Wednesday, August 27, 2008


IMPORTANT FACTS regarding TOXINS in our environment

50 % of all illness is due to poor indoor air quality (Source: 1989 State of Mass. Study) 3 groups of people are primarily affected by indoor chemical concentrations because they spend more time indoors and their immune systems are weaker.

The three groups are:

Infants and toddlers
Chronically ill
1988 EPA 5 years study)

The top 12 cancer causing products in the average home include the following:

Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder with Talc
Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste
VO 5 Hair Conditioner
Nice N Easy Hair Color
Ajax Cleaner
Lysol Disinfectant
(Source:The National Cancer Prevention Coalition)

Liquid Dish Soap is the leading cause of poisonings in the home (contain formaldehyde and ammonia in most brands)

Of the chemicals found in personal care products:
884 are toxic
146 cause tumors
218 cause reproductive complications
314 cause biological mutations
376 cause skin and eye irritations
Source:United States House of Representatives report, 1989)

The State of California recently passed legislation requiring a 45% reduction in the amount of toxins found in:

Hairspray aerosols
Furniture polish
Window cleaners
Air Fresheners
Laundry detergents
Nail polish remover
Insect repellent
Hair styling gel and mousse
Shaving crème
(Source: Healthy Homes in a Toxic World)

Out of 1,435 pesticide poisonings in a 1Year period, over 40 % were due to exposure to disinfectants and similar cleaning products in the home.
(Source: State of California Study)

Just reducing (not eliminating) environmental carcinogens alone, would save at least 50, 000 lives from cancer annually (Source: Dr. Lee
Davis, former advisor to the Secretary of Health)

Women who work in the home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than woman who work outside of the home (Source: 17 year EPA study)

Over the last 20-30 years, as more toxic chemicals have been introduced in greater amounts, the levels of toxins stored in our bodies has risen.
Bioaccumulation studies have shown that some toxins store in our bodies for life. Greater and greater amounts are being stored at younger. Diseases
that used to occur later in life are now appearing at younger ages. Disease that used to be rare is more frequent. For example:

There has been a 28% increase in childhood cancer since the addition of pesticides into household’s products
(Source: National Cancer Institute)

In one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma (29% for men and 82% for women- the higher rate for women is believed to be due to the women’s longer exposure to household chemicals (Source: Center for
Disease Control)

Due to the increase in toxic buildup in our bodies,including the toxic buildup of formaldehyde, dead bodies are not decomposing as fast as they used too. (Source National Institutes of Health)

Bodies now start to decompose within 7 to 10 days after death. During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese bodies started to decompose within 24-28 hours, Americans didn’t start to decompose for 4 to 5 days. Two times as much formaldehyde was needed to embalm a person twenty years ago as is needed today.

There is an increased risk for leukemia in children where parents have used pesticides in the home or garden before the child’s birth (Source: Journal
of the National Cancer Institute.

Over 150 chemicals found in the average home have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities (Source: Consumer
Product Safety Commission)

Some products release contaminants into the air right away, other do so gradually over a period of time. Some stay in the air up to a year. These contaminants, found in many household and personal care products can cause dizziness, nausea, allergic reactions, eye/skin/respiratory tract irritations and some cause cancer. (Source: American Lung Association)

The following products are just a few that are so toxic they would be disposed in a toxic waster dump:

Floor care products
Furniture Polish
Window cleaner
Bug spray
Nail polish remover
(Source: Water Pollution Control Federation)

Warning labels on containers refer ONLY to toxins hazard from ingestion,however only 10% of health problems from chemicals are caused by ingestion.
90% are caused by the inhalation of vapors and absorption of particles.

Government regulations require that only the most EXTREMELY Toxic substance must contain a warning label. Labels that say the following should be
removed from your home immediately:

Do not induce vomiting
Corrosive or fatal if swallowed
Harmful or fatal if swallowed
Call physician immediately- Get emergency aid

Warning (means that (1 teaspoon of product can harm or kill an adult)
Danger (means that as little as 5 drops can harm or kill an adult)

Phenol is a very common chemical that is found in household products. Health effects from phenol include:

Corrosive to any tissue
Harm to the central nervous system
Primary rout of entry is through the skin

Phenol is found in the following common products:

Air fresheners
Anti-itching and pain relieving lotions
Chloroseptic throat spray
Feminine powders and sprays
Furniture polish
Disinfectant cleaner
All-purpose cleaner

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Air Fresheners or Poinsoners??

All of the advertisements strive to make us feel that we do not have a really nice home unless "air fresheners" are supplied in all bathrooms, kitchens, and around the house generally to assure that we and our visitors are persuaded that ours is not just a clean home, but one with requisite elegant touches. There are two kinds - the spray type, with their non-recyclable aerosol cans or plastic packages, adding to unnecessary solid waste, and the wick type, that send out their fumes continuously.

These products do not, in fact, do anything to improve the quality of the air. Instead, they add a number of pollutants, some designed to deaden your sense of smell, others serving as propellants, and others adding various kinds of toxic perfume to drown out whatever smells may offend. Many of these ingredients cause irritation of the nose and lungs, leading to serious problems for many people. Many times, pesticides are even included - for what purpose?! Spray this around and solve all your odor problems?! A prominent constituent of many of these products is formaldehyde. That can destroy your sense of smell alright, and is one of the worst offenders for respiratory irritation. It has also been admitted by the EPA to be a cause
cancer. Anyone with asthma, lung infections, or like ailments can be severely affected by formaldehyde.

Chemicals in addition to oxygen that we breathe into our lungs, go straight from our lungs into our blood stream. If you would not eat it, then you do not want to breathe it. When you eat something, it takes longer to get into your circulatory system than if you breathe it into your body.

The list of ingredients that may be found in these deodorants is given as follows taken from "Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products", by Gosselin, Smith and Hodge, 1984. (Not all of these ingredients are bad.)
Spray Type Deodorizers:
ethyl or isopropyl alcohol
glycol ethers
surfactant (quaternary ammonium salts)
metazene (4.0%)
petroleum distillates (6.0%)
aluminum chlorhydrol
bromsalicylanilide 2,3,4,5-BIS(2-butylene) tetrahydrofural
cellosolve acetate
fatty esters
lauryl methacrylate
methylene chloride
pine oil (toxicity like turpentine)
piperonyl butoxide
synthetic surfactants
zinc phenolsulfonate

Wick Type Deodorizers:
formaldehyde (37%)
water-soluble perfume
essential oils
aromatic chemicals (xylene)

What's the alternative? Simply keeping the house or office clean and well-ventilated and using an exhaust fan, if needed, solves most problems. Remove the cause of the offending smell, whether by drying and cleaning off mold, removing rotting food or other material, and emptying the trash regularly. Baking soda absorbs odors in the refrigerator and elsewhere. Growing plants can help or simmering spices briefly. Also, you can simmer 4 lemons (cut in fourths) on the stove for about 45 minutes to an hour to obtain a wonderful lemon fragrance that is non-toxic. In a recent sad case a firm hired to vacuum the heating ducts in a house finished off with a heavy spray of "freshener" into the air ducts. The family became very ill and have had to move to another home.

In summary, I believe we need to realize that "clean" does not have a "scent"!! We have all been brainwashed to believe that "clean" means some kind of toxic fragrance - whether it be our air, clothes, or body. But "clean" really has a very "neutral" smell: non-offensive and non-toxic! If you really want to freshen the air - OPEN SOME WINDOWS!! That's where you'll find truly fresh air.

Posted by Sue Ellen Dennison at 1:

The Hidden Toxins in Your Home by Parents Magazine