children's teeth, among its many consumer uses.”
Websites We Recommend:
Healthy Child Healthy World – An excellent resource for information on how to create healthy environments for children and families.
National Institutes of Health - A description of the chemicals that exist in common household products.
The Organic Report - Information about organic products.
Air Resource Board - Information about air quality.
Baby's Bedding - An article about the toxic gases released by baby mattresses.
The National Cancer Institute - Questions and answers about formaldehyde and cancer.
Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia – A guide to less toxic products.
Natural Home Magazine – Articles about how to create a natural and green home.