Steps I've taken to benzene VOCs (volatile organic compounds)

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A teal-blue bluetooth speaker sitting on a counter in a bathroom

This cute little bluetooth speaker made my fingertips go numb, with a burn sensation when I held it. The outer coating is a synthetic rubber.

A honey brown leather purse tote bag with a tan microfiber interior sitting on a hardwood floor

My leather zippered cross-body tote bag in a honey color has some kind of microfiber interior that felt as bad as the lamp shades. It burned and made my hands swell up and made me cough.

Two light blue, white and gray patterned lamp shades on a wooden bench

These lamp shades were on each side of my bed. When I got close to them I realized they were putting something into the air that was giving me a face burn. I took them off of the lamps. When touching them they gave me the type of shock pain that made me want to throw them on the floor, like a bite. My hands swelled up and begin to hurt as I carried them outside.

A white polyester shower curtain hanging in a bathroom over a white metal tub

This polyester shower curtain made my hands and arms tingle when I touched it. It needs to go.

A seam stripper and a needle next to a tag that was just cut off of a hemp shower curtain

But first I had to remove the tags and sew the spot where I removed them. Tags more times than not give me a reaction. They are often not the same material as they are attached to and the silk screen ink has benzene.

A tan hemp shower curtain hanging over a white metal tub in a bathroom

This hemp shower curtain makes a great replacement that emits no VOCs.

The top of a green wine bottle with a synthetic cork in it with a wood burning stove and a wooden couch in the background

This bottle of wine has a synthetic cork. I get one of the worst reactions from man-made cork.

A tan synthetic cork with red wine staining it on a black countertop

As the wine ages, the chemicals leash into the liquid. Synthetic corks are made from plastic materials such as polyethylene and coated with silicone to help them slip into the bottle neck. The nerves in my hands throb and swell just holding this cork. I also read that most red wines these days contain over 70 chemicals including dye, unlike the pure wine of the past.

A teal blue-green rubber cake scraper being held by a person

I got a strong reaction from this rubber type cake scraper.

An upside-down maroon dog bowl with white paw prints on it with the rubber bottom pried off

I removed this VOC emiting synthetic rubber bottom off the dog bowls.

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