Open the Windows and Breathe!

by carko on March 8, 2012

It’s March 8th and the temperature outside is a balmy 63 degrees here in sunny Central New Jersey. What a great day to open some windows and let in some fresh air! The EPA reports that air pollution is up to five times higher inside than outside and most people spend up to 90% of their time indoors (especially in the winter). It’s also a great day to turn the heat “off”, conserve a bit of energy and give your gas meter the day off.

There’s a toxic brew of chemicals lingering in our homes. Many homes are built or remodeled more tightly, without regard to the factors that assure fresh and healthy indoor air. Our homes contain many furnishings and products (carpets, draperies, animals, floor tiles, paint, heaters, dust mites, chemicals etc..) that can greatly affect indoor air quality. Opening windows creates a healthy environment for your family. It helps to dilute pollutants and creates a natural ion balance and helps with humidity and moisture control. Chemical Cleaners are a major contributor to this toxic brew and long-term exposure to them inside our homes is harmful to us and our families. 150 chemicals found in the home have been associated with allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. Cancer rates for cleaning women and women that stay at home are much higher than those who work out of the home.

I know all too well the impact exposure to chemical cleaners has on our bodies. My youngest daughter was hospitalized at the age of two for severe breathing difficulty after I got lazy and used bleach to clean my bathroom. This harrowing experience was a huge eye opener for me. It is one of the reasons I maintain a green-toxin free home and proudly represent Shaklee – which I believe hands down make the best selection of natural non-toxic cleaners on the market. It’s amazing how your sense of smell will become more astute once the chemicals are removed from your home. After a good cleaning, my home smells like a fresh Spring Day and not a mixture of Windex, 409 and Bleach. My children notice the difference and can detect these awful chemicals when we go to other people’s homes – sometimes asking me to open the windows to let the “smell” out.

Even when it’s still cold outside, it’s good a habit to open the windows for at least 10 minutes a day to get the dust and chemicals out – any season of the year. Of course the 20 million Americans now suffering with asthma will surely benefit from some good fresh clean air in the house. Unfortunately, asthma rates in children under age five have increased more than 160% from 1980-1994 and an average of one out of every 13 school-aged children has asthma. That’s disturbing and we need to open our lungs and start breathing some non-toxic air.

Ok so here are some cold hard facts:
There have been 81,000 chemicals registered with the EPA in the last 30 years, and fewer than 20% have been tested for toxicity!
90% of all poison exposures occur at home
218,316 reported poison exposures in 2005 were from household cleaning products

Chlorine Bleach is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings in the U.S.
Degreasers contain petroleum distillates, which can damage lung tissues and dissolve fatty tissue around nerve cells. Glass Cleaners may contain ammonia. Ammonia fumes can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Oven Cleaners can be one of the most dangerous cleaning products, which can cause severe damage to eyes, skin, mouth, and throat. Toilet Bowl Cleaners can be extremely dangerous cleaning products, which can be harmful just by breathing the fumes—and fatal if swallowed.

Let’s take a look at SODIUM HYDROXIDE which can be found in dishwashing liquids, laundry products, oven cleaner, scouring cleansers and tub and tile cleaners. Inhalation is immediately irritating to the respiratory tract and contact can cause severe damage to the eyes, skin, mouth, and throat. Long term exposure can cause liver and kidney damage. YIKES!

The list goes on and on … but what can you do?

For starters, get educated by going to the National Institute of Health Household Products Database. Find out what you have in your home. Enter names of chemicals and see which brands contain them. Look up the Toxicity Information or Health Information. Properly dispose of harmful products and find safer choices.

Of course there are so many so-called “GREEN” options – your head may be spinning.
Labels are confusing and often times very misleading. The Shaklee Get Clean line as I mentioned is my all time favorite choice. GET CLEAN is always safe and nontoxic, has no harmful fumes, is hypoallergenic, contains no Kerosene, Phenol, Cresol, Lye, Hydrochloric acid, Sulfuric acid, Sulfamic acid, Petroleum distillates, Ammonia, Sodium hydroxide, Butyl cellosolve, Phosphoric acid, Formaldehyde, Morpholine to name a few.

All the products are super concentrated which help me to save money and I use ONLY the 3 bottles which come in the starter kit – keeping plastic out of the landfills. From my personal experience – they work better than anything I’ve tried. But don’t take my opinion. For the cost of a nice dinner out you can transform your entire house and your life. Your family and your planet will thank you. If you don’t agree with me 100%, you get your money back! Guaranteed! It’s that easy! Click here to learn more.

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