No More Toxins: Cleaning Up the Bathroom

A whole new palette of natural materials, architectural styles and cultural influences can help you create or renovate a bathroom that offers refuge and rejuvenation.

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Instead of cleansing and healing us, our bathrooms may literally be making us sick. Hidden in many bathroom walls, cabinets, and floors are materials and finishes made with chemicals so toxic that they’re manufactured and applied by people wearing respirators. Molds and fungi often thrive in the damp nooks and crannies of otherwise clean bathrooms, producing airborne toxins that can cause respiratory problems that range from asthma to chronic sinus infections and flu-like symptoms. And high humidity caused by unventilated showers can leak into attics, putting your home’s structure at risk from rot.

We want our bathrooms to be clean, healthful places. But in fact they have considerable potential to be unhealthy, not only to ourselves and to our families, but also to our environment. The good news is that a number of strategies can make old and new bathrooms eco-friendly and healthy.

Check out the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of Natural Home for more on earth-friendly bathrooms, including:

  • Water saving tips
  • Heating and ventilating
  • Earth-friendly materials
  • Green cleaning
  • Fighting mold naturally
  • Water temperature issues
  • Creating a spa in your bathroom
  • Extensive resources