Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Today Show must be reading my mind...

Imagine my surprise when I saw that, just today, the Today Show featured a segment on "6 toxins that lurk in your home" discussing some of the same health dangers in our latest blog posts! These are very real concerns and I'm thrilled that they are getting attention on such a large scale. Here is the segment:

Have any of you made your own cleaning solutions? Which ones were the most effective? I'd love to hear from you!

Why Filtered Air Poses A Threat to Your Kids

Asthma rates are up astronomically. Kids are experiencing asthma symptoms earlier and more severely according to a study released by the Environment Protection Agency. The study goes on to report that other illnesses are more prevalent – colds, flus and other “childhood” diseases.

Much of the medical community has turned it’s attention to the rise of more virulent strains of diseases, immune to antibiotics, and indeed, there’s a lot to be made for this case. However, it’s also reasonable to assume that there may be more than one source of the problem. Stronger germs, sure. But how about polluted air? Really polluted air in millions of homes?

As we’ve all become more energy conscious, we’ve added insulation, replaced drafty windows and kept the air inside warm and toasty. Problem is, that air tight box also traps dangerous pathogens – mold, dust and dander, volatile chemicals from cleaners and personal products. If the house can’t breathe, what’s happening to the air in your home? The air becomes thick with poisons from everyday products – everything from dish washer soap to underarm deodorant.

Why Air Filters Make Things Worse
So, moms and dads rush out to buy expensive ionizers and air filtering systems to solve the problem of indoor pollution. But here’s the thing – filtered air isn’t really filtered. In fact, if you don’t maintain the air cleaning gear, you’re making things worse for the family.

Here’s why. Air filtering systems draw in air, run it through a filter and pump out clean air. So far so good. But here’s the problem. Within hours of installing a new filter, it already contains pollutants – pollutants through which all other air must pass. And as these pollutants continue to collect, whether in an ionizer or other air filter, the more pollutants are pumped back into the interior of your home.

Filtered air of any kind is filtered for a while, but as more and more containments build up within the collection device, the less effective the air cleaner.

What To Do About Indoor Air Pollution
Use fewer pollutants.
Use cleansing, full-spectrum light sources throughout the house.
Ventilate regularly. Open a window for goodness sake.
Don’t use filter or ionizer air cleaners. They can make the problem worse.
Use exhaust fans or work outside when using toxins. Follow label instructions.
Make your own cleaning products, clean and save a ton of cash at the same time.
Purchase natural fiber clothing for your children.

And that’s just the beginning. Had the furnace tuned up lately? Had the AC cleaned since you bought it? The stuff that grows in wet dark places is gross – like a high school science experiment gone horribly wrong.

There’s plenty you can do to go pro-active in keeping a really clean home. And you won’t find anything useful in the cleaning products aisle of the SuperMagaMart.

The Cleaner Your Home, The Greater the Danger

You’re taught that a shiny, sparkling home is the sign of a family that cares about its health, right? Wrong. The fact is, the air inside your home is more polluted than the air outside – even if you live within whiffing distance of the town dump. And we’re not just talking about odors.

We’re talking highly-volatile chemical compounds that are released into the air every time you spray for mold. Tiny droplets of this highly toxic chemical can float in the air for days. It lands on furniture, food preparation surfaces and in the lungs of all family members.

But it gets worse when you factor in the chemicals that are released from furniture cushions and even the carpet. Formaldehyde – used to embalm dead bodies – is used in the manufacture of couch stuffing and rugs, and molecules of this toxin can be released years after the carpet or couch is purchased.

Other sources of indoor pollution:

personal care products like deodorants, colognes and hair sprays

any store-bought cleaning agent, mildew killer, bubbles that scrub, etc. – all toxic

dry-cleaned clothes. You wouldn’t BELIEVE what they put on those outfits and it all makes its way into the air that you and your family breathe.

paints, stains and other home maintenance products are some of the most toxic products on the planet

The list goes on. Just look under your sink. Read the labels of that HEAVY DUTY DRAIN CLEANER. Holy cow. That stuff will eat through solid steel! Whoa. Read the label on any drain unclogger. If that doesn’t scare you, this will.

We spend 90% of our time in our homes breathing in these toxins. Somebody open a window, please!

Yep, part of it’s about ventilating your energy efficient, seamless castle. But, by going proactive and using every day, homemade products, you can eliminate the dangers flying through the air of the family room including volatile organic compounds, molds, viruses, disease-causing bacteria and stuff you don’t even want to know about.

Come on back soon. Together, we can clean up the environment one house at a time.