A Stealthy Cat, the Fall and a Toxic Awakening

Learn About Toxic Household Chemicals

It all started with a stealthy cat nicknamed Cato who forever changed my life. Most days, I’m grateful for the jolt she gave me. Of course, she is oblivious to the new me because she’s focused on meal times and sleeping. But I’ve changed.

Here’s the story.


The Stealth Cat – Just Like Cato


Five years ago, we adopted a rescue cat to try to fill the gap our former cat had left. We named her Zoey. And, she’s very cute.

She does have one bad (really bad) habit though. It’s a game she likes to play and it reminds me of the Pink Panther movies where Inspector Clouseau gets ambushed by Cato.

Do you remember these scenes? Here’s one of my favorites.

Inspector Clouseau

I was also carrying groceries when it happened…


The Fall — the Crunch was the Worst Part


Anyway, Zoey loves to ambush us which many times ends up in one of us tripping. Usually, it’s no big deal, but one day Zoey tripped me on the stairs.

I recall being airborne and then the crunch of my head on the floor.

She looks pretty innocent, right?

The concussion symptoms lasted for months, and I just kept getting sicker. In hindsight, I must admit that I had only been keeping my head above water health-wise before the fall, so it’s really no wonder that my body gave up on me. It was the tipping point.

And, I was headed down.

I won’t bore you with all of my symptoms, aches, pains and anxieties mainly because I don’t want to relive it. Let’s just say that I was chronically fatigued and developed chemical sensitivities.

Luckily, I found a great physician to help me. Together, we worked on improving the following items: diet, sleep, exercise, stress and reducing environmental toxins.


An Awakening to Toxic Household Chemicals


She advised me to start by getting rid of toxic chemicals in my home, something I had given little or no thought to before. My first reaction was one of disbelief. Could household toxins really be that bad? I listened and decided she was right.

She told me to buy a drinking water filter, to get an air filter, and to change to “safe”, non-toxic cleaning products. She also advised me to change to an organic diet, and to try to eat only “clean” foods.

With my husband’s help, we started down this path to pure living and a number of things emerged. We discovered there are dangerous chemicals hiding in many of the everyday products we used and took for granted as being safe, which both amazed and scared us.


What Became Crystal Clear – It’s Up to You


It also became clear that government agencies I thought were tasked with making sure consumer products are safe really are not doing their job.  That finding “safe” and effective products that actually do what they say they will do can be a real challenge.

And, it’s up to you to figure this out.

I learned how difficult it was to find accurate information about product safety and effectiveness.

Not only is there a lot of false and misleading information out there, but in many cases companies create “independent” web sites to declare their products as “best”.

We also realized just reading the label on many products does not mean they are free of harmful chemicals as companies are not required to list on their labels all the ingredients.

Really?

Hard to believe, right?

As we continued to do more and more research eventually we discovered  better, more truthful and accurate information. We found sites like EWG, discovered NSF certification, learned about “green washing”, and realized that “all natural” does not mean much, if anything.

We also realized that we had made a lot of “bad” choices along the way thinking we were buying safe and effective products.

Not only was this discouraging, but it was expensive to realize the water filter you bought does not do what it claims, so you need to replace it.

The “best” air filter you bought might be good at removing particles (HEPA) but not good at removing VOC’s (carbon), and that the one you now know you need to buy actually cost less than the one you bought the first time.

Once I regained my health, my husband and I came up with the idea of Pure Living Space as a way to share what we had learned and to help other people who might be going through these same challenges to find products that truly are safe, free of harmful chemicals, and actually do what they claim.


Sound Advice & It’s NOT All or Nothing


Not only do we want to offer sound advice and guidance, but we also want be a resource for truly safe and effective products that you can trust.

Why trust us? Because I’m an analyst and researcher at heart and a fanatic about accuracy and completeness. We only recommend products that we’re sure are safe and effective. And, we only share articles that are well-researched with science behind the claims.

At Pure Living Space, we believe that it’s NOT all or nothing! Any step that you take toward a less toxic home will contribute to your good health. And, the information we share is critical to your health.

We want Pure Living Space to help you live healthier at home, without a lot of effort on your part. And, we want you to feel confident about the quality of information and products Pure Living Space offers.

Ready to start? Why not take the Challenge to create a healthier, less toxic home?

Sign up for our 12 week e-course. Each week, we’ll walk you through a different topic making it easier to understand the issues with a focus on small changes you can make that will improve your health.

You’ll be happy you did. Subscribers call it a “must read”.  Get started today!

And, yes, I’m always on the lookout for another Cato ambush, but so far so good.

Please share!

How to Solve Your Stiff Neck – All Natural Shredded Latex Pillow

All Natural Shredded Latex Pillow

I’ve always been a down pillow lover until my stiff neck sent me in search of a new option. I found a shredded latex pillow and now I’m hooked. In fact, I love it so much that I try to travel with it as often as possible. This from someone who used to find humor in people packing their own pillows on trips. I’m careful to hide my pillow from the hotel maid so it doesn’t get confused with the hotel’s pillows.

Initially, I was skeptical about latex because I worried about off-gassing and added chemical flame retardants. I didn’t realize that I could buy 100% all natural latex that wasn’t treated with added flame retardants that wouldn’t off-gas.

What to Look for When Buying a Shredded Latex Pillow

When buying a shredded latex pillow, the key is to look for pillows made with 100% Natural Latex (not a blend of natural and synthetic compounds like most other latex on the market).

Read the fine print!

Manufacturers can advertise Natural Latex even if their product is a blend of natural (30%) and synthetic (70%). So, if you don’t see 100% advertised, then the pillow is probably a blend including more synthetic latex than natural.


Why does 100% Natural Matter When it Comes to Latex?


Natural Latex is a milky product that comes from rubber tree plants grown in tropical locations worldwide. If you’re like me, you are probably surprised that Latex is a natural product and not always man-made.

The raw product is composed of water, latex and natural byproducts which is made into Latex foam. 100% Natural Latex produces a soft and elastic foam which is naturally antimicrobial.

Since it’s antimicrobial, Natural Latex inhibits mold and mildew growth, and is dust-mite resistant. It also absorbs moisture, circulates air and regulates heat which helps you sleep more soundly.

On the other hand, synthetic Latex is a man-made compound called Styrene-Butadiene (SBR). While molecularly identical to Natural Latex, it is derived primarily from petroleum, and so it is not as clean as Natural Latex. Synthetic Latex is firmer than Natural Latex.

Not only are there concerns about the synthetic Latex off-gassing, but also concerns about comfort. Customer reviews show lower comfort for synthetic Latex compared to All Natural Latex pillows.


Make Sure the Pillow Cover is 100% Organic Cotton


It’s a good idea to pay attention to the pillow covering as well as the stuffing. You’ll want to make sure your pillow has an 100% organic cotton cover, preferably GOTS certified.

Another important feature is a zipper which will allow you to remove the latex and wash the cotton cover.


Good Head & Neck Support


Shredded latex pillows offer good head and neck support, are long-lasting and extremely versatile.

Tired of repeatedly readjusting your down pillow?

You’ll love shredded latex pillows because unlike a down pillow, they won’t compress over the course of the night, meaning sounder sleep.

All Natural Latex pillow users report less neck pain due to consistent support and give the pillow high marks for holding it shape and molding to head and neck movements.

Great for side sleepers but back sleepers also enjoy it. If you’re a stomach sleeper, this pillow isn’t for you.

Check out our favorite All Natural Shredded Pillow.

 

Confused About Whole House Water Filters? Three Little-Known Things You Need to Know

Confused About Whole House Water Filters?

Buying whole house water filters can seem daunting. You’re making an investment in your health and you want to make sure it’s a smart one. So how many times have you thought about getting a whole house filter only to become bogged down with questions and doubts?

And, what happens? Nothing! That’s right. You end up doing nothing because you can’t get your questions answered. It certainly isn’t your fault.

This time, we’ve got you covered. Here are the three little known things you need to know about whole house filters. Guaranteed to answer your questions and get you on your way.

Let’s start with some quick basics – what is a whole house system and why you need one.


What is a Whole House Water Filter System?


Whole house water filters install where your main water line enters your home. The most effective systems use a three stage filter system.

  • Pre-filter to remove sediment, rust and other large contaminants.
  • Copper-zinc blend designed to remove chlorine as well as lead, mercury, nickel, and other dissolved metals.
  • Carbon/activated carbon filter that will remove dangerous organic compounds (such as VOC’s).

Why Do You Need a Whole House Filter?


You need a whole house filter for filtered water to every outlet inside your home.

Why?

Because your water has treatment/disinfectant chemicals that can become airborne when heated in your shower, bath, dishwasher, or laundry.  Studies have shown that when you inhale these airborne chemicals, it can be more dangerous than drinking unfiltered water.

Just think about it. A hot shower can release 50-80% of the chemicals in your water into a steamy vapor that you can inhale.

Kind of scary, right?

And I bet you did not know that your dishwasher also releases that same chemical vapor into your indoor air every time you run it.

Using a whole house filters means cleaner, healthier water for drinking, cooking, showering and bathing, as well as the water used in your dish and clothes washers.

And, it means you and your family are not inhaling dangerous vapors.

Next, let’s talk about three little-known things you need to know and probably don’t!


Three Little-Known Things You Need to Know When Buying a Whole House Filter


1. You need to know if your water department is using chlorine or chloramines to disinfect your water.

Why?

Because most whole house filters are designed to remove chlorine, but won’t remove chloramines.  If your water company uses chloramines then you will need a filter that is specifically designed to remove chloramines.

So how do you find out if your water department is using chlorine or chloramines as the primary disinfectant? It’s easy. Google your water department’s water quality report. If you see chlorine listed in the report, then you know you to look for a whole house filter that removes chlorine. On the other hand, if you see chloramines listed, then you must find a whole house system that removes chloramines.

Don’t skip this step because 20% of water departments use chloramines as a disinfectant and if you buy the wrong filter, it won’t do you any good!

2. You need to know if the whole house filter is certified by NSF Standard 42 and you need to read the report.

When considering a Whole House filter you should make sure it has been  NSF Standard 42 certified for removal  of chlorine and particulates (such as sediment and rust) thereby improving the taste and odor of your water.

And, you should also check the water quality test report. Not all filters certified by NSF are equally effective. The report will tell you if the filter removes 99% or say 85%. Obviously, the higher the removal rate, the better.

3. Finally, you need to know that a whole house filter is not the best solution for ensuring the purest possible drinking water. So, you’ll need a separate drinking water filter.

You may think this seems crazy but it does make sense. Here’s why.

It’s all about water flow and filtration. The higher the water flow, the less filtration that is possible. If you compare a whole house water filter in terms of number of contaminants removed to a drinking water filter, the drinking water filter is able to remove many more (in some cases 10 times more) contaminants.

Even though whole house filters use a carbon/activated carbon filter which is also a primary part of most drinking water filters, there is one key difference.  Whole house filters must process all the water coming into your home without significantly impeding water flow and typically have a Flow Rate of at least 6 GPM (gallons per minute).

Contrast that with a high quality drinking water filter that is certified to remove chlorine, chloramines, lead, mercury, MTBE, and VOC’s.  That drinking water filter will only have a flow rate of less than 1 GPM.   A typical shower head has a flow rate of 2.5 GPM.

Clearly higher levels of filtration result in lower flow rates that would not be acceptable in a Whole House application.

So, the best solution is a whole house filter system to give you chlorine and chloramine-free water and a separate drinking water filter that removes more contaminants to improve the health of your water.


Which Drinking Water Filters Are Best For You?


You have many options when it comes to drinking water filters. The solution can be as simple as an effective pitcher or larger counter top filter that you fill with tap water and let gravity do the work.

Or a counter top filter that easily attaches to your non-pull out faucet and delivers filtered water with the turn of a switch.  An under counter filter will tap into your cold water line and deliver filtered water to a separate tap.  And finally a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system which is the most complicated to install and requires the most space, but will remove the most contaminants and deliver the purest drinking water.

Not sure which filter is best for you? Check out our water filter selector guideClick here to see our recommendations for NSF 42 & 53 certified drinking water filters.


Advantages of Whole House Water Filters


  • Delivers clean chlorine and chloramine-free water for all your household uses, including drinking, cooking, showering and bathing, and cleaning.
  • Reduces risk of inhaling dangerous airborne water disinfectant chemicals
  • Long life filters (3+ years) making them relatively worry free.
  • Due to the long filter life they are a relatively inexpensive way to provide filtered water throughout your home.
  • Is the most effective way to remove chlorine from your shower and bath, and eliminates the need for separate shower filters.

Advantages of a Drinking Water Filter


  • Insures clean, pure healthy water for drinking and cooking.
  • Removes the most possible contaminants that are typically found in water supplies today.
  • Water that has been processed through a high quality filter removes contaminants that whole house filters leave behind resulting in the healthiest drinking water.

Check out our whole house water filters and drinking water filters. All Pure Living Space’s recommendations are certified by a third-party and have the best test results for contaminant removal.

Please share! And, contact us with any questions. We can help.