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Less toxic materials

Essential reading:
  • Prescriptions for a Healthy Home by Paula Baker-Laporte et al

        Tung Oil for pinewood walls

Most building materials are toxic to one extent or another, from VOCs in paints to toxic chemicals in glues and other everyday construction materials, to formaldehyde in everything imaginable (furniture, sheets & pillows, carpets, you name it). Some people feel that living in an environment that is too pure weakens our system, making us unable to deal with the level of toxicity everywhere else. Meanwhile, a growing number of people have multiple chemical sensitivity - including extreme sensitivity to things as pervasive as the scent in a laundry soap or household product...

I don't have mcs, but a "green house" for me means a maximum of natural materials (I love strawbale houses!) and the least amount of toxic stuff possible, starting with anything that is easily avoided or has a workable alternative. With a little help from my friends, the list of suggestions below will eventually provide alternatives that reduce the amount of off-gassing in your house without claiming to make it a toxin-free environment.

For natural beauty and low- or no-toxicity, strawbale anyone?!
The LaPortes:
The Steens:

MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)-safe resources:
  • ~ a new (2010) non-profit dedicated to helping people with mcs find safe living spaces and connect with others in community

Generally Green (non- or low-toxic, sustainable):

  • sustainable, read to see if less toxic: (under Home Improvements)



  • on Pure Bond Columbia Forest formaldehyde-free products

  • Double-glazed windows use non-toxic gas (argon, krypton)
  • Windows may use PVC

PVC in your home

GENERAL RESOURCES ~ further research needed on green/low-toxicity: