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Is YOUR Fragrance on This List?

I really love things that smell good but in the past few years I’ve become keenly aware of just how toxic they can be and thus, I was compelled to search Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic safety database and compile a list of the worst-scoring fragrances.

This means that based on their ingredients, these fragrances rated the highest in categories relating to cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity and/or developmental & reproductive toxicity—YIKES!

This list isn’t all inclusive of every fragrance out there and it only contains some of the ones that got the highest overall “hazard” scores (9 and 10) .

There are plenty that I didn’t list and many that have only slightly lower hazard scores so yourself a favor and check Skin Deep yourself to see where your scents and cosmetics rank. FYI…my fave scent scored a 6 out of 10 :(

And now…

THE LIST

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Heaven Sent: The Oreck Halo

halo.jpgTake one long-haired cat, a bushy-tailed dog, and two active little boys, and what do you get? Well, in my house you get lots of fun times AND a very dirty family room carpet. I’m not one for using chemicals for cleaning anywhere in my home but I like a clean carpet (who doesn’t?!) so I was super excited to try out the new Oreck Halo Vacuum Cleaner. The Oreck Halo not only vacuums up dust and debris like typical vacuum cleaners, but actually kills microorganisms without the use of harsh chemicals thanks to the use of UV-C light technology. If you’re an allergy or asthma sufferer, this vacuum will hold special appeal in that it kills dust mites eggs (up to 90%), which can trigger allergies. Beyond just killing dust mite eggs this vacuum also kills a host of other microorganisms, such as flu viruses, e-coli, mold and salmonella. According to the company, the Oreck Halo’s UV-C light is even powerful enough to kill the superbug MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes staph infections. Wow! Now for the performance of the vacuum itself… Prior to trying out the Oreck Halo, we had a high-end vacuum cleaner which retailed for more than $400 but I felt the Oreck had stronger suction, was easier to maneuver, and had a better all-floors function. In addition, the attachments were longer and more user-friendly to take out.  My assessment is that the Oreck Halo performs better than expected for vacuuming debris, PLUS it includes UV-C light technology for killing microorganisms. And considering that the floor in your home probably has more bacteria (much more) than your toilet seat, I’d say that the Oreck Halo is worth a look, especially if you are in the market for a high-end vacuum. Or you have a crawling baby. Or you just want your floors to be cleaner than your toilet seat :)

Find It Here: Oreck.com

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Does Your Vacuum Cleaner Suck?

vacuum_cleaner.jpgIf you’re like me, an undomestic goddess of a kingdom comprised mostly of pet hair and assorted baby stuff, any help in biting back the dust is welcome. National Geographic’s Green Guide recently published an article on vacuum cleaners, including product comparisons and buying pointers. I dug that they say vacuums are super-easy to repair but that seldom happens. It could, however, probably save you some money, not to mention please Mother Earth (and who doesn’t like to keep on HER good side?) to try having the vacuum repaired or parts replaced (or do it yourself!) before you donate it to a thrift store, charity, or even “freecycle” it.  But if it’s time for a better vacuum or your household includes an asthma-and-allergies sufferer (like mine), take heart because today’s vacuum cleaning market lends credence to the idea that there’s a sucker born every minute—but this time, it’s in a good way! Some models with HEPA filters (sometimes pricier, sometimes not) even help whisk away and imprison the brain cell-killing chemicals in flame retardants, the hormone-tampering phthalates as well as the carcinogens and pesticides that sneak in from the outside world. I take safeguarding the environment seriously but I can’t resist one final pun—peruse The Green Guide and, for a more comprehensive list of vacuums’ green ratings, Consumer Reports. With these helpers, it’s sure to be a wind-wind situation when you choose your next vacuum cleaner!

Find it Here: The Green Guide

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