It Does Not Rain Everyday
November 24, 2007
Seattle is awesome and it totally doesn’t rain everyday. It hasn’t rained once. It’s super cold, but not rainy.
Yesterday we went to Pike Market and snacked on cheese and lattes most of the afternoon. There is a crumpet shop. Who knew what a crumpet was? Well . . . a lot of people, but I wasn’t one of them until we walked up 1st and Pike.
I’m here in Seattle visiting an old friend Liz. She is 5 months pregnant and just married. So weird. When did people start doing that?
Sometimes I feel Liz is way more environmentally aware than I am. She makes her own cleaning products and recycles in ways I still don’t understand. When the baby comes she is going to make her own food and use cloth diapers. And with the news reports every other week or so on new toxic chemicals found in toys, she is growing concerned with what she is bringing into the house.
But the reality is the everyday items we use in our homes have toxins as well. One of the most dangerous chemicals that has been getting attention on a state level across the nation are brominated flame retardants. I also mentioned those when I was in San Jose traveling around with that giant skull made out of e-waste.
Warning: ridiculously long words ahead
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have many subsets, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs. There are three common commerical types, but two have been voluntarily phased out due to health and environmental concerns. The one that is still in use is called deca-bde. It exists in an ungodly number of home items. Including your tvs, couches and mattresses. One of the reasons it is so horrible is because it is an additive and leaks out of whatever product it is in. That’s why the dust in our homes is so full of chemicals. It’s also why you shouldn’t carry around those plastic reusable water bottles.
States have started recognizing the dangers of BFRs. Maine’s ban on deca-BDE goes into effect at the end of the year. One thing Liz can feel safe about is that Washington state has also passed a ban on deca. A number of other states are also debating the same type of legislation. You should know about it. Do a quick search on your state and deca ban. See what you find out. With all this talk on gross chemicals in our homes, knowing that there are people in your communities working to end it is pretty comforting.