Keeping Your Home Toxic Free
Each of us is damaged by chemicals that surround us daily in our homes and workplaces-in virtually every environment we enter. Many of the everyday products we choose to use are affecting our health. In the 1950’s the chemical corporations promised us “Better Living Through Chemistry”, but they neglected to tell us the true costs.
We believed our government would protect us from our own ignorance and the indifference of the chemical industry. The truth is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot even protect its own employees, much less the public. In 1988 the EPA installed 27,000 square yards of new carpet in many of the offices at its national headquarters in Washington D.C. Within days workers were complaining of respiratory problems, burning eyes, rashes, dizziness and nausea. Within a few months more than 122 workers complained of adverse health effects related to the carpeting. If the government agency mandated to protect the public from dangerous chemicals cannot protect its own, what are they able to do for the rest of us?
In addition to countless chemicals in carpets, air fresheners, paints, waxes, wallpaper, fabrics, office supplies, plastics, cleaning products and varnishes that are in areas we cannot control, think of the products that we buy and use on our bodies every day. Hairspray, perfume, makeup, mascara, lipstick, hair dye, soaps and shampoos with phenols and glycerin are sources of potentially harmful chemicals, Can we do without, or perhaps find alternatives? We cannot afford to buy everything on the supermarket shelves and assume it is benign.
When we add all these chemical assaults to the effect of the chemicals used to construct or clean our homes, we are adding to the build-up of chemicals in our bodies. The result is our bodies must work harder and harder to eliminate the toxins we have been exposed to. Depending on our particular constitutional weakness, the result of this chemical deluge could be carcinogenic, allergic, or phophyric. In many cases individuals can become severely ill, resulting in lengthy, and not always successful, medical treatment programs.
If the government cannot protect us and the chemical companies obviously will not protect us, we have to take care of ourselves. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a tool to help us take this responsibility. This tool is the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and all non-food products manufacturers are now required to make it available upon request. This can be very useful, but the MSDS sheet is not always enough. For instance, if you request information from a glue manufacturer, you must also ask them for the MSDS provided to them by any manufacturers of chemicals used as components of the final glue product.
There is definitely a cause and effect relationship of chemicals and illness. I am particularly concerned about the toxic products currently going into new and remodeled homes that are potentially very harmful to us and our families. Please do not take the safety of these products for granted. We all are responsible to learn about the chemicals we voluntarily use and their effects on us. Fortunately, with the MSDS, we now have the ability to inform ourselves.
We are exposed, without our consent, to countless chemicals every day. It is important to make our homes a “Safe Haven” for our families. There are plenty of Healthier products available, at natural food and natural home stores. Let’s think and do healthier with respect to our homes.
Every day Toxins
There are 120 known toxins in carpet with formaldehyde being one of the most prominent. As you add features like Stain Resistance, the amount of toxic chemicals increase. It takes 10 years for formaldehyde to fully off gas in your home. That means for 10 years you will be breathing formaldehyde gasses as you sleep, eat and live in your home. It is still unknown how long each chemical takes to off gas fully, not all chemicals have even been recognized at this point. One of the best ways to decrease the toxicity of your home is to remove the carpeting.
Scented Cleaning products are full of toxins. The chemicals that the manufacturers use to scent these products can and are toxic. This includes everything from spay and gel air fresheners, carpet fresheners, mildew removers, scented laundry soaps and dish soaps. These products that we use on a daily basis are some of the worst chemicals that we expose our bodies too.
These are just a few of the products that most of us use every day in our homes. There are now many alternatives that can be used such as: instead of using Windex which contains ammonia use warm water and vinegar. Instead of using scented laundry soap or fabric softener there are now brands that offer unscented and dye free. There are also all natural products that can be purchased.