Archive for April, 2009


April 22, 2009



                    I have long been concerned about the chemicals that we are exposed to.

                    1000 – 2000 new chemicals are made every year, most of which are food

                    additives.  We potentially are exposed to 84,000 chemicals every day. 

                    The abundance of chemicals may cause the liver to become over taxed

                    and unable to detoxify the body. Any chemicals in cosmetics, creams,

                    anti- perspirants & perfumes, which are put on the skin, enter directly

                    into the blood.  Chemicals such as Food additives, food coloring,

                    MSG, etc, enter the body through the digestive or respiratory systems

                    and also through the skin.  Pesticides have a nervine that destroys the

                    nervous system.  Plastics and Pesticides have a molecule similar to

                    Estrogen and it is felt that these Xynoestrogens may contribute to breast

                    and uterine cancer and may render men infertile. Then all the cleaning

                    products that are out there are loaded with CHEMICALS.  It is

                    important to STOP using as many chemicals as possible because they

                    also severely compromise our immune system.  Last week I had lunch

                    with a friend.  She served what seemed to be a healthy lunch, which

                    consisted of mixed greens and spinach and our choice of toppings, dried

                    cranberries, walnuts, cottage cheese, etc.  The problem with packaged

                    greens is they are covered with preservatives and may be contaminated

                    with salmonella. I left her house with the feeling that something was

                    attaching my throat.   By that evening, I had a soar throat, the next

                    day, a full blown cold and two days later, flu symptoms with fever.  A

                    contributing factor was I had been under stress and didn’t get enough

                    rest.  The moral of this story is get plenty of rest and use Organic fruits

                    and vegetables or if you have a farmer’s market near you, ask to make

                    sure they don’t use pesticides. 


                   There are other measures that we can take to keep our health.  It is not as

                   difficult a task as it may seem.  The following article is from The Healthy

                   Times, Temecula Valley, CA April/May 2008 issue.  


Greening Your Cleaning


While a good scrubbing of the home creates a healthy environment, it’s crucial to know how certain cleaning products can actually be harmful to your family’s health.  It’s also equally important to explore safer, earth-friendly alternatives.


Cleaning often involves the use of potentially harmful products, which can be toxic, corrosive, irritating and flammable.    Every time you use a cleaning product, you are absorbing its contents into your skin and breathing it into your lungs.


What Are In Cleansers?

Phosphates – These can be found in dishwasher tablets.  When they reach waterways, they cause algae to bloom.  Algae consume oxygen and block the sunlight from reaching other aquatic organisms.  As a result, the other organisms die from a lack of much needed nutrients.


Phthalates – These come from phthalic acid, which is used to make dyes and perfumes,  has been related to health effects such as organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), reproduction and fertility issues and birth and/or developmental effects.  It can also harm the endocrine system, the brain, nervous system and even the immune system (including sensitization and allergies).


Ethoxylated alcohols – Found in washing liquids, these can be harmful because they consist of chemicals such as sodium laureth sulphate, which help create foaming but are also a possible carcinogen.


Chlorine – Chlorine, a poisonous, greenish-yellow gas, is a very corrosive and hazardous chemical in bleaches and creates toxins in waterways.  It is crucial to never mix chlorine with other products such as ammonia, as this can create highly toxic fumes.  It also creates organochlorines, compounds that pose an adverse human health risk.  Some are even carcinogens.  Exposure to chlorine gas can produce chest pain, vomiting, coughing, difficulty breathing and/or excess fluid in the lungs.  Exposure to 430 ppm in air for 30 minutes or more will cause death.


Ammonia and nitrobenzene – Commonly found in floor polish/glass cleaners, such chemicals can cause respiratory problems and are skin and eye irritants.  It is important to never mix ammonia and bleach.  This combination produces dangerous chlorine gas, which in small doses can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and the respiratory tract.  In large doses, it can kill.


Triclosan – This is an antimicrobial agent found in antibacterial liquid hand soap, detergents and other sanitizing/cleansing products.  The popularity of antibacterial products has led to increased consumer use of triclosan.  However, the American Medical Association (AMA) has advanced an official recommendation against using antibacterial products in the home due to concerns about antimicrobial resistance.  In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel reviewed the existing research and found no evidence that households that use antibacterial products are healthier than households that use soap and water and other basic cleansers.



Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

Any product carrying the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON is harmful to living things and should be avoided.  People can try to avoid harsh chemicals in their cleaners by buying natural, non-toxic household cleaning products at environmentally-friendly stores.   Natural cleaning products are made with biodegradable materials and do not contain harmful chemicals.


Tips for Green Cleaning:

  • Use alcohol as a sanitizer in place of “antibacterial” products.
  • Pine oil or citrus-based solvents make great renewable resources, and they will not damage your lungs or cause cancer.
  • There’s finally a great use for full-fat mayonnaise: it’s a wonderful furniture cleaner.
  • Buy biodegradable sponges that can break down or be composted when their useful life is through.
  • Indoor air can be up to 90 percent more polluted than outdoor air.  Open your windows whenever possible.

In addition to non-toxic products, switch to hypoallergenic laundry detergents and fabric softeners, dishwashing liquid and household cleaners, as well as environmentally friendly paper towels and bath tissue.  You can also use things in your pantry to create homemade cleansers.


10 Tips for Making Natural Cleansers:

  1. Use olive oil mixed with lemon juice to bring out furniture shine.
  2. White vinegar and baking soda will keep your toilet bowl clean.
  3. Baking soda absorbs odors, so place a bowl near smelly areas, and/or open a window.
  4. Lemon slices placed down the garbage disposal will keep your sink smelling fresh.
  5. Spray vinegar and warm water on glass and then wipe off with crumpled newspaper.
  6. To clean stainless steel, use baking soda as a paste, and leave on for a while to remove tough stains.
  7. Silver can be cleaned with toothpaste, and copper can be cleaned with vinegar and lemon juice.
  8. Use hot soapy water to disinfect cutting boards.
  9. Tea tree oil makes a great disinfectant to eliminate mold and mildew.
  10. A drop of lemon essential oil in rinsing water makes a great disinfectant when cleaning out the fridge, freezer or kitchen surfaces.


My suggestion, if you don’t want to be bothered making your own cleansers, check the labels for the above chemicals or go to your local health food stores for products that are safe.