KENMORE, WASH.—When planning for her four-bedroom Enliven Bed and Breakfast in Kenmore, Wash., owner Teresa Molitor Luttrell decided to create a haven for people with chemical sensitivities. Luttrell suffered from Lyme disease for many years and understands the needs of the chemically sensitive.
“I turned my house into a place for people with chemical sensitivities. Over the years I have really finetuned it,” Luttrell says.
Millions of Americans suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity. According to the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a medical condition characterized by a heightened sensitivity to chemicals. People who have MCS become ill when exposed to a variety of chemicals, many of which are commonly encountered in everyday life. Some people have only mild chemical sensitivities, while others have a more severe form of the illness called MCS.”
The Enliven Bed and Breakfast is fragrance free. “We don’t allow fragranced products or essential oils,” Luttrell says.
Steam Used for Much of Cleaning
Cleaning chemicals, pesticides and herbicides are not used. A steam vapor cleaning system is used for cleaning—for bathrooms, floors, kitchens. “I use it on the bedding, the pillows. It really helps a lot,” Luttrell says.
Bedding is all organic. Mattresses are organic cotton and wool and topped by a wool topper. All the pillows are organic wool or down covered. Linens are made from organic cotton, as are the towels.
Water alarms are installed to warn of any water leaks that could lead to mold growth. “We have air filtration and a UV light on the furnace. Air quality is important. All guests have access to filtered water.”
Annually Tested for Mold
The B&B does not have WiFi out of respect for those with sensitivities to electromagnetic fields. There is wired Internet service. The property is inspected annually for 32 types of mold and has received a superior rating. The Environmental Relative Mold Index (ERMI) is the name of the test. The B&B has also scored well on the HERTSMI-2 test. The HERTSMI2 can technically be a separate mold test, but it is also a different way of scoring the ERMI. HERTSMI2 scores molds (included in the full ERMI) that are known to be dangerous to human health.
For breakfast, guests have the option of a very healthy standard breakfast with fruit, yogurt, eggs and more, or the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) breakfast that includes raw organic vegetables, sliced organic and/or grass fed deli meat, and more. All breakfast items for either breakfast option are organic/non GMO, gluten-free and dairy-free.
Luttrell says occupancy last year ran 89 percent. “A lot of business is through referrals. I do a lot of medical tourism here,” she says. “People searching for chemical-free housing find me. I usually have a wait list.”
By March, Luttrell is planning to launch www.chemicalfreeinns.com. The site will emphasize education, selling products that are beneficial, and will include a list of chemical free inns. The listed inns will not be certified.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.