Dear SafeMama: Chewing Gum and Furniture

By Kristie Turck •  Published 09/03/08 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:20 am

Q: Do you have any information on buying PBDE free furniture, specifically sofas?  I am in the market for a new sofa but I’m not sure which ones contain no PBDEs or formaldehyde.  Thanks for any help you can provide.

I’m glad you brought this question up.   Greening your house seems like one of those never ending chores.  You complete one project only to find out that something else is hazardous to your health.  And your furniture is no exception.  I went hunting around a little while back when we were looking for new dining room furniture.  My dining room is still empty if that gives you any hint as to how that’s going.

I’ve really only been able to dig up a few things on PBDE furniture.  One company is called Greener Lifestyles.  They have great furniture with really nice lines, however, you will pay through the nose for their furniture.  A sofa can run you upwards of six thousand dollars.  I don’t think I paid that for all of the furniture in my family room combined.  Granted, it’s probably going to kill me tomorrow, but I don’t have enough coin laying around to spend that much on one sofa, and I’m guessing that most people don’t.  The other option that I’ve read is Ikea.  Ikea has some decent sofas and chairs and since they’re stuffed furniture, you shouldn’t be subjected to a million parts, living in allen wrench hell.  Best of all it isn’t nearly as expensive.  And if you have kids, you don’t want to spend your days caring about them staining it with red grape juice because you spent 6 grand on it.

Q: Hi – My 6-year-old daughter REALLY wants to chew gum once in a while.  I haven’t let her, but I told her she could ask the dentist and we would do what he recommended.  Of course, he said he was fine with sugar-free gum.  Oops!  Even the sugar-free gum with xylitol still has aspartame and phenylket…something or other.  Anyway, doesn’t sound healthy!  Do you know of any SAFE gum for occasional chewing? Thanks! And my daughter thanks you too!

Wow, this threw me for a loop.  I have to be honest, I don’t chew gum that often.   It hurts my jaw, and gives me a headache, and there’s a glob of gum in my mouth and it gets on my nerves.  I know, I’m weird.  Sugar free gum has aspartame in it and aspartame is horrible for you, and I would recommend steering clear of it at all costs.  It took me a little while, but the only alternative that I feel safe recommending is Glee Gum.  Glee is NOT sugar free, but it’s all natural, with no artificial flavors or colors.  It’s made with pure cane sugar, which might not be favorable for you, but, if it’s a once in a while treat, I would opt for a natural over an artificial sweetener.  Even the majority of the “organic” gums that I’ve come across still had unfavorable chemicals in them.

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