Clean doesn’t always mean chemical-free - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

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Clean doesn’t always mean chemical-free

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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 12:00 am

If you are already participating in a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, you may be interested in also creating a healthier home environment. You may be surprised to discover how many environmental pollutants you may already have in your home. Let’s take a look at just a few.

Paint: Most interior paints are made out of chemicals that have a lot of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. What this means is that the product can break down easily, often into unhealthy components that affect the air quality in your home.

Leather and man-made textiles: Many people associate leather furnishings with a clean, dust free environment. However, all leather products as well as all man-made fabrics and man-made carpeting fibers go through a number of harsh chemical processes that create the color, feel and texture of the finished item. Not all of these harsh chemicals are washed away in the manufacturing process and can subject your home to these chemical influences over time.

So what can you do to create a healthier, chemical-free environment for your home? Consider natural, renewable resources and special low VOC paints and finishes.

Most major brand paint suppliers offer a line of low VOC paints in the full range of colors that their regular line comes in. You may have passed this up the last time you bought paint, because they can cost up to 25 percent more per gallon. However, if you want to reduce the level of ongoing indoor pollutants in your home environment, this is the product for you. This is especially recommended if you suffer from any type of breathing problems such as asthma or allergies.

For furnishings and flooring, consider using natural materials that are made into products closer to their natural state. This includes cotton, silk and wool blend upholstery, wool carpeting and area rugs, and wood, bamboo and cork flooring materials. All of these products will give you a healthier home and most are available from sustainable sources, which is the true way to go green today.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Cynthia Hammersley is owner of Decorating Den Interiors. Reach her at (480) 855-1600 or visit

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