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After 40 years of absence, bed bugs are biting again across the country, with infestations so bad the NY Times refers to them as “The Bug That Ate New York!” Scientists are unsure of the cause of this resurgence, but they do know the best way of getting rid of a bed bug infestation is to catch it early or stop it before it happens.  This doesn’t mean pouring pesticides all over your house—which the bugs may be resistant to anyway— but taking preventive measures and learning to recognize the signs of bed bugs so you can stop them in their tracks.
All those products we use to make our clothes clean might take care of the dirt and grease, but they can leave nasty chemicals behind!  Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your laundry squeaky clean without the toxic chemicals.
Whether your child’s playroom is a special corner of the house, or the entire basement, make sure it’s a healthy playroom and a safe environment with the following toxic-free tips.
If you’ve been following our tips on choosing safer products you may have old products in your cupboards waiting to be discarded. It may surprise you to learn that those household products you could so readily buy at the neighborhood store actually require disposal as hazardous waste. The turn of the year is the perfect time to tackle the cupboards. You know, out with the old, in with the new! The following products should be taken to a hazardous waste facility for disposal rather than poured down the drain or placing in the garbage. Outside of King County please contact your local waste management program.
remodel tips
Spring is here and the upcoming warmer, dryer months are a great time to tackle remodeling projects!  Before you or your contractor start any demolition, make sure to find out if there is lead paint in the house. If your home was built pre-1978, it likely contains lead paint.  A new EPA law enacted in 2010 to prevent children’s exposure to dangerous levels of lead during renovation requires contractors to be certified in lead-safe work practices. Exposure to lead hazards is especially dangerous for kids and can lead to lower intelligence, learning disabilities, and behavior issues.  Lead is also harmful to adults, especially pregnant women who can transfer lead to fetuses.
If you have kids in the house, you know there’s more to your floor than just a pretty surface to walk on—it’s a primary play space for kids. Certain types of flooring can put children at risk for toxic exposures, so when it’s time to remodel, choosing a flooring material that won’t jeopardize indoor air quality and is easily cleaned is important to maintaining a healthy home. Here are some selection tips to help you shop.
You wouldn’t feed your dog chocolate, so why would you use toxic flea bombs and powders? They’re bad for you and your furry friends! But to keep the itchy pests out of your home, it’s helpful to understand how fleas like to live.
Ready to freshen up your home’s munchkin zone with a new coat of paint? The good news is that finding a paint that won’t compromise indoor air quality has never been easier. Thanks to stricter regulation and consumer demand, companies have reformulated paint products to reduce VOCs, which are a class of chemicals that can cause indoor pollution. Low or no-VOC paints also claim to be low odor -another great benefit.  So what do you need to know in addition to counting VOCs to choose a safer paint for your family and the environment?
Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Wool is great for staying warm and dry, but did you know that it’s also great to sleep on? Many parents ask us what the healthiest options are for children’s mattresses and futons, so we’ve compiled these tips to help you when you shop. The good news is that mattresses containing the toxic flame retardants PBDEs have been prohibited from sale in Washington stores since January 2008.
Read about ants, spiders, roaches, and flies; carpenter ants; pantry pests; and clothing moths.