Guest post by T.M. Canary
Valentines Day has a different meaning for me. Three years ago in February 2013 my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease due to the use of air fresheners at the clinic where I worked. There is no way to describe how my life has been permanently changed in just a few words. My severe asthma is permanent and likely progressive. Those that care about me have the power do something about this though. You can make the effort to choose products that do not pollute the air we all breathe.
1. Avoid fragranced body products [perfume, body creams, sun screens, deodorant, shower gels, shampoo/conditioner, hair products, hand soaps lotions, and sanitizers]
2. Avoid fragranced laundry products [detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets]
3. Cleaning products [all purpose cleaners, dish soap, floor cleaners, toilet cleaners, bath & shower cleaners]
4. Avoid burning candles and all air fresheners [sprays, solids, and gel warmers]
5. Avoid other surprisingly fragranced products [fire logs, air purifiers, facial tissues and toilet paper, trash bags, shelf liners]
Why am I asking my friends and family to avoid such products?
1. Firstly because they are harmful to you, your children and your pets. Not only do they cause allergies, asthma and cancer but they are even known to alter our genes. Although the effects are certainly far reaching, the extent of the health impacts is not yet fully researched or understood.
2. And even if you decide this isn’t your concern, these products harm others that you come in contact with. All those products can be carried out into the public with you, just like second hand smoke. The impact of second hand exposure makes it so that I cannot even attend an essential and necessary medical appointment at my asthma specialist without having a serious asthma attack from fragrance on the other patients and care givers.
3. Unlike pharmaceuticals, these products are not required to put forth double blind, controlled, peer reviewed studies proving their need and safety prior to coming to market. And they are also not required to be forthright in labeling of the specific contents of these products, protected legally as ‘proprietary’ and thus secret. So we, as consumers, are not provided the information or protections by our regulatory agencies to make choices to avoid harm and chronic health conditions.
Your choices as an individual can make a difference.
From my heart to yours, please be well and avoid fragranced products.
~ T.M. Canary
♥ ♥ ♥
“Many of us love to show love on Valentine’s Day with a gift to our sweetheart. But this year, skip the conventional gifts like perfumes and scented lotions that can have allergens and harmful chemicals hiding within. Kiss those predictable chocolates and flowers goodbye. Instead, celebrate this Valentine’s Day with gifts that are mindful of your health – and easy to love!”
Here are some of our favorite resources for finding safer gifts for Valentine’s Day.: