Take a swing at chemical overload in your home

fight toxins

We make messes.

Incredible messes.

Great, big, Vesuvial eructations of craft glues and saw dust, glitter and fabric bits. You might say it’s our job to make messes. And this is all before we even start in on making dinner ….

Unfortunately, it’s also our job to clean it all up after a project is done, and that’s where we’ve encountered problems.

I remember wiping down the bathroom one afternoon after a science experiment gone awry — something about Play-Doh, sticky rice, action figures, and jam  (I don’t even want to remember what we were doing) — and soon enough we started to feel woozy. I had some industrial strength cleaning bottle, and I was pumping the air full of it, while Emme was following behind, wiping it all up.

“Are you feeling?” I began.

“Weird?” she answered.

If only we hadn’t coated Superman with jam …

It occurred to me then that while this crunchy San Francisco granola nut monitors the quality of food we buy, I couldn’t have cared less about the chemical muck I was misting our air with or the toxic sludges I used to do dishes or wipe counters.

It was a weird, “A ha!” moment for a crazy triathlon-urban obstacle course freak who cares about exercise and nutrition and generally living clean to think, “Organic veggies, yes, but nonylphenol ethoxylate and butoxydiglycol? Yes please!”

The next time I was at the store, I stocked up on natural cleaning products and started to feel a whole lot better about the chemicals I was bringing home and the chemicals Emme uses for her weekly chores (toilet cleaning, floor scrubbing, general step sister-like drudgery).

So when Seventh Generation, the natural cleaning company, approached me about a partnership and help in spreading the word about reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, I was not only game but truly excited. I use this stuff.

I’m in.

The company has organized a cadre of like-minded bloggers like me and has teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for toxic substances legislation that actually has teeth. It was pretty scary to learn that when the original Toxic Substances Control Act passed in 1976, literally tens of thousands of dangerous chemicals were just grandfathered in as A-OK. Since then, tens of thousands more have been allowed, even crap that has been banned in other countries. These are chemicals that make their way into cleaners, fabrics, building materials, food, furniture, and toys.

No thank you.

Look, I’ll try to keep the pitchy-pitchy bullhorn soapbox stuff to a minimum, other than to say I hope you’ll join me in signing a petition that will be delivered at the end of April to Congress — all to say, “Come on, some of this stuff is dangerous and even banned in other countries already, and we need better control and information about the gak we’re spraying around our houses, kids, pets, you name it.”

You can sign the petition right here. Go on. I’ll wait. It really only takes two seconds.

I’m excited about the campaign and hope I can spread a little good in writing about it a few times over the next year. I’ll have tips about Seventh Generation products that work for everything from sprucing up the shower (the former bane of my existence) to keeping the kitchen cabinets and countertops from looking like some mad drove of ogres lives and eats here.

*So Seventh Generation made a great ad that ran in the New York Times today, and I couldn’t help jumping on the Toxic Fighters campaign with my own little super hero, made from 7G paper towels and spray cleaners. I know, I know, lame. So to make up for it, here’s the ad in full. Much, much cuter super heroes.


Seventh Generation is partnering with me to participate in this effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. As a part of the project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash and cool swag from 7G that makes my kitchen look and smell so freaking good. Look, I’ll level with you, I’m not a big fan of the paper products, but man, the sprays and cleaners and soaps all work fantastic and I’m thrilled to not douse my family in sludge every time we do the dishes. Yay! I’ll expressed opinions and experiences are my own.

Please read more and sign the petition for reform at https://fighttoxins.com/


  1. Signed it! And, I agree. We’re the same way with our food and beverages…and are slowly coming around on personal care products and household cleaners.