Q: Lately I’ve been hearing how paint and carpet are releasing toxic gasses. Is this really true, and if so what precautions can I take to make sure there aren’t too many pollutants in my house?
A: Yes, many commercial home products do bring toxins into our homes and create more problems for the environment. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints are chemical compounds in most paints that vaporize and release gasses into the air that are bad for our health and for the planet. Synthetic carpets are also treated with chemicals, dyes, bleaches, and even pesticides that leach into our environment. Studies have shown that indoor air pollution is often 10 times worse than that of outdoor air, often because of these very toxins. What you can do is to look for truly green, sustainable products for your home. There are a small handful of brands producing low and even zero-VOC paints in a wide variety of colors and sheens that are safer for your family. Natural floor coverings, from hardwood floors (such as bamboo, which is also sustainable) and non-toxic tile and carpet options are becoming more popular and more widely available.

Nancy Massotto is the Founder and Director of the Holistic Moms Network, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Nancy has a passion for living holistic and works to help parents connect, learn and support one another on their journeys through parenting and holistic living. Find more information about Nancy on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.