Be Careful with Harmful Chemicals Lurking in Your Home

In early 2013 the World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme applied a term to a class of chemicals eventually termed as “endocrine disruptors.” A growing body of research is linking these potent chemicals, which interfere with the endocrine system that regulates your hormones, to global rates of chronic disease and infertility.

Now the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Keep a Breast Foundation are sounding alarm bells about the health threat of these chemicals. Of the roughly 80,000 chemicals used in everyday goods, 1,300 are considered endocrine disruptors, also called hormone disruptors.

Atrazine

Most of the research on atrazine’s hormone-mimicking effects has been conducted in fish and frogs. Like a freaky science-fiction plot, the chemical causes male fish and frogs to turn into females. Research into humans, however, has shown that the pesticide increases the activity of genes that cause infertility. Atrazine is the second most widely used herbicide in the United States, behind glyphosate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and 86 percent of it is applied to corn.

Flame Retardants

These toxic, ubiquitous chemicals are most known for their impact on the thyroid and on female infertility. Because thyroid hormones also have an impact on your brain, one class of flame retardants, known as PBDEs, is thought to affect the IQ levels in children, which is why many chemicals in this class have been banned or are being gradually phased out. However, the replacements being used are just as toxic and exhibit the same biological activity as organophosphate pesticides. Furniture, carpet padding, and even baby nursing pillows contain them. Assume that anything in your home, office, and car that contains polyurethane foam also contains flame retardants. Other major exposure sources include electronics like TVs, computers, cellphones, and video game consoles. Dust and vacuum frequently; it’s nearly impossible to avoid flame retardants, given their widespread use, so cleaning is your best defense. Flame retardants bind to dust.

Lead

Despite the long list of health problems already associated with lead, researchers are uncovering still more, including the fact that lead interferes with the hormones that regulate your stress levels. Lead-based paint remains the general public’s largest source of exposure to this toxic metal. But it also winds up in drinking water from old pipes and even new brass or chrome faucet filters. Get a lead-removing water filter and eat a healthy diet. Research has shown that people who eat a healthy diet absorb less lead. But if you are renovating an older home, it’s imperative that you call a lead-remediation professional.

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Proper Do’s and Don’ts of Table Decorations

No matter the occasion be it a simple dinner, a wedding a function or a birthday, a great way to add to the festivities is to decorate the table. In fact you may have found yourselves at weddings or parties where guests were assigned to a table with a specific theme or set of decorations. This can be a great idea and if you’re thinking of using it at your next get together.

Do Make Sure to Set the Table According to Your Theme

The key to a beautiful set of table decorations is a good plan, this way you can make sure you have a budget, have a set theme and a list of items that can be used. First of all you should decide on a theme as this will make sure that everything matches up and you don’t end up with a mess as your centrepiece. Having a set list for each table will ensure that the decorating is unique to each table or perfectly repeated throughout the room with no parts missing.

Don’t Overdress the Table

Remember when decorating that less can be more, simplistic designs and singular centrepieces are more likely to be aesthetically pleasing, especially as it’s the ceremony or other guests you want everyone to be focused on. It’s also good to remember that most of the tables are going to be in use so you don’t want to overdress them and cause a dilemma for your guests when they don’t have enough room for drinking glasses, and side plates.

Do Try Your Hand at Arrangements

If you find yourself working on a budget then you may find it interesting to search around online for inspiration and then buy or hire with the pieces to recreate the look. You’re sure to find something to match your style and price range. You may even find yourself having a lot of fun trying out different styles to see which will match your party.

Don’t Go Over Budget

With so many different styles and items that you can use in your decorating it can be easy to spend a lot of money on your decorating. Just remember to form a budget, write down a list and shop around so that you get the best deals available. Just because your budget is limited doesn’t mean that your decorations will be lacking; you may be surprised at how low a price your beautiful table decorations can be made, bought, or hired for.

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Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Color for Better Home Improvement

Choosing the perfect exterior paint colors for your home is a sensitive home design choice. A dull color makes your home look bland and boring. Go too bold and it can stand out, in a bad way, and upset everyone else in your neighborhood. Painting the outside of your house doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Before settling on a color, read through these tips to make sure you’re making the right buying choice.

Historical Considerations

If you’re lucky enough to live in a house which has a long history, staying true to its roots is a great way to enhance the value of your home and the value of your neighborhood. Due to fading, simply assuming the house was a certain color won’t lead you anywhere. Instead, call in an expert to take a paint chip of your house. They can ascertain what color the house was when it was initially painted.

Dramatic or Large?

The color can influence how your house appears to people. Lighter colors make a house seem bigger on the eye. It’s why large country homes have always been painted white. If you have a smaller house than you would like, a bright white or yellow can beef it up. Darker colors add drama to a home. Paint your house black or brown if you want to add some additional character. Another option is to use dark highlights to create a striking shadow effect, such as where the roof meets the walls.

Stick to the same color family

Color families aren’t difficult to understand. They’re simply similar colors combined together by artists for the purposes of determining which colors work together best. Remaining within the same color family can prevent your colors from clashing and looking silly. Slightly darker colors in the same family can draw attention to specific architectural nuances and quirks. Having completely contrasting colors can clash and take the focus away from the main focal points.

Surroundings

Your immediate surroundings can turn into a great source of inspiration for exterior paint colors. If you’re lucky enough to have a heavily wooded area around your land, it might suggest an earthy brown or a darker green color. What it wouldn’t suggest is bright pink or orange. Beach houses tend to use turquoise, white, and subtle shades of yellow. On the other hand, a middle-class suburb would stick with whites or browns.

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