Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

5 Ways to Clear the Air & Stay Healthy

Airborne chemicals are embedded inside our homes. They swirl around us as  toxic gases emitted from the poorly-labeled bottles of cleaning fluids in our  kitchens and bathrooms, from the bug sprays and air fresheners we use, and from  the glues, sealants, and flame retardants in our furniture. They are also  dragged inside our homes on the bottoms of our shoes and then stirred up when we  walk on our carpets. Studies have shown that the air that surrounds us indoors is  more toxic than the air outdoors…even if you live in a highly polluted city like  Los Angeles or New York.

Airborne chemicals are known as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. They are  called volatile because they don’t stay put…they evaporate into the air and then  you breathe them in. You never really think that your home could make you tired,  irritable or even sick, but over time your body may absorb common VOCs like formaldehyde, phthalates, or PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl  ethers) which are the chemicals in flame retardants used in furniture, which  have been found in human breast milk and dryer lint.

These chemicals may exacerbate allergies and asthma, and can cause fatigue, nausea, dizziness, eye, nose  and throat irritation, cough, headache, flu-like symptoms, and skin irritation.  As they accumulate in the body over time they can silently affect how efficient  your body runs, like whether you can maintain a healthy metabolism, burn fat  well, and keep your hormones in balance. Some also are known to cause heart,  lung or kidney damage and even cancer and nerve damage if exposure is prolonged.  This in turn can have a devastating effect on your health. If your liver, for  instance, becomes taxed by an overburden of chemicals, it may not work  efficiently, setting you up for other health problems.

There are literally millions of chemicals that have been invented by humans in the last 60  years and depending on who you ask, somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 are in  common use today. Yet only a very tiny percentage have ever been directly tested  for their effects on human health.

Our bodies are remarkably resilient in defending ourselves from these  chemicals, but only to a point. Scientists question the cumulative effect. It is common  sense to believe that the more chemicals you are exposed to, the more likely you  will eventually be negatively affected by them. Here are some easy and effective  ways to reduce your exposure to chemicals in your home and minimize your risk of  getting sick. They are simple to do and will give you peace of mind in knowing  you are doing something proactive to help you and your family stay healthy.

5 Ways to Reduce Toxins by Clearing the Air:

  • Remove your shoes at the front door. Shoes track in lead,  pesticides and other pollutants. Stuff we track in from the outside can make our  home toxic, especially for pets and young children who spend more time on the  floor. At the very least get a good doormat to wipe your shoes before entering  your home.
  • Vacuum with a well-sealed high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner.  This can do a much better job of cleaning your carpets than the cheaper vacuum  cleaners found at most department stores. Steam cleaning can kill dust mites and  bacteria as well.
  • Avoid buying new upholstered furniture containing halogenated fire  retardants. If it contains polyurethane foam, look for models where the  foam is thickly covered or wrapped inside the cushion so dust from it is less  likely to escape into your home. See if they offer non-toxic stain resistant  fabrics as well.
  • Use an air purifier. Try one with HEPA  (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) technology developed by the US Atomic  Energy Commission to filter and trap sub-micron particles. Many reviews say this  type of air purifier is the most effective.
  • Add houseplants to green and purify your living space. A NASA  study found that common houseplants are natural air purifiers. Look for Aloe  Vera, Philodendron, Rubber Plant, English Ivy, Ficus, Boston Fern, Gerbera  Daisy, and Spider Plant, to name a few.

For more practical, simple solutions on how to have a super healthy home  or work environment, visit www.BethGreer.com and www.healthyhighway.org

By Beth Greer

Beth Greer, The Super Natural  Mom®, is author of the bestseller Super Natural Home, endorsed by  Deepak Chopra and Ralph Nader. She’s a radio talk show host, former  President/Co-Owner of The Learning Annex, Certified Build It Green® Healthy  Home/Workplace Specialist, Huffington Post columnist, and Environmental Health  Consultant, who eliminated a sizable tumor in her chest without drugs or  surgery. Beth is a trusted consumer advocate in the Natural Product and  Sustainability Market and consults for spas, homes, businesses, schools and  health centers nationwide.

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