Posts tagged toxic

A Tough Non Toxic Cleaning Solution

It is always a dilemma for those of us who want our world to be clean and really clean when faced with choices of what to use while considering both our own health and our environment. I have found, over the years, that many cleaning products sold in retail stores are sensitizing at the least, generally toxic and often downright dangerous. As a young woman, I made my living cleaning other people’s houses and made quite a good living at it. It was hard work, of course, but not bad for your health in that regard. Yet I was exposed to some of the most dangerous solutions made by man; germicidal algae destroyers, scum strippers, wax removers, wood stains, aluminum greasers and shiners, as well as the regular old poisons, bleach and ammonia. I remember smoking my cigarette through bleached white fingers. And, over time, I would get dizzy, nauseous, light headed, breathless and downright stupid, just out of the blue and often after scrubbing down a couple of houses. In time, even our customers began to complain. Being clean, I learned over time, did not necessarily mean sandblasting the world with chemicals.

Of course, smoking didn’t help, either. Thank God I was able to quit.. and no longer do it. So no comments about that, please! And look for my future post, coming up shortly, on the toxic chemicals in cigarettes and some natural, non toxic and herbal recipes for your own safer, cheaper, homemade cigarette. But it wasn’t until cleaning chemicals became a real problem for my health that I began to make different choices. It is just too easy to snatch up the bottle of ammonia to clean the windows and the bleach to clean up the countertops. Commerical products are cheap and accessible, ready to use and easy to store. Just push a button or pull a trigger and wipe! Wow. Everything is clean… and possibly dangerous. If you are curious about what I am talking about here, then read my posts on detergents , air fresheners and dangerous chemicals and how they affect you and your family. And when you are ready to consider a simple, easy, inexpensive and non toxic solution that will tackle just about every cleaning problem you have, then read on. I even have a recipe for you to try today.

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Lead in a Shade of Red?

I am sure you have heard this before. I am also sure you think that something was done about it and Lipstick is safe for use. But did you know that, even though it’s been more than a year since the health groups reported that top selling lipsticks contain lead, the FDA is still just sitting on this research? It almost seems meaningless to ask why because a reasonable answer is never forthcoming. In fact, they tend to act like nothing of the sort has come to light and no action is necessary. This has been the sketch of their previous behavior concerning dangerous ingredients in these sort of products and in my last post I addressed the litany of horrible toxins that are included in the most popular personal care and beauty products.

You would think the beauty industry owned the FDA. Perhaps they do. Perhaps in the future I will do research on their lobbying efforts and get the names of their lobbyists just for your reference and consideration. I’d love to know the names of the lawmakers who have held the hand of this industry through what is tantamount to a rout of the American public’s health and well being. Now that Obama has named Lester Crawford as the head of the FDA, my question is this. Will the FDA reinstate it’s mission and act on behalf of the public interest.. or will it just continue to give all of us this toxic treatment and not look twice, much less reprimand, the perpetrators?

I think if you have read these posts and are reading this one now, you should go to the FDA website or send them an email demanding action in this matter. In the meantime, you need to get yourself and your own out of harms way. And that doesn’t just mean eschewing lipsticks but also taking great care in the purchase and use of all personal care and beauty products. Just recently, Canada announced that it had found lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium during routine testing of children’s face paints. I would suggest you stop allowing your children to paint their face with anything at all until safe, natural and non toxic products are available.

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What Price Beauty?

I have done other posts on cosmetics, mostly on how to make your own that will be both non toxic and safe for women with allergies. I have also done a previous post on the toxins in cosmetics. But there is a lot more to be said and I thought it might be a good idea to tell everybody what those toxins are so you can start looking at labels. But, did you know that cosmetics do not require approval from ANYONE before they appear on the shelves in your store? I mean, seriously, the FDA does not regulate cosmetics AT ALL. If you don’t believe me, go to this page on the FDA website. And for those of you who don’t want to just leave this page at the moment, here is the drift of what they state:

“Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, cosmetics and their ingredients are not required to undergo approval before they are sold to the public. … This means that manufacturers may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, to market a product without a government review or approval.”

Now, to be fair, they do ban a few substances. I mean, they aren’t allowed to load up on Mercury or Chloroform, both known to be dangerous, but they are still allowed to load up on a lot of crap that is gonna make you sick when you read this. Especially when you realize that these same toxins are banned in many other industries and that most of them are banned on the European market. And here I was foolish enough to think that we had the most sophisticated system in the world. I guess I got fooled by the constant refrain I keep hearing about how rich and powerful we are. Not quite the same thing.

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How to Detox Your Home

The air inside your home can be toxic. It can even be more dangerous to your heath that the sooty, pollen laden air outside your front door. This is because we go for long periods without opening windows or circulating air. In the winter, we rely on dry, overheated air that disperses dust and debris everywhere and in the summer, we rely on moldy, wet air conditioners that cause bronchitis and strange infections like legionnaires’ disease. As global warming marches forward, the winters will get colder and drier and the summers will be blazing. Humidity levels are dropping worldwide because of the lack of rain and this is causing the faster dispersion and wider spread of pollutants and air born toxins.

Overall, this closed up air and temperature control that we rely on is also why the air in your home likely contains two to five times as many pollutants as outdoor air, according to an estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And if you’ve been working with harsh chemicals, such as paint strippers, the air in your home may be one thousand times more toxic than the air outside during and immediately after the procedure. And if you rarely open your windows, double that time span and add hours to any application of cleaning chemicals, beauty products or household toxins like pest control sprays. They literally circulate throughout your home over and over again, looking for enough fresh air to disperse themselves. Without it, they hang like a cloud.

But don’t let me scare you too bad. There are solutions to this problem, a form of detox for your home. So you don’t need to wear a gas mask all day or run outside every few minutes to gasp “fresh air”. Just follow my hints and take the steps necessary to clean the air in your home. I will clue you in on the most common offenders of air quality and what you can do to reduce their effects.

But before you don a gas mask and hunker down in a closet, realize that there are steps you can take to clear the air in your home. Below, the typical offenders and how you can minimize your risk:

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Toxic Plastic Solution: Eco Canteen

I have got to tell everybody about this great new item, Eco Canteen. It is a real life solution to a big environmental problem, the toxic plastic bottle. I have posted about plastic bottles in the past, at Toxic Plastics , but I have only begun to tap the subject. If you don’t get what all the fuss is about, then you need to read the posts I did previously after you read this one. I am sure you will be looking for an alternative as soon as you realize what a huge problem this has become.

Here are some real, scary and documented facts about plastic and plastic bottles.

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Herbal Antibacterials and Disinfectants

We have all become really dependent upon antibacterial properties in just about everything we use. Even though they say that overexposure to antibacterial elements makes us more receptive to bacteria and also creates resistant strains in the environment, I just don’t feel right about cleaning without it. Conversely, I feel that as long as I do use antibacterial stuff I can do just about anything I want! Whether or not this is true and it’s very likely not true, I am still committed to antibacterial properties in my cleaning supplies.

The thing that does concern me, however, is the toxic chemicals that are being added to those products in order to create an “antibacterial” cleaning product. Isn’t there another, more natural, less toxic way to reduce bacteria in our environment? I mean, doesn’t nature have something out there that will kill or, at least, put a damper on bacteria? Being a herbalist and naturalist, I always go here first. And once I did, I found some great, inexpensive and long lasting substitutes for chemical antibacterials. Here are a few new recipes for all of you to try!

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How to Green the Oil Change

Everybody knows that a regular oil change improves your cars performance, helps with gas consumption and lowers emissions but did you know that an improper oil change can negate all of these gains? According to the EPA, nearly 200 million gallons of used motor oil is improperly disposed of every year here in the USA. Horrible fact: The oil from just one oil change can contaminate one million gallons of water, which equates to a year’s supply for 50 people. Ouch.

But no one wants to discourage you from changing the oil and also not from doing it yourself. As I pointed out, oil changes improve your cars performance and doing it yourself saves a lot of money. But if you are a do-it-yourself oil changer, the EPA has provided the following guidelines to ensure the process is as clean as possible. You can read more about it at the EPA website HERE. Or you can just hang in with me, since you’re already here, for the basic guidelines.

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Are Your Cosmetics Toxic?

We are all using a lot of beauty products. Women spend thousands on these items, from hair care to nail polish to cellulite creams. It’s true that beauty is a huge factor in the lives of women, we are expected to present a certain image in our society. If we don’t, we are written off as ugly and unappealing. So we all strive to be clean, shaven, shiny and smooth with a white smile, nice hair and a shapely body. But we aren’t naturally this way so it takes a lot of cosmetic stuff to make it so, or at least close to so.

But it would be really good idea if women starting paying more attention to the crap they rub on themselves. Most of it is exactly that: crap. Toxic, dangerous and unhealthy. You can end up trading off your longevity for a night with a fake tan and bleached blond hair. Seriously. Modern research has found that the skin absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals in products that it comes into contact with directly into the bloodstream. A lot of the female troubles that have been reported over time have to do with chemical exposure and hormone absorption through these sorts of products. Do yourself a favor. You can get pretty and stay safe at the same time. Think about detoxing your cosmetics.

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How to Detox your Kitchen

I have written posts in the past on how to green the kitchen but not everybody is ready to take every step in that direction. So even if you’re not going to go all the way green, you should at least consider detoxing. That means getting the dangerous stuff out of your kitchen and making it safe as well as clean and accessible.

Many of the products that are used in the kitchen, from cooking to cleaning, can affect your central nervous system and cause symptoms that make you think you’re going mad. When you get on edge or feel irritable, it’s not always menopause or that you lack sleep. Sometimes it’s the toxic chemicals you are spraying all over the place in pursuit of bacteria. Consider lightening the chemical load through a simple detox. Here are the steps:

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5 Non Toxic Laundry Solutions

One of the most rewarding ways to go green is in the laundry room. As a person with allergies to fragrances and sensitives to dyes and chemical additives, I could not get a decent nights sleep or be able to wear my clothes without non toxic solutions. Many chemicals and additives in cleaning products do more than make your skin red or itch. Many of them are know for disrupting your central nervous system, altering brain function, irritating the sinuses and lungs as well as affecting mood. If you can’t sleep or find yourself nervous or cloudy a lot of the time with no discernible reason, the culprit may be chemicals in your clothing you have applied during washing.

As it is you are breathing this stuff all day long and it’s seeping into your pores with body fluids and sweat. If you aren’t allergic, chances are you have no idea how this stuff is affecting you. If you really want to change the foundations of your life and achieve a higher state of health and well being, you have to start at the bottom. Your clothing is a part of that foundation; in fact, it is something you cannot live without and are exposed to 24/7. So what is so bad about the chemicals in your laundry soap? And what are the reasons for making the switch? Hang on, I’m going to tell you all about it. And I’m also going to tell you how you can make the change.

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