Understanding the Impacts of Inflammation: Air Inflamers
I’ve been accused in the past of being “so sensitive” when it comes to smelly candles, perfumes, home sprays, lotions, and similar items.
When friends and family come to visit our home, they know the deal. Leave all perfumes, colognes, and stinky lotions at the door, please – none in my house!
I prefer to say I am “highly attuned” to smells and always have been. I don’t know – could it have something to do with swimming in highly chlorinated pools for 20 years of my life? I think it burnt off all my nose hair!
Jokes aside, let’s talk about the serious part of all this odor business.
Indoor air can be up to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Most people are aware of the more common potential indoor air contaminants like radon, asbestos, mold, tobacco smoke, and carbon monoxide.
But do you ever think about the large amount of chemicals we spray into our trapped indoor air from personal care products?
Here are a few that come to mind:
- Nail polish remover
- Body splashes
Add home cleaning products, wall paint, air fresheners, plug-ins, candles, and fragranced trash bags to the mix, and you have a recipe for an indoor air quality disaster.
Even new furniture, beds, and carpet emit harmful gases for months after purchase.
The developing bodies of our babies have to smell this stuff every day, and no one can convince me that it doesn’t affect them on some level.
Consider these statistics for a minute:
- 25 million Americans have asthma; 6.8 million are children.
- The American Cancer Society has stated that environmental pollution is strongly linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, nervous system disorders and hyperactivity, emphysema, nasal congestion and burning eyes, headaches and muscle aches, burning and tingling skin, irritability and mental confusion, lack of coordination, and other symptoms.
- According to the National Safety Council, more children under the age of 4 die of accidental household poisonings than are accidentally killed by guns at home.
- The EPA conducted a study that found that toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution.
- Stay-at-home moms have a 54% higher cancer rate than women who work outside of the home.
Now, if you’ve read my articles before, you know I’m all about finding solutions and/or creating healthier ways to live that are still workable in modern society.
In other words, telling you to move to a desolate space in the mountains for cleaner home air isn’t realistic.
So, the question becomes, how can we live in our fast-paced, modern world and still reduce some of the toxic stuff in our homes/lives?
Here are some simple actions you can take to reduce the indoor air pollution in your home.
- Place lots of green plants around the house (they act as air filters).
- Always buy green cleaning products (many companies are making them now; check with www.ewg.org for the safest products).
- Do your nails outside and use “Five-Free,” more natural nail polishes.
- Buy solid wood furniture as much as possible (particle board emits formaldehyde).
- Spend a couple extra dollars per gallon on no-VOC paint – it’s worth it.
- Use fragrance-free products whenever available.
- STOP using perfumes and colognes… essential oils are a great swap.
- Be aware of all the products you are purchasing that might be artificially fragranced in some way (trash bags, for example).
- Instead of plug-ins for air freshening, try essential oils diluted in water in a little bottle and sprayed around the house, or use an essential oil diffuser.
Implementing some of the above suggestions becomes even more important during the summer/winter months when we can’t open windows and we spend more time in the air conditioning/heat.
The process of ridding your home of all the toxic stuff you’ve grown to love can take a little time. Most people have to take it one product at a time until the cleaner, greener products take over.
The exciting thing is that more and more companies are beginning to understand that modern-day consumers want these types of products on the market. What I used to have to buy at Whole Foods Market, I can now find at Target for a lot cheaper.
So, take it one product at a time, and the next time someone tells you their car still has that “new car” smell, ask them if they mean that “totally toxic smell,” hand them this article, and catch another ride.
If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to take my free High Performance Health Assessment to find out your personal level of inflammation. Pass it on to your friends and family, too!