I own one TV.
But my husband and I have set some TV boundaries: never one per room, never in the bedroom, never on all day for white noise (especially when entertaining guests). And we're gearing up for "no TV before two years old" because it affects little brains.
Problem is, that TV — couch, carpets, curtains and other furniture and electronics, too — are shedding toxics every day.
No need to get rid of it, although I've heard some people live without television...The simple answer is to dust.
Studies have shown that consumer products, not stuff coming out of smokestacks, are the likely source of flame retardants or, PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that are building up in people and animals.
These toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, adverse effects on the developing brain, and immune and reproductive problems. They are also persistent and bioaccumulative, which means they build up in the environment and our bodies (and in animals like polar bears and killer whales).
Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest
These chemicals contaminate household dust, posing a substantial health risk to people. In fact, household dust is now recognized as one of the most significant sources of childhood exposure to toxic substances.
Studies show that dust is really a chemical soup with low levels of flame retardants, phthalates, metals like lead, mercury and arsenic, and pesticides.
Solution? Dust with a damp cloth weekly or wet mop twice a week if you have a crawling child.
Some of these chemicals are tracked in from outside. But most come from consumer products. You'll also find higher levels in dryer lint and the vacuum cleaner bag. (Don't compost dryer lint if you spread it on garden veggie beds!)
Shoes also track contaminated dirt into your home. The Door Mat Study suggests wiping shoes on a mat and taking them off when you come in. Leave runners, soccer cleats and bike shoes at the door instead of storing them in a bedroom closet. It's a simple step that can reduce lead dust in your home by 60 per cent.
Dust often — try my furniture polish recipe — and leave your shoes at the door.
Do you have a dusting tip or DIY recipe to share?
Comment on this blog for a chance to win a Whole House Cleaning Kit from Aspen Clean! (Draw date September 10th, 2012)
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green