Have you noticed when you walk into some homes/premises or offices that you start sneezing, after a while you get a headache or feel bit unwell?
Maybe you noticed that your colleagues or loved ones have reacted when they enter a certain building, office, friend’s house they start sneezing, get an allergic reaction, feel headachy or noticed symptoms of asthma, neurological disorders, depression or unexplained weight gain and much more.
Symptoms like these are connected to the environment we spend most of our time.
Today’s doctors and complementary medical experts who practice environmental medicine believe that the stressors we’re exposed to on a continual basis could be the underlying factor in the huge growth of these conditions.
So what are these environmental stressors?
Two major issues which affect many of us are environmental pollution and electro smog.
Here’s what they are and how to deal with them:
What’s the problem?
We’re aware of the problems that external environmental pollution causes; just last year we had to contend with smog, Saharan dust and pollution coming from France and other European countries.
Admittedly, the air pollution now is not as intense as that which blanketed the country in 1952, when it was estimated that between 4000 and 8,000 people died as a direct result of the smog!
External pollution presents a serious health problem and the WHO has data which shows that it definitely shortens our lifespan – so we need to try to avoid it if at all possible.
The more insidious problem for us exists within our homes.
We are surrounded by artificially produced items which exude chemicals, including furniture, carpeting, upholstery and even pesticides in our food.
The colourless and odourless poisons that are on, in and exuded by these items have become part of our lives for the last 30 to 40 years.
The problem is that our exposure to these chemicals is relentless: whereas acute exposure to chemical substances can cause an immediate reaction, such as an allergy which, while inconvenient and uncomfortable, often won’t do any long-lasting damage to our overall health.
However, chronic, relentless exposure over a longer period of time can be much more deadly, simply because we are not aware of it.
So, we don’t produce any noticeable symptoms as such, but the negative effects, which are thought to be cumulative, may not appear for decades.
This chronic exposure to chemicals that are completely synthetic and do not exist in nature can, over time, compromise our health and especially our immune system activity and this, in turn, makes it much more of a struggle to remain healthy.
There is strong evidence which suggests that chronic chemical exposure actually shortens our lifespan.
So keeping our direct environment – home & office healthy and toxin-free is part of a sensible anti-aging lifestyle.
A few tweaks here and there can help us to slow down the aging process!
How great is that!
Your healthier home
The most proactive thing you can do is to reduce your consumption of chemicals in your home and use natural cleaning products; white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. These are all incredibly useful cleaning agents, they’re cheap, non-toxic and they work!
Beware of cleaning agents that claim to contain ‘natural’ ingredients, and check the label closely – a study conducted a couple of years ago showed that many of these did not stand up to scrutiny.
Choose furniture and furnishings made from natural materials. Use non-bio washing powder or none at all. Use a good quality water filter and, last but not least, choose organic decorating materials.
So, let’s take a deeper look around the house to see what you can do?
Let’s start in the kitchen
The Water we drink.
A lot of people today are concerned about the quality of water that they drink and are starting to look at alternatives to tap water.
A blog post about water coming out on Thursday! So look out.
Food wrapped up in plastic!
stands for Bisphenol A and is known as a hormone disruptor. It mimics oestrogen and has been linked to hormone-driven, cancers, fertility issues low-libido, cardiac disease, mental disorders, allergies, high blood pressure, and weight gain -have all been linked to BPA exposure. and more. Experts agree that is bad as it’s everywhere: lining of food cans, the coating on a receipt, plastic food containers and bottles, packaging…
Heat especially makes the chemical leach into the food so avoid anything tinned. Use glass or china for storage rather than plastic.
I hugely eliminated canned food but I still have an emergency tins of bens or tomatos in my larder.
Why do we have to have cucumbers wrapped up in plastic – it looks like a condom! Really? Why?
Is there any other food you’re surprised is in plastic?
Microwaving is a simple, convenient cooking option for people on the go. The microwave oven has been a mainstay in the US for 30+ years, virtually transforming society and how we view food. But is it save for us?
A microwave is a form of non-ionizing radiation. As a matter of contrast, ionizing radiation changes the electromagnetic nature of atoms, or ionizes them. This alters the way they interact with other atoms and molecules around them. X-rays, gamma radiation, and nuclear medicine (CT scans, barium swallows, and mammograms) are types of ionizing radiation. Your food is being zapped by high-frequency waves of heat, and some people argue that this radiation can be harmful to your health.
So let’s look at that!
One study by Dr. Hans Hertel explored how microwaves change the molecular structure of food and the effects of that food on the human body. In his study, he found that individuals who consumed the microwaved foods experienced a decrease in HDL cholesterol, a reduced red blood cell count, and fewer white blood cells. Microwaving does indeed deteriorate health. Still, there are other cooking options that may be far better at retaining the nutritive quality of food
So what can you do instead?
Microwaving cooks the food at very high temperatures in a very short amount of time. This results in a great deal of nutrient loss for most foods, especially vegetables. Our foods are also subjected to nutrient loss when we boil, fry or roast our food. Boiling vegetables, for example, leeches most of the nutrients (including antioxidants) into the water. The best option for cooking vegetables that will result in only a minor loss of nutrients is steaming. Sautéing and baking at low temperatures is also a viable option that will retain more nutrients than microwaving, boiling, or frying. Of course, by making the majority of your diet raw, with some added dietary fat to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), you’ll ensure a high level of nutrient intake.
I prefer steaming and fresh raw salads.
What happens when you combined BPA or PET and microwave?
When it comes specifically to microwaves, damage to the food itself isn’t the only concern. Many microwavable foods are processed and in packaging that contains an assortment of chemicals. Chemicals found in many of these containers include benzene, toluene, polyethylene terpthalate (PET), xylene, and dioxins (known carcinogens). At high temperatures, it is likely that chemicals can absorb into the food, and intake of these chemicals presents a high health risk. What’s more, the chemicals in the food themselves are also a cause for concern.
I’m a big fan and advocate of not using them. I haven’t had mine for over five years and don’t miss it. I’m pleased I influenced a few of my friends especially these with kids who got rid of theirs! Imagine microwaving milk for the little ones!!
Eliminating toxins on a daily basis will reward you in long run.
They are known as PFCs and often found in the kitchen.
‘Non-stick’ pans such as Teflon – use stainless steal or ceramic instead. I got rid of mine 5 years ago and I’m back to old-fashioned cook wear.
You’ll find PFCs in some food packaging, e.g. pizza boxes, fast food wrappers… The problem is it affects the thyroid function and is linked with infertility in both men and women. A recent study even found that the chemical stops ovaries from producing eggs.
Vanessa Willes(Mangle & Wringer, the natural cleaning company) shared that the antibacterial soap is “one of the most toxic and problematic, cleaning items in the home, the ingredient triclosan is the known issue,”.
The marketing of these products has been based on fear and anxiety about germs.
“Last year the US FDA banned the use of tricosan in antibacterial soups, as they found no evidence being more effective than plain soup and water. Unfortunately, it’s still used in the UK because there is no legal obligation to declare every ingredient.
Instead on the label we see a phrase: ”contains amongst other ingredients”
Some are using benzalkonium chloride which has its own risks and potentially just as bad as triclosan.
Via: Facts taken from the Natural Health magazine, March 2017
My personal tip
I used to buy eco friendly liquid soap. But got aware about the plastic container so I switched to plain home-made bars of soap. I met a wonderful lady Mind, Body Spirit event in Birmingham. She makes the most exquisite soaps. It feels great to support someone else’s business and at the same time know that I’m not overloading my body with chemicals.
We don’t need to kill 99.99% of bacteria, as one research points out, our immune system really suffers!
There are many companies now that use non toxic ingredients in their products. And I use one too that I completely trust.
In the kitchen I’ve been personally using Vinegar mixed with water. It’s costs peanuts to make it your own and you can choose the strength too. I mix water with vinegar 50:50.
It helps to clear the odour from cooking too.
In fact I have a small glass of vinegar in the fridge to eliminate smells.
Did you know that your morning shower is unknown danger?
You wouldn’t knowingly bathe in toxins every morning or set out to harm your lungs and sinuses, irritate your allergies and skin, or willingly increase your risk of cancer. But the fact is, chlorine and its by-products in your shower water are toxins which can damage your health.
A blog post about that in more details is coming out on Tuesday.
The Living Room
There are harmful flame retardants in upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains…
Some flame retardant chemicals have been linked to reduced fertility, birth defects, hyperactivity, hormonal disruptions, diminished IQ and cancer.
Does yours have it?
Look for polyurethane foam. Flame retardants are primarily used to treat this type of foam, so if the furniture label includes polyurethane foam as one of the materials, that is a clue that the item may contain flame retardants.
Foam products made before 2005 are the most hazardous because older flame retardants were more toxic.
Check the following products. Flame retardants are also sometimes used in other products such as: electronics, carpet padding and building materials.
Testing by Duke University has found them in children’s products such as car seats, changing table pads, nap mats and nursing pillows.
Mop/dust/vacuum. Researchers believe flame-retardant chemicals come out of our furniture in the form of dust. They recommend frequent cleaning to capture that dust, especially dusting with a damp cloth, and vacuuming with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, which captures dust.
Wash your hands. To avoid ingesting flame retardant dust, wash your hands early and often – especially before eating and especially young children’s hands, since they tend to put their hands in their mouths a lot.
How can I buy flame-retardant-free furniture in the future?
Choose other padding. The majority of furniture is made with polyurethane foam, but there are other choices, such as down, wool stuffing or polyester fiberfill. These may be less likely to be treated with flame-retardants.
Try other styles. Choose non-padded styles, such as furniture made of wood or wicker. Also consider materials that are naturally less flammable like leather and wool.
Buy after 2014-2015. Late in 2013, California revised the rule that effectively required manufacturers to use flame retardants in their furniture. Now, instead of having to pass an open flame test, the rule requires a smolder test. This will enable furniture to pass without the use of flame retardants. California did not ban flame retardants, but it did give manufacturers a way to voluntarily stop using them and many are expected to stop.
Look for the TB117-2013 label. The new standard comes with a new label, which will say “TB117-2013” since the change was made in 2013. Manufacturers can begin using it in January 2014 and they must use it after January 2015.
Have you thought about the paint that has been used on the walls in your home?
I met a lady – Alex Herring, whose business is to only use non toxic paints. She even won an award as an environmentally friendly business. (www.aspaintingservices.co.uk)
What We Wash our Laundry with?
Detergents can contain a lot of potentially harmful ingredients, and can damage not just your skin but marine life too.
The Scientist Jeffry May, author of My House is Killing me! Mentioned in his book that the Enzymes added to laundry detergents are there to help clean dirt from clothing. When the companies started first adding them, some factory workers who inhaled enzyme dust develop severe allergies and asthma. Manufacturers insisted that customers would not develop similar symptoms. J. May worked with a number of clients who experienced respiratory symptoms, skin irritation and even fatigue when they started using enzyme-containing detergents.
I remember back in the 90s, I bought Persil laundry powder for my mum as I saw it on TV all the time. (Ads can be powerful!) My mum was surprised why I bought it. After just one wash my brother and I were covered in eczema. I took a mental note back then!
About five years ago I switched to ECO friendly washing gels and powders and since a few months ago I’ve been using EcoEgg. (www.ecoegg.com).
If you’d like to know what I’m using to keep my house clean, connect with me and I share it 🙂
What was your most surprising thing you learnt today?
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Skype: Lucie Patel Varekova
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