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Back to School Supplies: PVC-Free Backpacks

Who would have thought that most kids’ backpacks are laden with toxic chemicals, such as phthalates, chlorine, mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and bromine?  Who would have thought a back to school package would include toxic backpacks?  Apparently, even the US government did not think that.  In 2009, the US Congress permanently banned three types of …

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Soybean Foam: Pitfalls of Non-Toxic Furniture Shopping

I finally ordered a sectional sofa free of flame retardants, polyurethane foam, soybean foam, heavy metals, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), heavy metals, formaldehyde, etc., etc., etc. and everything else most furniture we see on the market has. All told, it took me about a year to find this furniture and get comfortable with my decision. …

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Polyurethane Foam: What is Inside Our Furniture?

I often get emails from manufacturers of upholstered furniture about the fact they are fully compliant with the updated California flammability regulation (CA TB 117-2013) and that their furniture is now free of any flame retardant chemicals. First of all, it is flattering that they feel compelled to report to me (although it makes sense, …

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