Detoxing your existing home environment
by N J Howell
Want to purify your home environment?
Green Living Advanced Home Cleanse Kit
Want to know what's in your food?
Boycott Companies against GM Labeling
This is part two of a six-part article on internal environment cleansing. It will be helpful to start at the beginning, if you have reached this page directly from a search engine search or a eco-friendly link. clearing toxins from your home environment.
If you are chemically sensitive, as I have been most of my life, you are more acutely aware of the toxins around you than the average person. Those who are not so chemically aware may not connect certain allergies, breathing problems, skin problems or insomnia to chemicals in the home. Whether you consciously connect allergic reactions or respiratory challenges to toxins in your home environment, learning to replace toxic chemicals with nontoxic ones is a very simple way to help improve your health and the health of your family.
Making your existing home less toxic:
Many who come to this page aren't in the position to build a green living home from the ground up and are, instead dealing with toxins in their existing home and, like me, wondering how they can be eliminated. I'll be covering areas I've investigated but if what you are dealing with is not covered here, I encourage you to explore on the internet and find green building solutions that will work in your case because they are out there.
I lived with old, half unfinished hardwood floors for a year and a half because I couldn't stand the thought of sanding the old varnish off (and all the lead and other harmful chemicals this would release) or the thought of reapplying toxic stains or polyurethane sealers and living with that horrible odor for months.
Nontoxic floor strippers and sealers: I finally located some natural alternatives. For stripping old varnish, there is an amazing product called Ready Strip. It is nontoxic and, because it makes a sort of crust over the top of itself, it seems to contain the varnish very well. Then, you just scrape it up with a scraper and it's gone. Quite honestly, it's very labor intensive which is why most people opt for the big, heavy sander that can grind it all away in a day.
I am tremendously sensitive to chemicals and I was able to test a section of my floor with Ready Strip and remove it without problems. I would not fare nearly so well in the sanding situation with a heavy, industrial sander! I could barely even smell the Ready Strip and didn't smell the varnish at all when scraped up. I did leave the door open and a fan pulling outward, to make sure no fumes lingered. I can't wait to clean the rest of my floors and get them nontoxic and looking beautiful!
Nontoxic Floor Finishers: For finishing the floor, I found another nontoxic option from AFM Safecoat. The one I chose was the Natural Oils Wax because it both seals and finishes, with a light buffing after the second coat. I ordered mine from a lady named Cindy who lives in North Carolina and who has built her own nontoxic home. In addition to selling the AFM products, Cindy also gives tours of her eco-friendly home and consults with others who want to build their own homes. If you'd like to know more about Cindy, google Shelter Ecology. I used to link her website but it's apparently been let go. Hopefully she still does this type of work in the area.
Update .... I decided the task of completing remodeling on my home was just bigger than I wanted to tackle. I sold it. Good luck with your remodel plans and I hope this information proves helpful to you.
Continue.....part three: nontoxic caulk
Health Disclaimer: The information contained in this green building article is not intended to take the place of personal medical help you may need, if you have been harmed by toxins in your home. Respiratory concerns should be addressed with your doctor. If you experience chemical sensitivities soon after moving into a new residence, it's very important to take steps to discover the cause and correct it because some sources could be very toxic. Please consult with green building suppliers in your area for the best approach to detoxing your own home.