1. Fabric Shades
EarthShade offers PVC-free and chemical fire retardant-free roll-down shades called “SafeShades” that help shield the interior of your home from the sun. These are available in a variety of colors (these offer a range of shading capabilities, depending on color). EarthShade seems very committed to designing these window coverings as healthily as possible. They are also extremely transparent and encourage their customers to ask specific questions about their products in relation to human health. They are additionally very aware of their “friends with chemical sensitivities,” so they have done their due diligence with avoiding chemicals. Do keep in mind that these do not seem to be off-the-shelf, so they may fall be a bit pricey. Still, because they offer a lot of helpful information, it’s worth calling them when doing your blinds research even just to learn more!
Mechoshade is a company that is often used by developers of large buildings because it commonly sells motorized shades. In addition to these, they also offer manual shades, oversized options with no seams, and more specialty products. These window coverings, therefore, are highly customizable and have a many fabric options, which additionally vary in transparency. The EcoVeil option of “Shadecloth” is PVC-free and holds the certifications listed above.
2. Wood Blinds
HUNTER DOUGLAS| Forest Stewardship Council certified wood
The majority of Hunter Douglas’ wooden blinds are made of solid hardwood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). While they are explained to be solid basswood or Nordic pine, they also say they are “fade resistant” and “fire retardant,” which I believe is cause for suspicion. These blinds are painted, so it seems that the paint may be providing these properties. What chemicals are contained in this paint? This information is not disclosed because there are no federal requirements to do so, but the fact that the main material of this product will not degrade over time like PVC makes wood a better option regardless.
3. Metal Shades
The Earthshade aluminum mini-blinds call themselves the “cleanest and greenest” because the slats are uncoated, recycled aluminum (although, we should note that this product discloses that it employs “minimal plastic”). Often, as we saw with the wood blinds above, the window blind paint may be where mysterious chemicals exist. This product does a good job of minimizing these at a presumably lower price.
Levolor offers blinds that seem to be all-aluminum. However, the Riviera mini-blinds, as these are called, are painted with “DustGuard,” which seems suspicious in terms of chemical content. However, this type of paint has an arguable advantage. It promises to be a better option for indoor air quality because it claims to “reduce dust build-up.” This is a definitely an improvement from vinyl window blinds.