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“Non-Toxic” Scented Products Emit Toxic Chemicals

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Air quality testing in Massachusetts from Purely GreenFrom hair products to laundry detergents to diapers, we live in a world of fragrance that might be making us sick and impacts results from air quality testing in Massachusetts, suggests a new study, even when those scents come from products that claim to be natural and pure.

In an analysis of 25 of the most commonly used scented products — including ones labeled “organic,” “natural” or “non-toxic” — scientists identified at least 133 chemicals were wafting off of them. A quarter of those chemicals became classified as hazardous or toxic. Virtually none got listed on product labels.

Along with prior evidence that nearly a third of Americans develop headaches, breathing problems and other symptoms when exposed to scented products, the new findings suggest that trying to smell nice threatens both your health and the health of people around you.

“‘Natural’ does not mean ‘no synthetic chemicals,'” said lead author Anne Steinemann, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Washington in Seattle. “‘Green’ does not mean safe or healthy. ‘Fragrance-free’ does not mean non-toxic or without fragrance. There are a lot of paradoxes and surprises here.”

For years, doctors have been hearing from patients that they cannot tolerate the smell of fragrances. More than dislike or repulsion, these people get migraines, have asthma attacks, develop rashes or even pass out in the presence of perfume, air fresheners and other products that smell.

“I saw a three-year-old boy have seizures every time his neighbor used scented laundry detergent that vented outdoors,” Steinemann said. “I wanted to figure out what was in these products.”

She and colleagues collected 25 of the most commonly bought scented products, including dishwashing detergents, fabric softeners, deodorants, baby shampoos and cleaning products. Nearly a half of the products had some “green” labeling.

In sealed glass containers, the researchers meticulously measured all of the gaseous chemicals, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that came out of each product. They recorded only emissions that appeared in significant amounts.

In total, the products emitted 133 different chemicals, the team reported in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review, with an average of 17 chemicals off-gassing from each one.

Twenty-four of the VOCs became classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law. Eleven of the products emitted chemicals that are known carcinogens. Some of the chemicals are not safe at any level of exposure, which is why air quality testing in Massachusetts is so crucial.

Results were the same for both traditional and green products. In fact, all of the natural products emitted at least two VOCs that were hazardous or toxic. A third of them emitted at least one carcinogen.

Only one of the 133 identified chemicals appeared on any label anywhere. Just two chemicals appeared on safety data sheets. Some labels offered vague references to “cleaning agents,” “softeners,” “fragrances” or “essential oils.” But many listed none at all, which by law, is OK.

“If these were coming out of a smokestack or a tailpipe, they would be regulated,” Steinemann said. “If they are in a hand soap or air freshener, they are not.”

Industry groups insist their scented products are safe.

“The article unnecessarily alarms the public with insinuations of danger,” wrote the International Fragrance Association in response to Steinemann’s study.

“Fragrance materials are safe,” the statement continued. “The industry is strongly committed to science and safety, spending significant annual resources on peer-reviewed studies and testing of ingredients.”

Seventh Generation, a well-known and environmentally minded company that produces personal care and cleaning products, some that are unscented, says it lists every ingredient in its products, including the essential oils it uses as fragrances.

“We use very low levels of fragrances in our products because we recognize that these are volatile organic compounds and that we inhale them,” said Martin Wolf, a chemist, and director of sustainability at Seventh Generation, in Burlington, Vt. “A company should be proud of what it’s putting in its bottles.”

Nevertheless, Steinemann said, essential oils emit VOCs just like synthetic fragrances do. And they carry many of the same risks. Every company she has contacted, she added, has assured her that their scented products are within safe limits, even though her tests on their products have shown otherwise.

The new paper did not directly address the health risks of scented products, but some scientists are concerned.

About 5 percent of the population is entirely intolerant to fragrances, to the point where the condition drastically affects their lives, said Claudia Miller, an expert in environmental health and allergies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Studies have shown that up to 30 percent of us are sensitive in some way, she added, with symptoms ranging from headaches to trouble concentrating. And that number has been growing.

Babies and children are especially vulnerable. And repeated low-level exposures appear able to trigger problems in people who were previously not bothered by smells.

“The feeling is growing that you shouldn’t be putting these things in environments where everyone is exposed,” Miller said. Like second-hand tobacco smoke, she said, scented products expose people to hazards against their will. “Your right to wear fragrance ends at my nose.”

Steinemann advises using old-fashioned alternatives to scented products, such as baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. When you do buy bottled products, get ones without scents.

“I wish you could see the hundreds of e-mails I’ve gotten from people with absolutely heartbreaking and devastating stories,” she said. “They have lost their jobs, their homes, and their families because people wouldn’t stop using these products. These are really tragic stories about people’s lives.”

For air quality testing in Massachusetts that can provide some insight and ways to improve your health, contact Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

**All words and information courtesy of Emily Sohn and NBC News. **


How do you clean a washing machine affected by toxic mold?

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toxic mold in NHSmells in washing machines are typically due to toxic mold in NH growing in the tub. New front load washing machines are especially prone because they are completely sealed, and when the door closes, there is no ventilation and therefore no ability for the tub to completely dry out. This is a perfect environment for mold growth. Around 2005 there was a class-action lawsuit against Maytag alleging odor, mold and mildew. The lawsuit was settled by paying money to each of the class participants but the problem was never fully resolved. The mold which was very noticeable on the rubber ring of the Maytag Neptune became abated by changing the color and composition of the rubber.

Today’s washing machines suffer from what I call “Stinky Washer Syndrome.” It’s a combination of poor ventilation, combined with modern detergents and fabric softeners which do not kill toxic mold in NH and bacteria and in fact promote the growth of these microbes. Also, we have what is in our laundry to add to the potpourri of smells.

There are harsh chemicals that can be used in the washing machine on a weekly basis to combat the problem, but they are expensive and are harmful to the environment, especially those with septic systems. The best way is to use the same method used by most major hospitals and hotels. It’s called ozone laundry. It’s the same technology a hospital will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain but now scaled down for residential washing. The product is called pureWash Pro, and it’s available directly from the manufacturer here.

Ozone is 3000 times more potent than chlorine, and it allows you to do laundry in cold water with little or no detergent. Hospitals use ozone, washing critical linens in cold water because scientific studies have shown that ozone in cold water can disinfect better than 168°F water and bleach combined. That same pathogen killing power is available for your home laundry, and one of the benefits is no more stinky washer.

Because of reduced use of detergent, and because of using cold water rather than warm or hot, a typical family of four can save over $600 per year. The company offers a money back satisfaction guarantee.

When you encounter toxic mold in NH and need solutions, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

**All words and information courtesy of Quora and Allen Johnston.**


Toys ‘R’ Us Recalls 6,000 Clay Craft Kits Over Mold Risk

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toxic mold in NHToys “R” Us recalled about 6,000 “totally me!” clay craft kits after mold appeared in the clay, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

There have been three reports of mold in clay and no reported injuries. Consumers should stop using the clay craft kits immediately and return them to any Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us store for a refund or store credit.

Mold found in this product poses respiratory risks and infections to people who have “compromised” immune systems, lung damage or a mold allergy, according to the safety commission. That is why it is imperative to ensure products are free of toxic mold in NH before you buy.

After confirming reports of mold in Australia, the US, and Germany, Toys “R” Us reported the finding to the commission, the company said. “While it was a small number of consumers affected, we took the incidents seriously and quickly removed the products from our shelves.”

The “totally me!” kits were sold by Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores and online throughout the United States from January to October 2017 for just over $10. Model number AD11244 is on the bottom of the box. They were manufactured in China.

To combat toxic mold in NH and ensure your home and belongings are free of it, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773. We’re experts when it comes to toxic mold in NH and can give you the answers you need to stay healthy.

**All words and information courtesy of CNN and Victoria Larned.**


Four Things To Do After Water Damage

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mold testingWhen you and your family face the aftermath of excess water damage, it can be overwhelming. It’s essential, however, that in the midst of all of the chaos you take the steps you need to bring your home back to a manageable state. Purely Green Environmental understands that this is also a prime time for mold growth so prompt action is prudent. From mold testing and beyond, here are some tips you can use to make your home safer.



1.) Take photos

If the damage is beyond a simple remedy or low-cost fix, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Take the time to photograph the damage done so you can properly file a claim. That way, the insurance company has documentation and be able to assist you in the best way possible.


2.) Get mold testing

When excess water leaks into your home, it will cause substantial mold growth. It’s challenging to manage mold, but with quality mold testing from Purely Green Environmental, you’ll know what you’re dealing with and learn about industry standard solutions after we assess it. Most of the time, you will need to hire a certified mold remediation company but occasionally the mold growth is minor and can be tackled by the homeowner.


3.) Wear protective clothing

Mold can have adverse effects on health, which is not a surprise to anyone. However, you can safely navigate your home with protective clothing after a professional deems the space habitable. With protective clothing, you can begin the process of emptying the contents of your wet basement and have temporary protection you need. However, if you have mold illness, there is no safe way to work in your wet basement and you will need to hire a certified mold remediator for that task.


4.) Get waterproofing

It is a good idea to be proactive before your basement succumbs to water damage, so getting some peace of mind is well worth the price. Many companies offer waterproofing products so talk to them about pricing and what they can do for you. It’s well worth it.



Excess moisture is never ideal, but restoring your home after it seeps in is still possible if you take the proper precautions. For mold testing that you can trust, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.


Three Ways To Make Humidifiers Effective For Your Home

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air purifiers Many people buy humidifiers to make their homes warmer and moisturized during the colder months. They believe it is entirely safe and effective and work as well as air purifiers. However, they are not as effective as one may think. When left unattended, humidifiers are a breeding ground for mold and other bacteria that can cause significant health issues. Still, it’s not all bad news: you can make your humidifier work well. All it takes is a bit of extra work.



1.) Try to stay away from portable humidifiers

Portability may be convenient, but having a humidifier built into your HVAC system is slightly more efficient and healthy for your home. Make sure that if you want a portable humidifier for symptom relief, you speak at length with a mold expert so your health does not get affected.


2.) Maintenance

Like anything else, consistent upkeep can make all of the difference in functionality and effectiveness. Take the time to observe your humidifier and see if there is mold or yeast growth in the vents, air blades, or depository tanks. Clean your humidifier daily with disinfectants like EnzyMagic201 or vinegar and water, and you’ll decrease the risk of harmful bacteria circling your home. Distilled water also helps: it doesn’t stop mold from growing, but reduces the white film minerals leave after they deposit.


3.) Independent third-party testing

If you have any doubts about the condition of your humidifier(s), you can always call an expert like Purely Green Environmental. We’ll step in as an independent third-party tester to observe the status of your humidifier, then suggest a remedy. Whether it’s new air purifiers or continued maintenance, we’ll be able to tell you if a humidifier is ultimately safe for you and your family.



While humidifiers aren’t nearly as efficient as certified air purifiers, there are ways you can make them safer and more efficient for your home. For quality air testing, mold inspections, and more, look to Purely Green Environmental. Give us a call at (888)-291-3773.



How The NH Standard of Care Impacts Mold Testing in NH

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mold testing in NHIn 2012, a group of New Hampshire public health officials, medical professionals, indoor air quality consultants, and other concerned individuals came together to establish standards that provide a safe and healthy environment for the public. The NH Standard of Care was born out of a necessity to regulate mold and make mold testing in NH even more useful.

The development came from their concern over lack of mold and indoor quality regulation in New Hampshire inhabitants’ homes. As they convened, they drew up the Standard of Care and assembled the “Mold Task Force” with the primary goal of providing comprehensive information about mold. The information they wanted for the public included pertinent info about mold causes, health effects, preventative measures, and the mold industry at large.

Thanks to their tireless effort, mold testing in NH has become more advanced. Now, professionals need certification before they open a practice facility. The Task Force also implemented the necessity of third party testing through their Code of Ethics. This measure ensures that any test results from services are unbiased, factual, and hold the mold testing professional accountable.

Regulation of the mold testing industry was a significant goal while creating the NH Standard of Care, but protecting individuals in New Hampshire has also become a prevalent issue. The Task Force has declared that exposure to indoor health indeed leads to poor health especially in the very young, elderly and immune-compromised populations of New Hampshire. As a result, education has become a goal. It seeks to provide answers to the following questions. What causes mold? How can you prevent it? Who should you hire? These were all concerns that the Standard of Care addressed.

Mold is a serious problem that many people experience but do not fully understand. However there are plenty of answers in the NH Standard of Care. It has changed the future of mold testing in NH as we know it and given the mold industry the prominence necessary to enact substantial change. For more information about mold testing in NH, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.


Four Things That Impact Air Quality

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air quality testing in MassachusettsWe breathe air in every day, but it’s tough to pinpoint its quality or how it could impact our bodies. While we aren’t able to see air, you can use air quality testing in MA to determine its state. Several factors can impact your air, positively or negatively. Bear them in mind, and you’ll be able to breathe easier and improve your health.



1.) Smoke

Smoking is hazardous enough to health as it is, but it can also adversely impact the air quality in your living space. As the toxins in cigarettes float around freely, they can leave devastating effects on you or your loved ones. 


2.) Pollen or Dander

If you’re an allergy sufferer, you already know how much pollen can do to your body and impact your life. Pollen and dander make it harder for allergic people to breathe, so they certainly are significant factors of how we breathe in and process air.


3.) Cleaning Products

While you may rely on certain products to clean your home, there are plenty out there that contain toxic materials. It’s always better to go homemade or green, so you don’t risk breathing in toxic chemicals. If you’ve been using products that you’re unsure of, call us for air quality testing in MA.


4.) Equipment

Sometimes, it’s difficult to manage risk factors on your own. To make it easier and offer some peace of mind, we suggest purchasing an air purifier. It’s a safe, effective way to improve air quality and make a space breathable.



Now that you know more about how air quality can get impacted, you can breathe easier! If you have any questions, concerns, or want to learn more about air quality testing in MA, we’re available. Call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773, and we’ll be happy to help.


Learn More About Toxic Mold Through A Webinar

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toxic mold in NHPurely Green Environmental is passionate about educating our customers about toxic mold in NH, whether through mold testing or sharing knowledge. An excellent opportunity has arrived for all to learn more about mold, which is especially relevant during the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

On Thursday, September 28th, Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. will host an informative, free webinar “Surviving Mold.” Dr. Shoemaker’s goal is to educate the masses about mold’s effect on health, especially given the recent growth of it in areas affected by the hurricanes – though toxic mold in NH does exist and can cause problems. It is wise for all homeowners to tune in, just in case.

The webinar will take place at 1:00 P.M. EST, and Dr. Shoemaker will go over some common symptoms of mold illness and how to deal with them safely and more efficiently. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory (sinus and lung) problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Cognitive issues

and much more.

The increased presence of mold in homes and schools can also play a role in developing asthma, ADHD, autism, Lyme disease, and more. This webinar’s goal is to not only educate the public about the dangers of mold but provide solutions to help them endure its presence. It is critical that people who clean areas infested with mold or have it in their home have the tools at their disposal to keep their health intact and avoid mold illness.

Purely Green Environmental is very excited about this webinar, and we’re proud to be one of the leading mold inspectors recommended by Massachusetts and New Hampshire doctors. For more information about our services and how to combat toxic mold in NH, give us a call at (888) 291-3773 and see what we can do for you today. See you at the webinar!


Mold Exposure and its Hidden Dangers

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Though many people think their homes and workspaces are safe from mold, it is hard to avoid, unless you invest in mold testing. Not to mention it is hazardous and can leave a lasting impact on you or your loved ones’ health. Dr. Gary Kaplan explained just how critical it is to ensure you are safe within your home and limit exposure.

In September 2014, Dr. Kaplan spoke about this issue on NBC Washington’s News 4 and highlighted the dangers of mold exposure. The side effects can be impactful or minimal, but damaging all the same if you avoid taking care of it or don’t get mold testing.

Last night Dr. Gary Kaplan made an appearance on NBC Washington's News 4 discussing the dangers of mold exposure. The symptoms of mold exposure can range from mild – such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, and dizziness – to severe, similar to a variety of disease conditions, including fibromyalgia, migraine or chronic headaches, & depression to name a few. For more information on diagnosing & treating biotoxicity/neurotoxicity please visit

Posted by Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine on Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The symptoms of mold exposure can range from mild – such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, and dizziness – to more dangerous. Mold exposure symptoms can be similar to typical disease conditions, including fibromyalgia, migraine or chronic headaches, and depression.

For more information on diagnosing and treating biotoxicity/neurotoxicity, you can visit Dr. Kaplan’s practice’s website here.

Purely Green Environmental is happy to bring professional and thorough mold testing procedures to ensure the optimal health and wellness of those dealing with mold. For more information about our business and what we do, give us a call at (888) 291-3773 and see what we can do for you today.


**Information and video courtesy of The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine and NBC Washington’s News 4.** 


A Cautionary Tale of Avoiding Mold Testing: Yoko Ono’s Former $8.3M Penthouse Affected by Toxic Mold

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mold testing

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Yoko Ono’s former West Village penthouse is an $8.3 million wreck, with warped beams, toxic mold, and a rotted roof deck. 

Ono sold the fourth-floor pad at 49-51 Downing St. to developer David Blumenfeld in 2014. Now Blumenfeld is suing the co-op board for refusing to make “structural repairs’ that have allegedly made the unit “dangerous,” even though his adult son lives there.

He believes the problems stem from a poor conversion job including the use of undersized beams that have caused “chronic and significant leaks and mold” making the unit “dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to the life” of the occupants, the suit says.

He wants the board to fix the problems or give him the money to do the repairs. Blumenfeld already had to spend $15,000 of his funds to repair the elevator after his son was trapped in it last year.

Ono settled a lawsuit she filed against the board in 2014 after claiming members had thwarted her attempts to sell the penthouse. Attorneys for the board did not immediately return messages for comment.

A thorough mold testing, a service Purely Green Environmental provides, may have saved Ono’s home. If you are facing structural damage from mold or just want to have extra peace of mind, call us today at  (888)-291-3773 and see what we can do for you today!


**All words and information courtesy of Julia Marsh and The New York Post.**

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