The Importance of Eco Friendly Window Dressings.
Our planet is changing, and unfortunately not for the better. Isn’t it a shame, which we, the most civilized species on this planet, are responsible for its slow deterioration and destruction?
Apart from slowly killing our beautiful planet, we are harming ourselves along with our loved ones by installing home furnishings manufactured with materials that do not meet the requisite safety standards. Research has shown that indoor air in some buildings has higher concentrations of chemical toxins than the dangerous outdoors from which we seek protection. Are we actually creating hazardous environments in our homes in our quest for better living? It reminds of what Benjamin Franklin said, ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’
A Competitive Market and Its Effects on Products.
With advantages of globalization, we also see the falling standards of products, manufactured by companies overriding the health concerns of consumers in order to be competitive. Not all nations follow the same safety protocol. Since the health issues take its own time to raise its ugly head, products with low price tags make their way into your home, spreading its toxic tentacles silently. The result is slow seeping of these chemicals and toxins into our bodies, either through the air we breathe or exposure and contact. The shocking facts revealed by recent research show that the fat cells in our body store nearly 400-800 unwanted chemicals, leading to many avoidable disorders.
Chemical toxins released by home furnishings are responsible for increasing number of disorders like:
· Hormonal disturbances
· Chronic fatigue syndrome
· Neurological disturbances
· Frail immunity
· Fetal developmental problems
We install window shades and blinds to protect our home from harmful UV rays, harsh weather conditions, and insulation from noise. But when we compromise on quality and buy window dressings without checking their credentials, they may pose more health risks than the actual environment we seek protection from.
The Need for Eco-Friendly Window Dressings.
Window treatments play an important role in the toxin control of your home. Remember those days when air pollution was not heard of, and people opened their windows to have a whiff of fresh air? Of course, we have come a far cry from that luxury today. The pollutants outside are forcing us to create a leak proof home environment so that the toxins remain sealed out. Unfortunately, in this process we are also preventing the toxins inside our home from escaping out, especially if we do not pay attention to their quality at the time of purchase. So we live in a toxin locked environment, believing our homes to be safe havens.
Windows bear the brunt of direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions that makes them as prone to giving out chemical toxins as furnishings. Also, the humid conditions in bathrooms and kitchens are ideal for mold and fungus toxins to breed. It is shocking that more 30% of the population have allergic reactions to fungal toxins (mycotoxins) in their homes or offices.
The most dangerous, though, are the plastic blinds (PVC blinds) which often emit harmful chemicals, especially when exposed to sunlight and heat, which forms a layer of toxic lead dust on its surface – cheap vinyl blinds that contain toxic phthalates that are added to increase their life span and reduce ours! Old vinyl blinds may also contain lead, posing health hazards to children below six years of age.
Synthetic or dyed fabrics also release toxins when exposed to sunlight. Your best bet is untreated natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, wool or any other material untouched by artificial harmful dyes.
Considering all the hazards you are exposed to by window treatments, one has to be careful to take extra measures when making a choice. Confirm that your window shades are GreenGuard certified.. Products like the Graber solar shades, certified by GreenGuard, are tested for over 10,000 volatile organic compounds to safeguard your well being. The GreenGuard Environmental Institute (GEI) guarantees that the fabrics used for home furnishings are low-emitting, protecting the indoor air quality. In addition, products from trusted brands carry the Microban certification, an antimicrobial protection technology that provides continuous protection for the shade fabric against stain and odor causing bacteria like mold, mildew and fungus growth, thus keeping them clean while cutting down on maintenance costs.
When you purchase certified window treatments, besides an assurance of your own safety, you also protect our planet indirectly. Companies that comply with standard certification see to it that the entire manufacturing procedure, including disposal of wastes and by-products, is safe for maintaining the ecological balance of our environment.
Make informed decisions, because it is your responsibility to keep your home and your planet safe from harmful toxins. Read through Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available with the product and do some research of your own before making your purchase. Let neither the low cost nor the flashy appearance of the product blind your judgment.
“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” Jodi Rell