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12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic (2010)

Try the 12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic for 2013 instead. More up-to-date! Last weekend, I got a friendly warning from a farmer at our local Greenmarket. Holding up the big, beautiful bell pepper I’d selected, he said, “You may find a little friend inside.” Friend? I cast an uncomprehending look at him. “We […]

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Safe Bug Spray for Kids and Adults

Is it safe to use an insect repellent on your kids — or yourself — that contains DEET? And are there any safe and effective alternatives? IN SHORT: DEET-based bug repellents may carry some risk, depending on the concentration of DEET in the product and the individual’s health and chemical sensitivity. For a safer, effective […]

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BPA Linked to Heart Disease, Study Confirms

Heer’s another reason to steer clear of food and drink packaging containing BPA — it’s been linked to higher rates of heart disease. In a sampling of U.S. adults, those with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those with the lowest […]

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Unscented Products — Why and How

Air freshener, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, moisturizer, lip balm — these and other common household and personal care products are scented with fragrances that can be dangerous to your health. Dozens if not hundreds of synthetic chemicals go into these fragrances, including: Phthalates — endocrine disruptors that cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems; […]

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Are Brita and Pur Water Pitchers BPA-free?

My family has used a Brita pitcher for years to filter our water and make it safer to drink and I have always insisted our kids use it, rather than drink directly from the tap. Recently, though, I began to wonder if the pitcher itself might contain a dangerous chemical — bisphenol A (BPA) — […]

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Low VOC Paint is Best

Recently, I’ve had experience in my home with low-VOC paint as well as conventional paint. The first left the place virtually odor-free; the second filled it with noxious fumes from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Possible health effects from VOC exposure include headache, dizziness and respiratory problems in the short-run — and liver, kidney and neurological […]

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How to Screw in a CFL Bulb Safely

Reposting a very useful comment from Paul Ronco from Fredericksburg VA: [T]he correct way to screw in, as well as remove, a CFL is by grasping it on the white plastic base with your fingertips and carefully twisting. This is why CFLs have extended white plastic bases that go beyond the actual metallic connector, whereas […]

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Compact Fluorescents and Mercury

This much is true — compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury and mercury is toxic. Also true — the mercury is sealed in, so you won’t be exposed unless a bulb breaks AND you don’t follow a few simple clean-up steps (below). This, too, is true — many of America’s favorite food fish are contaminated […]

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12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic (2009)

Try the 12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic for 2013 instead. More up-to-date! If you can’t afford to get all your food organic (how many people can?), you will be interested in the latest edition of the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” from the Environmental Working Group, which lists the fruits and vegetables with the […]

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BPA-free Water Bottles

Are the new breed of clear, hard “BPA-free” water bottles made with Tritan — from Nalgene, Kor, Camelbak, Thermos and others — safer than the polycarbonate bottles they replaced? Not necessarily. To assess their safety, we would need to know what chemicals are in the bottles, not just that BPA is not. After all, other […]

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