by Mike Geary – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist Author of best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging You’ve probably already heard about high mercury levels in some types of fish, and even PCB’s in some fish too. However, this video goes beyond just mercury and PCBs and shows how your […]
Collective Evolution Yes. You have read correctly, but this statement sure as heck didn’t come from me. I know that the opposite is true, that heavy metals and other toxins are incredibly dangerous and natural chemicals are far safer than synthetics. But there are many people and organizations out there, (with history proving time and […]
As You Sow esponding to published research showing high levels of heavy metals in commonly eaten food items, As You Sow began extensive independent laboratory testing of 42 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. We found that 26 of the chocolate products (~62%) contain lead and/or cadmium at levels in which one serving exceeds the California […]
By Ty Bollinger Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. In 2014, an estimated 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. Of those, approximately 500,000 will die from the disease. It is an equal-opportunity killer. No matter who you are, where you live, or how much […]
Lead is a common source of accidental poisoning in pets, mainly puppies. Many animals are lead poisoned every week! If you have a pet that is diagnosed with lead poisoning – chances are that you may have been exposed as well. Ingestion of lead-based paints is the most commonly identified source of lead in poisoned […]
Filmmakers Elizabeth Hong and Daniel Montoya have exposed the dangers of mercury toxicityand the connection to dental amalgam fillings. The FDA and ADA have been successful for many years in concealing the risk of amalgam from the public, even after the mountain of scientific research. Many scientists have voiced how the mercury vapor from amalgam is highly absorbed by […]
Don’t Consume Toxins! By Kelly Herring From Healing Gourmet The simplest definition of a toxin is something that can damage tissues and organs or cause disease when it enters the body. By this definition, it’s clear that many of the things that modern humans consider “food” are actually toxins (especially the manner and amounts in which […]
s your home making you ill? 81%of people are at risk of suffering from a respiratory or dermatological condition because of their home. Experts call for an increased awareness of what is being termed ‘Toxic Home Syndrome’. Professor Peter Howarth comments: “There is a lot of noise about how outdoor air pollution affects your health, but we should look […]
This article was kindly contributed by David of www.breathingspace.co.uk; he’s a specialist in the field of air quality and air purifiers.
Is it just me or does anyone else love watching decorating programs? It’s a great feeling to newly decorate and refresh your home. However, along with a fresh new look comes dust and chemicals. Over exposure to chemicals can cause serious debilitating illness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution and that’s before you start decorating.
In this article we’ll go through some of the chemicals that you would normally be exposed to when decorating, the health risks they pose and how to detox your home to minimise your exposure to them.
VOCs stands for Volatile Organic Compounds; these are chemicals which become a gas at room temperature. That new paint smell is actually caused by VOCs and they are also found in carpets, glues, composite wood, solvents, upholstery, varnishes and vinyl flooring.
You may have noticed dizziness after spending too much time in a newly painted room with no proper ventilation – well headaches and dizziness are just the start. Any exposure to VOCs for someone who suffers asthma or chemical sensitivity will cause symptoms to worsen. Short term exposure will cause your eyes, nose and throat to become irritated. Long term exposure to VOCs can cause cancer, liver damage, kidney damage and damage to your nervous.
Sounds scary doesn’t it! VOCs from decorating and furniture have been identified as one of the main causes of bad indoor air quality.
Formaldehyde is a specific type of VOC which is widely used in adhesives. Products containing formaldehyde willrelease the chemical as a gas into the air. Our eyes are particularly sensitive to this chemical but it also causes nose and throat irritation and it’s been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as acarcinogen.
Most wallpaper and wallpaper paste contain fungicides to stop mould growing. These fungicides can trigger an allergic reaction in the form of a skin rash or eczema and once triggered a person can suffer an allergic reaction whenever they are exposed to fungicides.
Dust is also a consideration. Renovations can stir up large amount of dust, especially if there is sanding or plastering involved. We all become sneezy when the air is dusty, but again those with asthma and allergies will suffer worse symptoms.
So how do you minimise your exposure to these chemicals while you’re decorating and detox your home afterwards?
Choose a low toxin flooring material – Did you know that over 200 chemicals are given off by carpets? Look for a natural fibre carpet made from wool, cotton or jute. Avoid vinyl flooring as they give off VOCs and arestuck down with a formaldehyde adhesive. Natural tiling or hardwood floors are the best option as they containfewer chemicals and won’t harbour dust.
Choose your paint carefully – The first thing we often think about with paint is colour, actually its chemical make-up is much more important for our health. Source emulsion water based paint rather than glossy oil based paints and look for ‘Low VOC’ or ‘Zero VOC content’ labelling. Some paint brands, such as B&Q, have a colour coded labelling system for VOC content. Casein Paint, Claypaint and Mineral Based Paints are all far more eco-friendly options if you can source them.
Choose solid wood furniture – Furniture made from chipboard, plywood or MDF contains a large amount offormaldehyde, so where you can, go for solid wood.
Check labels – Look for ‘formaldehyde free’ or ‘low formaldehyde’ and ‘low VOC’ products. Some products will be labelled ‘low odour’ this is not the same as ‘low VOC’.
Watch out for old lead paint – Lead is extremely toxic and was banned from paints in 1992 but if you have a property older than 40 years old there maybe lead paint on radiators and wood work. If you suspect you do have lead paint in your home, don’t strip it off yourself. Either paint over it or get a professional to remove it.
Don’t decorate just before you’re about to have a baby – Most families decorate when a baby is on the way, it’s part of our nesting instinct but actually chemicals have a much more profound effect on babies because they have much smaller systems to deal with toxins.
Ventilate – Decorate your home in summer so that you can ventilate well.
Avoid the room – Don’t use the room you are decorating until the paint has dried completely.
Protective gear – Whilst doing the work wear a face mask to avoid breathing in dust and particles and gloves to avoid getting paint or wall paper paste on to your skin.
Take regular breaks in the fresh air.
If you need to sand – Always wear a mask and choose wet sanding machines over dry sanding machines.
Clean the air – Use an air purifier to remove any lingering chemicals from the air. VOCs and dust are airborne so an air purifier with a HEPA and a carbon filter will trap harmful particles including VOCs. This is my main area of expertise, I specialise in air purifiers, so feel free to visit my website Breathing Space for more advice on the right air purifiers for chemical sensitivity.
Use toxin free cleaning products – Choose cleaning products which are naturally based, or you can make your own with water, lemon, vinegar, baking soda. There’s loads of information online about this.
Vacuum – Vacuum the room thoroughly to pick up dust and fibres from carpet, make sure your vacuum includes a HEPA filter to pick up all the fine dust particles.
Get some plants – Plants will naturally absorb chemicals in the air and they remove carbon dioxide and increase oxygen levels. Peace Lilies, Golden Pothos, Chinese Evergreen, and Rubber Plants are four house plants that are particularly effective in cleaning the air.
Well, I hope I haven’t put you off decorating all together! Hopefully you will now have some practical ways to minimise the impact that decorating your home will have on your health. If I had to stress two points above all it would be to choose materials carefully and to think about the air quality in your home. And with that, happy decorating!
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Scientists have long recognized the dangers of cadmium (Cd) exposure to the human body. This heavy metal is emerging as a major cause of vascular disorders, common cancers, osteoporosis, and kidney disease, and can also cause damage to the body’s reproductive and neurological systems. While tobacco smoke can be a significant […]