Back in the late 1970s my body became very ill from a multitude of exposures to toxic chemicals in my home from various consumer products—not that my home was any more toxic than any other American home, but even the average level of toxic chemical exposure was too much for my immune system, to the point where I could barely function in life.
One of the most surprising sources of toxic chemicals I found was the very sheets I was sleeping on every night. They were made from a polyester/cotton blend, coated with a permanent press resin that released formaldehyde day and night. One of my symptoms at the time was insomnia. Imagine my surprise when I learned that one of the symptoms associated with formaldehyde exposure is insomnia! Here we have bedsheets that cause insomnia and sales of sleeping pills are higher than ever before (in 2008, the New York Times reported that about 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled in 2007, up nearly 60 percent since 2000). I wasn’t taking sleeping pills, but it made sense to me that if formaldehyde on bedsheets caused insomnia, and I couldn’t sleep, I should just find some sheets without formaldehyde. It wasn’t easy to find formaldehyde-free sheets in 1978, but one brand did exist (no organic sheets at all then). I put them on my bed and I finally was able to sleep.
I did regain my health by removing all the toxic chemicals from my home that I could identify and replacing them, one by one, with nontoxic alternatives. And I began to write about toxic chemicals in consumer products and how to choose safe products. I felt everyone should know that toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products could make them sick, and that they have a choice to create a toxic-free home.
Now, thirty years later, I’ve written seven books, have a huge website, and the world is catching up with me. More than ever before the general public is becoming aware of the toxic chemicals we are exposed to in daily life. Today we have safe choices available for every product we regularly use in our homes. It’s just a matter of making the decision to live toxic-free and doing it.
Thanks Debra!! The world is a better (and less toxic) place with you in it! I have recently finished reading Toxic Free and I for one, learned a lot! We expect that if it is on a store shelf it is safe, but the sad fact is that it just isn't the case. The good news is that her book isn't all doom and gloom but is more an easy to read guide book to live a less toxic (and fuller) life.
NOTE: Debra is graciously offering her book at 30% off - $15.95 plus shipping AND you can get an autographed copy! Just place your order directly by calling Debra at 727-466-6812 or email her and mention Harmony Art. In addition to her books, Debra also maintains a web site directory of more than 1000 Non toxic products, offers personal consultations, a Q & A resource, hosts Toxic Free Talk Radio (I was a guest on her inaugural 12-hour marathon), speaking around the country and much more! WHEW!! Talk about one busy woman!
On a side note, if you are looking for organic sheets and bedding (and MANY other items) you can check out our products page or contact one of our retailers and make your own. Since Harmony Art organic cotton sateens are wide width (110") they are perfect for NON TOXIC sheets. Sweet Dreams.