A Can of Worms

The new windows are in, and they look great. They open–that alone is a huge improvement over the last set–and look easy to clean. I have high hopes for sitting on the couch next winter with one less blanket.

I’m glad we made the upgrade, even amid the current craziness. But I admit to sighing a little when I walked in on Friday afternoon. The newly installed windows smelled a little. It wasn’t a bad smell, but a…chemical smell. And now that I’ve caught on to the potential dangers of everyday chemicals, a small part of me is left wondering whether we would have better better, health-wise, to stick with our broken, spring-less windows.

This newfound awareness of chemicals has me frustrated, on a number of levels. Why did I have to get cancer twice before I figured out a potential cause? Why isn’t the endocrinology community up in arms about toxins that could be wreaking havoc with so many people’s thyroids? Why hasn’t our government moved more quickly to regulate these chemicals?

On a more granular level, what do I do with everything in my house that could be dangerous? Everywhere I look, I see things that could be endangering us: our mattress, the non-stick pans, the value pack of canned black beans, the shampoo I spent extra on to protect the hair color I’d already spent a small fortune on. Are we supposed to toss it all and start from scratch?

I feel like I’ve opened a can of worms, and there’s no closing the lid.

I’m trying to stay sane. Realistically, we can’t buy a new mattress tomorrow, and it’s years old, anyway. But I can find new face wash, and I can probably take the extra time to boil beans. I’m trying to follow these guidelines suggested by the Environmental Working Group.

But for me, those first steps probably won’t be enough. (I think a few of you are familiar with my research problem.) I’ll keep digging into these chemicals, and what we can do about them. I’ll keep you posted on what I find.

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