The Pure-Rest and Ecobaby Organics Blog

All about Natural and Organics for you and your home!

To Whiten or not! Information on Fabric Whiteners! July 16, 2014

There a quite a few ways to whiten a fabric, and I would like to discuss a couple of them; specifically chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide. They are the most common methods and often how they are made and how their usage works is unknown to many.

 

Bleach, otherwise known as Sodium Hypochlorite, is made by combining sodium hydroxide (lye) with gaseous or liquid chlorine and then diluting this solution with water.

 

It whitens through the chlorine, which breaks down the natural color or pigmentation of the fabric (this also breaks down stains and such). Chlorine, which can be quite dangerous on its own and needs the lye to hold onto to keep it stable, hence the purpose of the lye and not just straight chlorine. This method of whitening, will produce the whitest white one can get for a fabric and is much cheaper for whitening than other methods. This method is also more abrasive and can affect the life of the fabric.

 

Bleach sound pretty simple, right? Well, Hydrogen Peroxide… not so much. This helps to get an idea of probably why the Bleach method is cheaper and more commercially available for whitening of fabrics.

 

Hydrogen Peroxide is basically commercially made by first using palladium to cause 2-alkyl anthraquinone and two hydrogen molecules to react and combine creating 2-alkyl anthrahydroquinone (the palladium is just used to cause the reaction and is not in the 2-alkyl anthrahydroquinone). Two oxygen molecules are then added to the 2-alkyl anthrahydroquinone. Now you basically have 2-alkyl anthraquinone and hydrogen peroxide combined into one compound because the added hydrogen and oxygen create hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide is extracted from the compound using distillation, which separates the 2-alkyl anthraquinone from the hydrogen peroxide. The 2-alkyl anthraquinone is only used to get the hydrogen peroxide to combine and form properly and is not in the end product of hydrogen peroxide, it is necessary because attempting to combine the two hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms directly can often times result in the wrong compound being formed.

 

Hydrogen Peroxide whitens through oxygenation from the oxygen atoms in the hydrogen peroxide that easily separate from it and bonds onto the pigment, removing it from the material. Fabrics colored using this method produce a less strong white, though this whitening method is less abrasive on the fabric itself.

 

Overall, I hope this has explained some of the basics with common fabric whiteners! Let me know if you want to know anything further or additional about them! Lastly, don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

Sources for information provided:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white
http://sitaramdixit.synthasite.com/resources/Bleaching%20Agents%20Chemicals%20that%20ensure%20stain%20free%20clothes.pdf
http://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/FAQs/Chlorine-Bleach http://alpha.chem.umb.edu/chemistry/ch471/documents/Hydrogenperoxide.pdf http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/production/1E.pdf
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/54786955/Synthesis-Of-Hydrogen-Peroxide—PDF http://web.archive.org/web/20061206003556/

http://www.unctad.org/infocomm/anglais/palladium/uses.htm

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/catalyst
http://www.aci-na.org/static/entransit/faa_hydrogen_peroxide_aug2009..pdf
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-oxidation.htm

 

 

They’re both the same! Aren’t they? Natural vs. Synthetic or Man-Made products March 21, 2014

There are many compounds, minerals, materials, foods, and general “things” which can have the same name and be pretty much the same, except one is man-made or synthetic and the other is natural. Now due to what one may have read or been told, one may be led to believe that every single thing about this item is the exact same, this isn’t always true.

 

In fact, a lot of the time, they can actually be different in some manner.

 

Thinking about this, I decided I would pick out 4 things which have man-made or synthetic versions and natural versions and explain some of these differences. Hopefully, this will inspire you to look into items you have which could have another version and explore to see if there are differences among those items when natural or man-made/synthetic.

 

Alas, let us begin.

 

Item 1) Lye: Lye is a common ingredient used in the soap making process for saponification. It is a base and can be the natural version (potassium hydroxide) or the man-made version (sodium hydroxide). The natural version (Potassium Hydroxide) would be from wood ash while the man-made version (sodium hydroxide) would be industrially produced. The natural version will normally result in a softer or a liquid soap while the man-made will result in a hard soap. If you add quite a  bit of salt  during the soap making process you can also possibly turn the naturally occurring version into a hard soap, though one needs to use a more solid fat with it like animal fat. The naturally occurring version also uses less water and could be argued as more concentrated or effective in regards to how the soap works when using the naturally occurring lye for making.

 

Item 2) Sweeteners: Sweeteners are used to make something taste sweet, and there are naturally occurring types and synthetic types.  Naturally occurring types include cane sugar and honey while synthetic types include Aspartame and Saccharin. What normally results in the usage of these synthetic types over the naturally occurring types, is the concerns of calorie consumption or the economic cost as the synthetics tend to be cheaper.

 

Cane sugar is sugar that is obtained from the sugar cane, normally less processed than white granulated sugar which results in a slight natural color and courser grain. Honey is a sweetener obtained from beehives and depending where you get it can have different levels of processing. While sweet, it is liquid and has other minerals and proteins in it. In addition, depending on what plants the bees are going to that they are using to make the honey, the honey can have differing levels of sweetness and taste. Aspartame is made by fermenting and synthesizing* the amino L-phenylalanine with L-aspartic acid and methanol (I’ve posted links about these below with my other sources though to explain the individual ingredients would need another post). Saccharin is made through first converting phthalic anhydride into anthranilic acid. The Anthranilic acid is then synthesized with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia to create Saccharin.

 

The naturally occurring types of sweeteners like honey and cane sugar tend to have a less sweet taste in similar quantities to the synthetics, but are better absorbed by the body and digested. With the synthetics like Saccharin and Aspartame, weight gain is actually able to occur due to it resulting in making the body think it needs to store extra calories.

 

Item 3) Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a vitamin which helps to regulate other minerals in the body and aid the immune system. The naturally occurring type is Vitamin D3 while the synthetic type is Vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 occurs naturally in Fatty fish and through exposure to sunlight. With exposure to sunlight, please note that you need the natural oils on your skin to be present in order to actually absorb the Vitamin D3, washing oneself on a bi-daily or daily basis with harsh or conventional soaps strips your body of these oils which prevents the absorption of vitamin D3 through exposure to sunlight.  In addition, excessive use of sunscreens can also prevent Vitamin D3 from being absorbed when getting it from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D2 is synthetic and not at all necessary for your body, when talking about vitamin D levels, in fact, even though both are shown the Vitamin D3 is the preferred to have. Vitamin D2 is made by radiating ergosteral from the mold ergot. Vitamin D2 is not as potent as vitamin D3.

 

Item 4) Fleece: When talking about fleece, I am not talking about the sheep’s fleece, but actually am talking about the fleece common in clothing and blankets. Most of these are synthetically made from polyester, which as I have said before in a previous post, is terephthalic acid (a petroleum base) mixed with anti-freeze. Though there are some which are made from Cotton, which would be natural. Polyester is considered the warmer fabric, though due to polyester’s not so breathable nature, being a plastic and all, it tends to also result in a lot of overheating and some sweating which for many is a huge nuisance with the fabric and a major deterrent. Polyester also tends just not to feel as nice as cotton does even if it does try. As I personally notice, the polyester tends to “catch” onto the skin more.

 

Cotton fleece, would be more breathable and as a result not as warm, which may require an additional layer of something like wool in colder or wet weather or silk in more windy weather. Cotton fleece would be softer though and would not cause overheating while still adding a nice warmer layer. Polyester fleece though is cheaper and more easily accessible, while cotton would be harder to find. One could also get a fleece item made from wool which would be if minimally processed, liquid resistant and temperature regulating, but unless it is a higher quality organic wool fleece or something along those lines, it could affect sensitive skin and not be as soft.

 

Anyways, I hope this information has helped with seeing some of the differences and making one more aware that there can be differences among various items which are supposed to be the same, depending on whether they are the synthetic or natural versions.
Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

Sources for information provided:
http://sodium-hydroxide.com/sodium-hydroxide-vs-potassium-hydroxide-a-comparison-too-caustic/ http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-Lye-Soap&id=809119
http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/11/how_to_make_lye_soap_by_masqui.html
http://sugar.org/cra-lawsuit/science-other-facts/scientific-studies/
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/sugar-vs-sweeteners/
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cane+sugar
http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/honey
http://www.food.com/library/honey-155
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/549aspartame.html
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Aspartame.html
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/phenylalanine
http://www.ajiaminoscience.com/products/manufactured_products/l-amino_acids/L-Aspartic-Acid.aspx
http://www.articlesbase.com/industrial-articles/how-is-saccharin-made-6594500.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-929-VITAMIN%20D.aspx?activeIngredientId=929&activeIngredientName=VITAMIN%20D
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/589256_4http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2896800090.html
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/synthesis?q=synthesis

*Synthesis definition per oxford dictionary: The combination of components or elements to form a connected whole.

 

Shopping for Holiday Presents the Natural & Organic Way; Ideas for the perfect affordable Natural & Organic presents! November 21, 2013

                It’s that time of year again when one is shopping for the Holiday season! Whether it’s Chanukah or Christmas, those of us who choose a more natural lifestyle are going to come to that one gift giving dilemma… How do I find presents that others will enjoy, but also presents that I won’t feel wrong getting due to their potential non-natural or chemical based origins I may personally not agree with?                 
               In other words, how do I find good and natural presents for the people I care about without spending too much?
                I have a couple of suggestions.
                Here I will list off 5 items to consider and ideas so as to make the dilemma less so and the shopping experience a lot easier when going and giving natural!

1. Natural Soap Bars or Shower Gel!
                Natural soap bars and shower gels tend to have a much more distinctive and fancy or elegant look. Many natural soap bars and shower gels also tend to moisten the skin rather than dry out the skin like conventional soaps can. During winter time, that can be a big plus.  In addition, they are a nice affordable and simple present, along with being able to come in all types of wonderful natural scents (thanks to essential oils) that can fit everyone on your lists’ unique personality or preferences!

2. Natural & Organic Throw Blankets!
                A wonderful gift ideal perfect for the season and never overdone, because let’s face it, for the most part you can never have too many awesome blankets! You can get the blankets in all kinds of natural or organic fibers like Organic Cotton, Hemp, Untreated or Organic Wool, Mohair, and Silk. If one is looking to be more budget friendly, the Organic cotton and Hemp will be the most affordable. We at Pure-Rest even have some organic cotton ones on sale in our clearance section in addition to our regular selections!  

3. Stoneware & Ceramic cooking and serving items!
                These items can include pots, bowls, utensils, plates, pans (including certain naturally non-stick ceramic fry pans) and are overall a little bit more on the low maintenance side with cleaning and care compared to some other natural cookware available. This is great for when you have someone you may be getting a present for that is not as focused on natural cookware and is just into ease of cooking. These items are also great because they can be quite affordable and have a huge variety of options, along with being a very usable and long lasting gift!

4. Kids-Wood Toys and Natural Fiber Plushies!
                Kids love toys and for the most part, probably won’t notice whether they are plastic or not, as long as they are toys. You can get wood toy cars, cooking kitchens and food, trains, slingshots, boats, animals, play sets, dolls for doll houses, doll houses themselves, and almost anything else that is normally made of hard plastic for playing with in wood. These toys will not just be a better alternative, but will last longer and can be more durable over time.
                Natural fiber Plushies may be a little bit hard to find, but will also tend to last longer, normally are easier to clean, and a lot of time can have fillings(like organic or untreated wool) that are naturally bacterial resistant which can make them lower maintenance. Fibers and fillings can include organic cotton, kapok, and untreated or organic wool and can be very affordable along with having various options which can be found over the internet!

5.  Organic Cotton Clothing!
                Clothing is always a great present during the holidays and when shopping it can be hard sometimes to resist a lot of cute items. Luckily, many big clothing companies are selling some clothing items made with organic cotton, you just need to keep your eyes open for them. I’ve seen some from Disney, Banana Republic, Quiksilver, American Apparel, Billabong, The North Face, Victoria’s Secret, & Lucky Brand and there is probably more than just these companies offering organic cotton options with their clothing! You can also find online many smaller companies that sell strictly organic cotton clothing. Organic cotton overall tends to be a lot softer than conventional cotton and many will appreciate the extra softness!

I hope this list has helped with shopping for natural presents, if one has any questions, ideas, or needs advice or help further in this subject, feel free to comment below!

This Blog Post is not a researched based post so no sources would be needed. If requested, I can post in the comments section some brands, stores, or websites which carry the items I’ve listed above.
Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

How to find the best organic mattress! July 16, 2013

                        “How do I know which organic mattress is the right one for me?”
           
This question comes up quite often. We will try to answer this question below or on our website, but if you still have questions so you may make an informed choice – call us at 800-596-7450 or email lena@ecobaby.com.

            Let us begin.
            Firstly; Who is this mattress for?
            Is it for just you, for you and your significant other, for a child, for guests, for someone else? Children need a firm mattress for their growing bodies and most children tend to sleep on their back and stomach, so as they grow, this firm supports them well.   As we age, we sleep more on our sides and want the plushness of a softer mattress with firm support.
            What is the comfort level?
            Normally, side sleepers, females, and older individuals prefer a softer mattress while back sleepers and stomach sleepers tend to go with a firmer mattress. Lighter individuals usually prefer a less firm mattress while heavier individuals prefer a slightly more firm mattress. With natural latex mattresses, an adult should consider using at least 6” of firm or extra firm rubber, or 3” of each, for the support of their mattress.             
            Pricing-
            An organic adult mattress can vary in pricing depending on size and comfort. A rule of thumb to follow is to never get a mattress strictly because it is a lower price, if it is not going to be comfortable to you. These mattresses tend to have a warranty of 20 years when properly cared for, so you want to make sure you have the right one to meet your comfort levels. If pricing is a concern, a good way to save money while still meeting ones’ comfort needs, is to instead of getting a strictly natural latex mattress, go with an innerspring support and natural latex extra soft toppers for comfort, though this may be slightly less conforming feeling than the strictly latex and have more of a “bounce”.
            Lastly; Some quick Pure-Rest Mattress notes:
 1. Softer mattresses on our website include the Sagittarius, Celestial, Libra, Circa, Athena, and Zeus. Firm or Firmer mattresses include the Harmony, Gemini, Wool outer, & Apollo. Medium to slightly firm mattresses, with a little bit of comfort, include the Selene, Atlantis, and Leo.
2. The most commonly purchased organic mattress for adults is the Sagittarius Zip Outer mattress in extra firm, firm, and extra soft. The most commonly purchased organic mattress for children is the Harmony tailored in firm. The Zip Outer Harmony mattress is also quite popular among both children and adults as each side can have a different firmness.
3. On our website, if you click on the mattress you are interested in, it directs you to a more detailed description of the mattress, helping further to give you an ideal of the feel.
4. The Gemini and 4.5” wool outer mattress is firmer than the other mattresses and is not recommended for permanent usage for adults because it is not supportive enough due to it being too thin.

We hope this helps you with such an important decision as mattress selection!
Sources for the information provided:
Myself- 2 years of experience with mattress recommendations.

Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

What’s that smell?! Parfum; Artificial scents and what you should know about them February 14, 2013

                We are all familiar with it, it is everywhere; that slightly addicting scent which masks itself in almost every non-natural scented product, with maybe a slight variance like a hint of soft “ocean breeze” or sharp “cinnamon spice”. Some of us absolutely love it and some of us abhor it, but all of us are affected by it. This thing, these scents, are known as Parfum.
                Parfum is the word we use in reference to man-made artificial scents, it can sometime refer to natural scents from essential oils, but this is almost never the case in the United States and if it is it normally will state “natural parfum/perfume” or “parfum/perfume from essential oils”. Parfum can also be referred to as Fragrance or Perfume, these terms can be used interchangeably. Parfum can be found in quite a few products including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, lotion, deodorants, shampoo, soap bars, dish washing liquid, litter, fabric softener, talalay rubber, household cleaning products, odor eliminators/air fresheners, candles, non-natural unscented products, or any other product which is scented through non-natural means. There are over 4,000 chemicals used in artificial fragrances. Yet most of these artificial fragrances have not ever been tested for toxicity to humans!
                This lack of testing for toxicity is mainly because the artificial scents ingredients and scent as a whole can be considered proprietary information which protects them from having to do testing. From doing quite a bit of research on some common artificial fragrances one can note some common negative effects on human health are their effect on the reproductive system, respiratory system, certain organs, and the neurological system. In addition, some artificial fragrances have strictly unique negative effects, like how artificial vanilla scent/flavor is mutagenic and can negatively affect your red and white blood cell count. I have sourced my research below.
                Common artificial fragrances are artificial vanilla scent, ocean breeze scent, fresh linen scent, fresh scent, tropical breeze scent, artificial rose scent, fruity scent, cucumber melon scent, and “original” scents.  When looking at the current testing and information about parfumes and without any further testing or information being done to prove otherwise, we believe that you should avoid these artificial scents whenever possible. From what is known about them, they can cause and do cause harm to the human body, and why would we want to cause such harm to our bodies if we can prevent it? Instead try to stick to using natural scents like essential oils or try to purchase products which only use natural scents and do not have the ingredient Parfum, Parfume, Perfume, Fragrance, or Artificial fragrance unless you can verify that they are natural and not chemical. Don’t forget, even some organic products can contain artificial fragrances and unscented products can have masking agents so always check the ingredients!

We hope this helps and educates on the mysterious and secretive Parfum. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to comment below!

Sources for information provided:
http://www.simplesteps.org/health/youth-adults/hazards-hidden-chemicals-perfume
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242040/pdf/ehp0112-a0458b.pdf
http://www.visit-aroma.com/uploads/PDF/Ethyl_Vanillin_Msds_.pdf
http://www.betco.com/MSDS_EN/C5510_227/231CAN.pdf
http://www.rubbermaidcommercial.com/rcp/ObjectServer?table=PDFs&id=1038&name=RCP_Microburst%204500%20Air%20Neutralizer%2010%2027%2010%20Rev%202.pdf
http://www.conncoll.edu/offices/ehs/EnvhealthDocs/Meter_Mist_Fresh_Linen_(ENG).pdf
http://www.crafters-choice.com/PDFs/ProductDocs/Crafters-Choice-Fresh-Linen-Fragrance-Oil-154.pdf
http://www.safetec.com/Images/Documents/abhcfreshMSDS.pdf
http://www.sweetwater1.org/site/files/deodorizerfreshscent13l.pdf

Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

Vinegar, Baking Soda, Salt; Natural Cleaning Made Easy and Affordable November 27, 2012

                We at PureRest & Ecobaby Organics as a company personally believe that a clean home is just as important as a home free of chemicals. Living in a dirty home significantly affects ones’ health in a very negative way. This is because when a home is dirty mold, pathogens, rats, and insects can and will harbor in the dirty home. 
                 Sadly, most conventional cleaners used to clean up a home and keep it from getting dirty aren’t much better when it comes to your health. Some of the more common chemicals used in these cleaners include formaldehyde, ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol(a.k.a. “non toxic” antifreeze), and triclosan . These chemicals have all kinds of negative health effects, including—depending which chemical— causing cancer, severe allergic reactions, respiratory illness, development of asthma, and/or hormone disruption.
                So what can one do to keep a clean home, without having to use cleaners that can be just as bad for your health as a dirty home, and without breaking the bank? The answer is simple, make your own cleaner!
                This can be a fun, affordable, and easy thing to do, that can guarantee you will know what is exactly in your cleaner and that it will be natural and safe for your home. Here I will give my personal general all-purpose cleaner recipe along with some tips on other quick and natural cleaning alternatives.

All Purpose Natural Cleaner

Ingredients:
1 Spray bottle of your choice, I prefer a heavy-duty plastic that will not leech or stainless steel
1/3 the spray bottle’s weight in White Distilled Vinegar(If using on carpeting or fabric stains use ¼ cup of baking soda instead)
2/3 the spray bottle’s weight in Water
5-8 drops of  sweet orange or lavender oil(optional)
2-4 tablespoons of salt

Directions:
1. Open top off of spray bottle and place all ingredients inside of spray bottle. Close top onto spray bottle then gently shake. Spray on desired spots to clean and either wipe immediately with a cloth or paper towel or wait a few minutes for dirtier stains then wipe clean.

                            Tips for other cleaning:
*Use 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water plain and spray on mirrors or widows, then wipe down and fully dry with a plain paper towel to give a perfect streak free clean.
*Use vinegar in place of softeners to soften clothes naturally.
*Soak steel or stainless steel pans in vinegar if there are stains which are hard to remove.
*For bath tubs, add some extra salt or baking soda and leave on for ten minutes to make cleaning much easier.
*Add essential oils (2-3 drops) to clothing in the wash to give it a pleasant natural scent.
*Vinegar can set stains on clothing so do not put it directly on any fresh stains, use a mixture of water and baking soda instead.
*Want to create your own natural room spray? Grab an herb, spice, or mixture of herbs and spices of your choice (I like cinnamon, rosemary, mint or lavender) and boil in water. Once very fragrant and the water has slightly changed color stop boiling and let it cool. Then pour the liquid and spices into a stainless steel spray bottle and use as a room spray!
*Vinegar also can kill mold and mold spores, essential oils are good because they also tend to be anti-bacterial.

                We hope this helps, educates, and you all enjoy the tips and general cleaner recipe. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to comment below!

Sources for the information provided:
http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html
http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/flea.html
http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=22&cont=312
http://www.health.state.nm.us/ERD/HealthData/documents/Flies_000.pdf http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/bedbug.html
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/  
http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/mold.htm
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formaldehyde.html
http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com/a_875-Some_Cleaning_Products_More_Harmful_Than_Helpful
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/05/22_householdchemicals.shtml http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm http://www.epa.gov/kidshometour/products/bleach.htm
http://sodiumhypochlorite.org/index.html
http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/hydrochl.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/273562-what-is-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/  http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/canker-sore/DS00354/DSECTION=causes
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956675/
http://www.dow.com/PublishedLiterature/dh_0047/0901b803800479d9.pdf#page=36 http://chemindustry.ru/1,2-Propanediol.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060004/
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm205999.htm

Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

Conventional vs. Organic Cotton Sheets; Some know-how and what to look for! September 7, 2012

Hello All and Good Afternoon on this beautiful September Day!
                I have been inspired to teach you all about that wondrous thing we make every morning and fall asleep into every night, the one-the only, your sheets. Sheets are extremely important when it comes to your sleep and they are not the same, at all.
                Sheets can vary in many ways, from the raw material, where that material comes from, how that material is sewn, how it is finished, how it is dyed, and even what quality that material is to its counterparts. This is not even all the differences; here I will explain further, variances in raw material among various types of sheets and give recommendations on how to find perfect, truly pure, sheets.
                Firstly, let us discuss conventional sheets and their variances. Conventional sheets, i.e. the sheets you get at most major retailers and stores, have three main raw materials. These raw materials are polyester, conventional cotton, and silk. Sometimes they are a blend of these materials, like cotton and silk or polyester and cotton, but they are normally almost always made of these main raw materials. Most sheets are made of 100% Polyester  unless you pay a little more money, and then they are the blend of cotton and polyester, pay somewhat more and you get  100% cotton, pay a lot more and you get cotton/silk, pay a whole lot more and you get 100% silk. I will not be discussing silk as the average American does not tend to purchase silk bedding. Please comment below if you would like me to post on silk and I will do so.
                Polyester, sometimes shorthand named Poly or Poly-Fabric is a synthetic raw material made from petroleum that is used to make fabrics and PET plastic. Polyester is made as a result of a condensation reaction between Anti-Freeze (Ethylene Glycol) and Terephthalic Acid (produced from petroleum/crude oil). Before I can get into any further detail on how Polyester is made I must explain how Terephthalic Acid is made and what it is. Terephthalic Acid, in simple terms, is a chemical that looks like a white powder made by distilling Petroleum then heating to an extremely high temperature that distilled petroleum in various complex ways multiple times then cooling it. Then separating the gas parts from the liquid parts, then stabilizing that liquid and heating until it steams/boils and redoing this until it becomes p-Xylene.  P-Xylene is a hazardous and carcinogenic colorless liquid (sometimes solid) and is considered harmful to people’s health. This p-xylene then goes through the process of oxidation and becomes Terephthalic Acid. 
                To put this in simple terms, to make polyester one would heat up Anti-Freeze and highly processed crude oil until it condensates together and becomes Polyester.
                Conventional cotton is a natural raw material that is picked off of cotton plants which grow mainly during the summer. Conventional cotton tends to be grown with many various pesticides and cotton is known to be using some of the largest amounts of pesticides among conventional plants. A few of the pesticides used include Deltamethrin, Parathion, and Thiram. Deltamethrin is considered moderately hazardous and is a known Endocrine Disruptor. Parathion is considered extremely hazardous and has the long term exposure effect of lowering red blood cell activity and count. Thiram is considered moderately toxic but is highly toxic if inhaled, it can also be found in conventional soap and sun screen. Conventional Cotton also is often genetically modified; genetically modified cotton is referred to as transgenic cotton. This transgenic cotton is mainly cotton with certain pesticides’ and herbicides’ genes added to it so that it can be either bug resistant or resistant to bug or weed killing sprays. In 2008, 94.6% of U.S. conventional cotton crop that was planted was the transgenic cotton.
                Organic sheets tend to be made with organic cotton. Organic cotton is cotton which is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, or any other chemical. Organic cotton also cannot be genetically modified. Dealing with pests, weeds, or fungi is usually done through natural or more traditional methods like growing plants around the cotton which deters the pest and pulling out any weeds manually. Organic cotton in the U.S. needs to be GOTS certified organic in order to be called certified organic.
                When it comes to sheets, I personally recommend getting certified organic cotton that is grown in India, Egypt, or the United States. Egyptian and India organic cotton tends to be softer because the summers there are longer and therefore the cotton fiber grows longer. U.S. organic cotton is still soft (not as soft), but also tends to be sturdier and purchasing U.S. organic cotton shows companies the higher demand for such products which has the possibility of resulting in more supply of organic cotton products and less supply of polyester/conventional cotton products. Certified organic cotton is almost always going to be much softer and higher quality than conventional cotton and polyester products mainly due to the amount of additional care which comes with producing something organically. Lastly, with any sheets—not just organic cotton but preferably so—one would want to make sure that the sheets are dyed with either low impact dyes or traditional—from a direct tribe not a big company—herbal dying process and that the sheets are not finished with any chemical finishes like formaldehyde—which contrary to popular belief, are extremely hard or, in the case of formaldehyde, impossible to completely wash out—.
                I hope this has helped explain some factors with organic and conventional sheets and their raw materials well so that you may have some more knowledge on something as important as ones’ bed linens! If there are any questions please post a comment below and I will happily answer them!
               

Sources for the information provided:                                                           
http://www.whatispolyester.com/
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/06/71268
http://www.cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/16085
http://pac.iupac.org/publications/pac/pdf/1994/pdf/6605×1077.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iv/otm_iv_2.html#3
http://www.ejfoundation.org/pdf/the_deadly_chemicals_in_cotton.pdf http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Deltamethrin
http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/parathio.html
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/pyrethrins-ziram/thiram-ext.html 
http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/organic_cotton.html
http://www.cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/9181
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5011805.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terephthalic_acid
http://www.cotton.org/edu/faq/index.cfm
http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/95257.htm
http://www.speclab.com/compound/c106423.htm
http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/16085
http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/formaldehyde-factsheet.pdf
http://health-report.co.uk/formaldehyde-fact-sheet.htm
http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/formaldehyde.htm

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