Sorting Through the Healthy Homes Jungle

Over the past few years there has been a vast expansion of the number of children-oriented products that claim to be environmentally healthy. These include everything from wall paints and floor cleaners to cribs and pajamas.

A11healthyhomesTHUMB
Published April 26, 2012 5:48 PM
3 min read

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A11healthyhomesTHUMBOver the past few years there has been a vast expansion of the number of children-oriented products that claim to be environmentally healthy. These include everything from wall paints and floor cleaners to cribs and pajamas.

 

By Bill Lawyer

a 11 healthy homesOver the past few years there has been a vast expansion of the number of children-oriented products that claim to be environmentally healthy. These include everything from wall paints and floor cleaners to cribs and pajamas.

The proliferation has been driven by the expanding amount of research being done into environmentally-caused children’s illnesses, birth defects, and difficult behavioral syndromes including autism. That’s because the percentage of children with these afflictions has risen dramatically.

Just recently, The New York Times devoted a large part of its “Home” section to the issue.

Here in Rye, as reported in The Rye Record, a large number of parents have been participating in educational programs sponsored by the Children’s Environmental Health Center of Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Another facet to the quest for providing a healthy environment for children has been the rise of professionally trained consultants who can help parents and school officials determine what their needs are and what products or services can meet those needs.

Longtime Rye resident Annalise Stack, who has an MBA in Sustainability from Green Mountain College and a LEED accreditation, runs Roan Skye. Her business is “dedicated to helping improve living spaces for families, child care centers, and schools.”

Stack reports that most of her clients have children who have exhibited symptoms of environmentally caused illnesses, such as asthma or allergies. Some clients have hired her before they have children, to ensure they’ve done everything possible to provide a healthy environment for their future offspring. Stack has also helped homeowners to build or renovate their home in ways that will minimize the risk of environmental illness.

While parents or school officials can search the marketplace and Internet for suitable products, hiring a company like Roan Skye has its advantages — an individualized report on tested and reliable services, products and materials geared to particular needs. This includes recommendations for pediatric advice and services.

The Almost Home Daycare facility in Rye has been owned and operated by Martina Meeham for over 20 years. The demand for infant and toddler daycare has risen dramatically in that time. At the urging of the Westchester Daycare Council, Almost Home is expanding to be able to handle up to 16 children from 6 months through kindergarten. Even so, the facility has a waiting list. Meeham agreed to be interviewed on the condition that it be clear she does not have any openings.

Because so many young children are spending time in facilities such as Almost Home, instead of their actual home, it’s crucial that they are as environmentally safe as possible. That’s why Meeham partnered with Stack to do a thorough review of the facility’s operations – from the walls, floors, kitchen, rugs, and bathrooms to toys, tables, and towels.

Since this process began, Almost Home has had what amounts to a complete internal makeover, and Meeham has converted to the exclusive use of environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Many are readily available at local stores such as Buy Buy Baby and Stop and Shop in Port Chester.

Through word of mouth, a Rye resident, who requested anonymity, hired Stack to help develop a plan for renovating her house to remove any environmental threats.

The plan incorporated a variety of green building products, which the homeowner confirmed her contractor and all the subs used, from insulation to flooring. The epoxy flooring uk cost fit the budget.

The project is not quite finished, and the homeowner acknowledged that some of the products she selected were more expensive than the norm. “You have to pay a

price for better health, but it’s worth it.”

 

 

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