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At Home in New Orleans

My Sweet William is back from a hiatus and coming to you from New Orleans! We moved here from New York City a few days before Christmas and are happily settling into a beautiful new house that my husband designed. We’re tremendously proud of him and grateful for his demanding standards in building a non-toxic home. I’ll feature some of his techniques here at MSW.

In the meantime, here’s an update on how we pass our time when we’re not unpacking boxes, organizing drawers, or supervising construction. Mardi Gras and warm weather offer a pleasant distraction. [...]

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What’s That Smell?

Stefano Gabbana announced via Instagram that Dolce & Gabbana will release a perfume “per i bambini” — for babies.

I think I just heard you say, “Ewwww! Seriously?”

Let’s skip past the discussion of why anyone would mask her baby’s delicious, natural smell. Instead, let’s review why perfumes and scented products are bad for babies.

Synthetic fragrances, identified on product labels as “parfum,” “perfume,” “natural fragrance,” or “fragrance,” contain phthalates. Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals that are used in the production of plastic, solvents, and cosmetics. They are endocrine disruptors, known to cause a broad range of birth defects…

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In the News

Flame retardants now seen as health risk (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3/13) Flame retardant chemicals aren’t only in your furniture. They’re in foam insulation and they may be leaching from your walls. California finally moves to revise its decades-old flammability standard to reduce the use of flame retardants.

Secondhand smoke significant source of lead exposure for children
(Syracuse YNN Radio, 2/2/13) Kids who live with one smoker had lead levels 14% higher than kids who live with non-smokers. [...]

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LED Candles for Halloween

I bought this set of LED votive candles after learning that paraffin wax candles release benzene, toluene, and other toxic chemicals when they’re burned. That’s not good for indoor air quality and is especially bad for children, pregnant women, and asthmatics. [...]

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Beeswax Birthday Candles

Sweet William’s birthday cake was topped with a pure beeswax candle from Big Dipper Wax Works. You can order number candles and traditional birthday candles directly from Big Dipper’s site, or from ecomom. [...]

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Fresh Air

It’s been warm in New York and we’ve had the windows open the last two nights. Soon I’ll have to dress the boys in the short sleeved versions of our favorite Hanna Andersson pajamas, which happen to be on sale now. I love the stripes and the soft, Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton. [...]

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Time to Wash the Curtains?

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a toddler. I wish that made me unique, but 20 million Americans have asthma. Asthma has a genetic component and an environmental component. Like other children with one asthmatic parent, Sweet William and Darling Fergus have 1 in 3 chance of developing it. An environmental exposure might […]

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That New Car Smell

Last week the Ecology Center released its fourth consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars. How does your car rank? Check the list at HealthyStuff.org. Toxic chemicals in cars — VOCs that include bromine, chlorine, and lead — off-gas from the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, and other components. Since we Americans spend on average more […]

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