Dear EarthTalk: I recently read about the toxic dangers of particle board. I still am using the same laminate on particle board bedroom furniture that I bought new 30 years ago. Do you think it's still harmful to my health after all this time, and is there any way to make it less unhealthy?-- Jane Woodard, via e-mail
Dear EarthTalk: I'm in the market for a new mattress after two decades on "old faithful" and I figure it's a good time to go green. What are the options out there these days for eco-friendly mattresses? -- Betsy Langdon, Chicago, IL
As automakers try to plug into consumers' future needs, electric cars are stirring boardroom curiosity - but not a lot of sales.
Some car manufacturers are banking on a different story in the future, though.
Dear EarthTalk: Just when I finally purged my kitchen of non-stick cookware due to the risks posed by Teflon, I now learn that my rain jacket and waterproof boots are also putting my health at risk from exposure to similar "hydrophobic" chemicals. What's a concerned outdoors person to do about staying dry and comfortable on a rainy hike? -- Alex Walker, Philadelphia, PA
Dear EarthTalk: I've heard that the chemicals we use to unclog backed-up drains are harmful to our health and the environment. Can you suggest safer alternative products or methods?
Dear EarthTalk: What are so-called "intentional communities"? And are there any in the U.S. that are sustainability-focused? -- Elissa McNeal, Washington, DC