The Pure-Rest and Ecobaby Organics Blog

All about Natural and Organics for you and your home!

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

Comment below on what you would like our next post to be!

 

 
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