Monday, February 1, 2010

What every mother should know....Part 1

This post is going to focus on the subject I like most to talk about--Health. I have chosen to do a lot of research on this and share what I have found with you so that I can save you some time and energy and share the truth that most of the world is hiding from you!

Now that I have a baby my focus on health has really switched from my health to focusing on making my child's life and health as healthy as possible. What I have learned over the last year as I have researched the best products for my family is that it is a very scary world. Almost all the products you buy in the store are unhealthy for scares me to death and often infuriates me. WHY and HOW can industries and companies sell things to humans that they know are hurting us! We wonder why rates of obesity, cancer, diseases, chronic inflammation, and earlier death rates have increased over the years..our own society is poisoning us. When I started learning this, I knew I had to change my life and spread the word to other mothers.

So I will start a little blog series of serious health risks that are especially bad for our children.

Today I will focus on how the cleaning industry is affecting our air and our health by the products they are giving us to use.

Let's talk about what is in our air..that our child breathes every day...every second...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called indoor air pollution one of the nation’s top environmental health concerns. The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating this disturbing phenomenon, too. In fact, the WHO states that 40% of all buildings pose a serious threat to health because of polluted air. A cubic foot of untreated indoor air alone can contain up to 20 million particles such as pollen, dander, and smoke. Scary, I know!

Even scarier is the fact that more than 99% can’t be seen, and many particles are small enough to enter your lungs. Pollen, ash, and dust come indoors from the outside. Pets give off dander. Dust mites, feeding on decomposing skin (gross!!), thrive in mattresses. And cigarette smoke
lingers. We all know smoking is bad but second-hand smoke has been identified as a major health risk too.

Lets look into these air monsters even more...First there are Microbials. They are microscopically small living health hazards— bacteria, fungi, and mold thrive in moist indoor environments. Mold grows to some degree in almost every man-made structure. Worse, mold loves heating and cooling ducts. Here is a scary thought...Every time you turn on your heat, air-conditioning, or ventilation, a variety of microbes may blow into rooms serviced by the ducts. This happens in cars, trucks, office buildings, and hotels, too.

Next there are Gases. A variety of gases escape from our carpets,
drapes, and furniture. Cleaning products, copy machines, paints, insect spray, hair spray, and insulation emit gases as well. Many are chemicals
known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are easy to breathe in. We can’t always smell indoor gases — which pose a hidden danger.

Lastly there are the particulates that we talked about earlier...pollen, dander and smoke to name a few. These are the ones that cause many allergies in our loved ones. There are around 150 chemicals found in the home that are associated with allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological disorders.

And as much as we care about our children, over the years the air has hurt us women the most. There has been a dramatic increase in rates of asthma in women in the past 10 years because of our longer exposure to household chemicals. We often work closely with toxic chemicals and research has shown that our health care costs are $12.2 billion just from environmentally associated diseases!!! Scary, I know!

So..what can we do to fight these harmful air pollutants in our homes and in our children's lungs? The good news is there are lots of things we can do! And I can honestly tell you..once you start trying to make a difference you will notice a difference...I did...and my conscience is clear too!

Well first we need to start by cleaning up that air. Look into buying a air purifier. There are a lot of options out there so make sure you do your research on what kind you want to meet your needs. Look for one that attacks all three types of air pollutants that we talked about above.

Also, it is important to ventilate your home. Run the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen, open your windows, make sure you have a good exhaust system in place for appliances and stove. Check out The American Lung Association's recommendations for more ideas.

Next, we will touch on how to prevent these air hazards.

One thing I made sure of when I was pregnant and getting ready for our baby in a new house was to use no-VOC paint. Paints release trace amounts of gases for months after application -- even though they appear to be fully dried and the smell is gone. These gases are called VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, and can include highly toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. So try to use "low-VOC" paints, varnishes, waxes and other chemicals. Best of all though is the no-VOC paint. If painting indoors, open windows and use exhaust fans to remove gases. Do not store open paint containers indoors. Think of how many rooms in your house have been painted...this is a huge culprit. Do something about it!!!

The biggest tip I have to prevent these toxins in our home is to use non-toxic cleaning products. Most cleaning products on the market today can produce harmful air pollution indoors. Hair and nail products, cleaning products, art and hobby supplies and other common products can increase the levels of VOCs, once again. Some of the VOCs in these products include substances linked to cancer, headaches, eye and throat irritation and worsened asthma.

I recommend using Shaklee's Get Clean line of products if you would like a fresh clean start. I did this when I vowed to make my house cleaner for my child and for my husband who suffered from severe asthma and allergies. It has worked wonders and is safe to have around the baby and adults too! My husband's allergies have all but disappeared and my baby can breathe healthy clean air. And I dont have to worry about cleaning my house and killing myself in the process.
Check all the products out at

The reason I chose these products is for the many reasons we have talked about. They are always safe (non toxic, no harmful fumes, hypoallergenic, no VOCs emitted), very powerful (they cleaned as good, if not better, than the bad cleaners I had before), and to top it all off, they are also environmentally friendly. I couldn't find anything any better out there. Most of all, the price is hard to beat. They give you a very concentrated solution that you mix with water yourself so you get more for your money.

I know it is a lot of information and it can get depressing at times. But believe me, once you decide to change for the better you will start to feel better physically and mentally about it all. Take some time to think about it all. Is your family worth it? Your families' health?

Let me know if you have any questions and share with me the products you love that keep your family and your air healthy! And stay tuned for the next health subject...


Jennifer said...

Great blog Marissa! Thank you so much for explaining all the hazards in our homes' air. With this information I am going to be able to make healthy and safe choices for my family!

Cara said...

AWESOME article!! Love all the great research you put into it and the easy options that anyone can do to help their families live safer and healthier lives! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Wow, you really have done quite a bit of research on this topic. Thanks so much for taking the time to pass along your wisdom.

Your Mommy Friend Lori said...

Wow, you really did your homework. Thanks for compiling all of this information!

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