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Healthy BlindsFor most of us eco-friendly buffs choosing non-toxic window treatments is indoor air quality 101.  But it seems that some manufacturers, and even consumers, need to catch up.  So here are a few key tips when it comes to buying window treatments and maintaining the health of your family at the same time:

First, here’s what you need to know:

  • Poor indoor air quality can cause asthma, cancer and other respiratory problems – especially in children and the elderly.
  • VOC’s found in window treatments and new furniture are the #1 source of indoor air pollutants.
  • The more sun that beats on a window treatment, the more the material will deteriorate and off-gas VOC’s over the years.
  • Solar shades often contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which continue to deteriorate and off-gas for the lifetime they are in a home.
  • Composite materials, such as hybrid shutters or blinds, are made with glues that contain formaldehyde.
  • Paints continue to off-gas for 3 to 4 years, even if they have no odor.
  • Fabrics are usually chemically treated with fire retardants, azo-dyes and ScotchGuard which contain PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate).

What can you do about it?

  • Research who you’re buying from.  Hunter Douglas makes GreenGuard Certified shutters and blinds that are made especially for schools and children.  Whereas The Shade Store offers a selection of GreenGuard Certified Solar Shades.
  • Select natural fabrics like cotton, linen and hemp that have not been pre-treated with chemicals.
  • Opt for shades made from bamboo and natural grasses.
  • Choose solid wood instead of composites.
  • Make sure paints used are “No VOC” and preferably water based.

Just a few, simple, educated decisions on your part can protect your health and  give you a pretty home too!