We are aware of the importance of eating organic food and making detoxification a regular part of our health routine. In addition to this, creating a healthy home environment is another important part of this process.
By now, you are probably well-informed about the health hazards of store-bought dryer sheets and cleaning products, but what about your bedroom? After all, we are spending about one-third of our lives sleeping. So, neglecting this room is something that is not in accordance with the rules of logic.
- How to Make Your Bedroom Carcinogen-Free?
Creating a clean bedroom is a financial challenge for most of us, so starting with a small but noticeable changes is probably the easiest (and cheapest) solution. Each change we are prepared to make will have a positive effect on our health.
The way in which you are going to start is a personal decision based on your budget and health issues. Some people begin with replacing their bedding, others an air cleaner or mattress.
Here are the 12 things you need to do in order to create a non-toxic bedroom:
- Replace Your Pillows and Pillow Cases with Organic Materials
Most people believe that cotton is a safer option that synthetics. However, the truth is that cotton uses 25% of the world’s insecticides and over 14% of its pesticides. That’s why we strongly recommend you to replace your bedding with organic material such as organic cotton, hemp linen and even wool (for blankets and comforters only)
- Replace All Artificial Fabrics from Your Bedding, Bedroom, and Closet
Synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic are made from thermoplastics. These fabrics outgas plastic molecules whenever they are heated.
You are breathing in plastic and formaldehyde whenever you wear wrinkle free clothes. Keep in mind that you absorb these chemicals directly through your skin.
- Replace the Artificial Clothes in Your Closet
A liquid made from oil, coal, or natural gas is the base for most synthetic products. The liquid is forced through the fine holes of a nozzle, called a spinneret. As the liquid emerges from the holes, it is cooled so that it solidifies to form tiny threads. These threads are woven together to create a fabric.
In order to make these clothes more durable, Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) (including Teflon) are often added to the fabric to provide wrinkle and stain resistant qualities.
A far better option is to buy clothing made of natural or organic materials.
- Remove Faux/Fabric Furniture
In case you have a furniture in your bedroom, such as chair that is artificial leather, then remove it immediately not only from your bedroom, but from your house too. We are saying this because the most dangerous plastic, known as Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is often used in synthetic leather. This plastic is made more flexible with the use of harmful plasticizers like phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.
You should also get rid of pillows and seating cushions that are stain and water resistant, because they have been sprayed with harmful chemicals. If a fabric is a cotton/polyester blend, it means that it was treated with formaldehyde and softened with ammonia. Replace these things with an organic of natural material.
- Remove Particle Board and MDF
Every health-conscious individual must avoid any furniture that is made of particle board, MDF or melamine. MDF is made with shredded wood that has been softened and powdered. The powder is combined with resins and other bonding agents and compacted into solid boards.
The chemical that can cause most problems is formaldehyde. This harmful chemical can aggravate asthma, irritate mucous membranes, and cause contact dermatitis.
Like MDF, particle board also contains high levels of formaldehyde, an ingredient that has also been linked to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (throat cancer) in people. Moreover, it can also cause headaches, allergies, and nausea.
According to TLC, How Stuff Works, particle board decreases its toxicity by about 25 percent within two months. By the end of the first year, particle board is only half as potent as it was new. It levels off from there and can take up to ten years to run completely outgas.
We recommend you to look for solid wood furniture at furniture stores, flea markets, and yard sales. Glass and metal end tables and desks usually work well because they don’t outgas and are easily wiped down.
- Remove Accent/Throw Rugs
Wood or tile floors are easiest to clean and are good options for people who are suffering from asthma or allergy.
While small accent or area rugs will make your room look better, they hold onto dirt, dust mites, and other allergens, which is why you should omit them if possible.
- Use No-VOC Paint
You should always use No-VOC (volatile organic compounds) when you paint a room. VOCs are highly unstable, carbon-containing compounds that easily vaporize into the air.
As soon as they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which creates air pollution and causes many health issues, such as breathing problems, watery eyes, headache, and nausea.
- Shoe Free Zone
Try to make your home a shoe free zone. You should have indoor and outdoor shoes if you want to avoid bringing pollen, dirt, and chemicals from outdoors in.
You can also buy a shoe or boot tray to keep it by your door. Just put your shoes in the tray whenever you come in from outdoors in order to prevent dirt, pollen, dust and chemicals from entering your house.
- Minimize Electrical Devices
If you have a computer or TV in your bedroom, you should consider moving them into another room. Electronic devices are known to disturb a peaceful night of sleep by disrupting sleep patterns. Also, it would be good to replace your digital alarm clock with a battery operated alarm clock.
- Replace or Cover Your Mattress
This is probably the most difficult step to make because it can be too costly for most of us. The ugly truth is that conventional mattresses are sprayed with flame retardant and stain resistant chemicals. A vast majority of mattresses are made of foam that can outgas for years. There are many sources for organic mattresses at local stores and online.
Wherever you shop, be aware of greenwashing. But, if you can’t afford to replace your mattress, you should consider wrapping it in a foil barrier cloth available at AFS Foil. They also sell a foil tape to seal the edges. The only downside of this tape is that is has a strong smell, although it will evaporate within 3-4 days. If you are chemically sensitive, have someone else do this for you.
- Buy an Air Cleaner
One of the best ways to spend your money is by investing them into a whole house air cleaner. Do your research thoroughly, as there are a lot to choose from. For many people, a portable air cleaner that can be easily moved from room to room is the best option.
You should look for one with HEPA filtrations. Also, make sure that the air cleaner does not produce ozone. Some air cleaning companies will even custom blend their charcoal filters for specific needs such as allergy/asthma, smoke, and MCS.
- Remove Chemically Treated Drapes or Shades
Drapes and shades hide dust, pollen, and other allergens. It would be good to remove drapes and shades and replace them with organic fabric drapes and shades. However, in case the cost is too high for, consider bartering with a friend who can sew curtains or drapes for you.
Wood blinds can also be a good option. If you are building a new home or remodeling you may consider blinds that are in between the glass, no outgassing, and no weekly cleaning!