Tag Archives: indoor air quality

Your Favorite Personal Care and Cleaning Products Went to the Lab, and They Came Back With This

Take a deep breath (or maybe not)

“This study found 156 different VOCs emitted from the 37 products, with an average of 15 VOCs per product. Of these 156 VOCs, 42 VOCs are classified as toxic or hazardous under US federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these chemicals. Emissions of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from green fragranced products were not significantly different from regular fragranced products.”

Most homes are full of these products!!!

Indeed, most indoor environments (and everything in them) are now polluted with these VOCs due to the pervasive nature of these products and chemical compounds.

156 VOCs

From the research article:

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A Fine Fragrance for a Special Valentine

This is special, so special that you might be inspired in ways that surprise you!

MYSTERY 2MYSTERY… Should we trust the fragrance industry with our loved ones health?

We could buy products that are made by a self regulated industry that believes it’s ok to include many harmful chemicals (derived from petroleum and other fossil fuels) in their products (according to their member’s voluntary disclosure of over 3000 ingredients, which is as close to disclosure as they come) or we can show our love for each other by doing things that nurture long term health and well-being for each other and the planet we all depend on for life.

The choice is ours once we know it exists.

Here are a few more nourishing ideas for gifts of love:

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Revolutionary Way to Freshen the Air

Freshening the air is big business these days. Polluting the air is also very profitable. Sadly, it’s usually similar chemicals  polluting the air as are in the substances sold to “freshen” it.

What does fresh air smell like?

fragrance emitting products smell like chemicals

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Fragrance Free Environments and No Fragrance Spaces

Someone shared a very good PDF handout with me the other day, one that I had never seen before. It gently explains to people why there is a problem with fragrance, why people may need to avoid fragrances, that it is not the smell, it’s not personal, and a few other bits of helpful information  The resource links are old and could be updated (somehow), but it’s otherwise a great tool to share with people who don’t understand.

I can’t find a link to share it from elsewhere, so I am posting it here to make it easily available.

Fragrance-Free Environments and No-Fragrance Spaces (PDF)

Fragrance Free Environments and No Fragrance Spaces

The text image is copied below.

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How to Have Company (or Repairmen) In Your Home When You Have MCS/ES

Even when people try to be fragrance (and other chemical) free, they can have 2nd and 3rd hand residues from personal care, cleaning, and laundry products all over them. Air “fresheners” and scented candles are other items that leave residues on everything. It can take weeks to get it out of skin and pores, and longer to get it out of clothing and bedding, all the while re-contaminating the body and anything else that has contact with the fragranced surfaces or air.

rigmarole

Fragrance (and other toxic) chemicals are just all-pervasive now. Unless people are completely fragrance-free and stay out of fragrance filled places, they will have some degree of fragrance saturation in their clothes, skin, and hair. Some of the residues are also impossible to remove no matter how hard one tries, because of chemicals that are designed to penetrate and remain active for long periods of time (think of the  laundry commercials where they boast you can smell the fresh scent days later – except some of us can be affected years later, because that’s how permanent those chemicals are).

If people who use those products come to visit, not only can they leave us gasping for air (or worse) during their visit, they can leave chemical residues that will keep off-gassing from the couch and anyplace else they touched for days or weeks to come.

fragrance around a sofa

Depending on how severe one’s MCS/ES is,there are different things that can be done.

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MCS/ES Accommodation Resources

When people develop MCS/ES, it can be extremely challenging maintaining access to jobs, housing, or other services due to the prevalence of indoor air pollution and pollutants, fragrance chemicals being a huge factor. When MCS/ES becomes disabling, it becomes a human rights issue requiring accommodation under the law in many places around the world.

Here then are some accessibility tools:

In the presentation from ADA Audio Conferencing – A program of the ADA National Network

One important point made was this:

MCS ES fragrance free policy

For people with EHS, a wireless-free policy is required, as well as other accommodations mentioned in the presentation.

Here are a few of the slides from Accommodating Persons with Environmental Sensitivities: Challenges and Solutions (which is available to download from the link below):

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It’s Not Personal, It’s The Chemicals

offended

Have you ever noticed how some people get offended when we are disabled by, or get sick from something in the products they’ve used?

What’s up with that?

???

What about those who feign disbelief that we could be harmed by something they are using? Or that they could be using something that is harmful?

disbelief

While I am not up to delving into the psychological and emotional intricacies of those responses here, or how industry pays big money to create them, I did come up with a few simple images with variations of the following text:

It’s not you! It’s not personal! It’s the chemicals!

Fragrances, personal care, and laundry products
contain toxic chemicals that make it impossible
for some people to be around those who use them.

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Flame Retardants, Health, and Deception

If you haven’t seen the documentary Toxic Hot Seat yet, you (probably) don’t know what you’re missing! If you read the Chicago Tribune’s award winning series “Playing With Fire” a couple of years ago, then you do have an idea of what the film is about, but it is still very worth watching. We all need to understand the implications of what is discussed in this film. It affects each and every one of us.

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families‘ are streaming the film for free until December 7, 2014. Check out their website for all kinds of great info and actions you can take!

Sign up here to receive the link to watch the film.

toxic hot seat

Here are resources and an infographic on how to address flame retardants at home:

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In a Doctor’s Own Words: A Toxic Legacy and 12,000 (+) Canaries Later

 

Dr. John Molot is a doctor who sees patients with complex, chronic, environmentally linked, and often disabling, health conditions. Although he is retiring from private practice, he is still a staff physician in the Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

He recently released a book, “12,000 Canaries Can’t Be Wrong“,  wrote a report in support of the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health (OCEEH), and appears in a video presentation about the health effects of common  chemical exposures (see below).

Check these out:

12,000 Canaries Can’t be Wrong
What’s making you sick & what can you do about it

http://johnmolot.com/books/

12000Canaries_hiRessm

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Air Cleaners, Filters, and Purifiers

Many of us have to breathe to stay alive. Okay, all of us have to breathe to stay alive. Some of us just need cleaner air than others, or our ability to think and function is severely impaired from inhaling common pollutants found in both outdoor and indoor air.

This is where air purifiers and filtration devices come in.

Here are links to a few good documents and websites to read before you spend any money, that discuss what to look for and what to avoid:

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