Home air purification systems are being purchased by the millions. Many adults both with and without children are realizing that the one thing they can control in their home is the air they breath. Many have done their diligent studies or took it on recommendation that the air outside is harmful, but the air inside(up to 70 times more toxic)can be made cleaner by purchasing and installing some sort of unit that will help clean the air.
And a good choice it was. Several units will filter out the dust, the dander from their pets, and some other particulate that is unseen. Some units can even filter out some of the toxins that float around us while we are in our home. And they work too.
But did you know that these airborne toxins, once on the skin, can actually cause as much harm to you, your children and your pets, as it does to inhale them? Most people know this subconsciously, but they neglect to do anything about it.
Most of the products that you bring into your home from the store to use for whatever purpose contain chemicals that over time can and will bring harm to you. Most of us think that these products could not be sold to us if this were true. Unfortunately, there is no requirements for testing these products and there is no requirement to even list everything they contain on the label (testing is done as we know, with animals, and many companies have found alternative testing methods. But there are a surprisingly high number of brand name companies that still do animal testing. That is a whole other discussion). I was surprised to learn that, because I live in a country that seems to regulate everything else, why not consumer and personal care products as well.
There are countless examples you can take a look at from the products in your home right now. I’m sure you have seen them already. Look at your oven cleaning solution. Does it say anywhere on the container “danger”, “warning”, “poison”? Do the instructions indicate that you should use gloves when applying? How about to have good or adequate ventilation?
Look at your floor cleaners, or window cleaners. Did you know that ammonia, which is a good cleaning agent, found in window cleaners, can cause an irritated nose: maybe some slight breathing problems? And not to mention the injury you could sustain if you get it in your eyes. Long term, or repeated exposure could have an effect on the lungs, could cause pneumonia, cataracts, glaucoma, kidney damage, the list goes on. And that’s just ammonia. The recommendation when handling ammonia is to avoid skin contact (we are talking about pure ammonia here). Wear protective gloves and chemical-resistant clothing. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends wearing gloves made of Butyl, Teflon or Viton for up to 8 hours of exposure and Nitrile gloves for up to 4 hours of exposure. Keep clothing clean and free of oils and grease. Even diluted, does that give you cause enough to get rid of everything containing ammonia that YOU brought in?
In the personal care section, I can tell you first hand that the products you use on your head, by and large contain chemicals that render bacteria sterile (they used to be able to kill the bacteria by adding formaldehyde to the mixture. This was done for many years but has since been changed). The ingredients in use today do not “kill” any bacteria that may have gotten into the mix: they make it so the bacteria cannot reproduce while it is sitting on the store shelf. Otherwise, you would be putting a significant amount of bacteria onto your scalp everyday and if you had a scratch or cut on your head or neck, you would get a serious infection. Unless a company uses a plant extract or herb, a chemical like this cannot be healthy. Man made phosphates and man made chemicals derived from petrochemicals located in your soaps, toothpaste, and deodorant also absorb through our skin and can cause immediate problems and problems over time.
Stop and think about where you spend most of your time. How about your kids? Chronic conditions are more problematic in women because women do most of the cleaning in the home. They are exposed to these chemicals for more time, and over time. Pregnancies can be complicated and asthma in children can be traced back to the chemicals and chemical products we use everyday.
What should you do? You started out by purchasing and installing a home air purifier. That is a start. Now, you really need to either get more education on the various hazards you continue to bring into your home and expose you and your family to, or, make the decision to change to products that are much safer to use. They may be hard to find, but don’t you think that you are taking a great risk just to save a couple of dollars for a product that is on sale or that you have used all of your life, therefore it must be good?
Make the change. Start today. You are working hard for everything else in your life, now you need to make your life (your body) stop having to work so hard to save you.
Michael Ochoa is in the business of educating consumers to hidden toxic exposures while providing safe alternatives. For more information on this subject visit Toxic Free Homes and take a Healthy Home Tour.