Chemical Exposure and Your Health.
I provide this information not to horrify you with scary statistics about how toxic chemical exposure can affect your health and environment; but to empower you with knowledge to make informed decisions, raise awareness and to create a safe environment for our loved ones.
We can reverse the extraordinary increase in disease over the last 30 years due to chemical exposure if we work together.
Chemicals can be used safely.
However, I don’t believe the majority of people use them as safely as they should in their homes. Me included! I never wore rubber gloves unless I was washing dishes or scrubbing toilets. (Using different sets of gloves of course!)
Every time I poured dishwasher powder detergent in the dishwasher and closed the door a swirl of tiny particles would rush into my face, I would breathe them in and I would cough a lot.
Natural Alternatives for Dishwashing
Many scientists are now becoming concerned that long-term, low-level Chemical Exposure may be just as dangerous as the short-term, high-dose exposure. Knowing the way I have handled chemical cleaners in the past makes me realize that I did not understand how volatile these cleaners were. I also don’t think I thought of household cleaners as “chemicals.” They were a means to keep my home clean.
As a lifelong learner, both a student and a teacher, I am positive that I am not the only person who had this lack of awareness. I would like to create a deeper level of knowledge about the chemical exposure from chemicals we use in our homes to educate families about how household cleaners we use do have potential dangers if used improperly.
Follow the Precautionary Principle in your Cleaning Routine!
Although I suspected chemical exposure from household cleaners might not be good for me, I imagined my skin as a protective barrier against the liquids splashing all over my hands, arms and even my face.
Skin cells are permeable or porous and do allow chemicals to cross over the cell wall and enter into the cell. Once inside the chemicals can wreck havoc and cause a multitude of health problems depending on the particular chemical and the cells unique genetic makeup.
Here is a link to Canadian Centre for Health Occupation and Safety about Chemical Exposure, titled:
“How Workplace Chemicals Enter the Body.”
When I read this article I questioned what the difference between chemical exposure in a workplace setting and at home are any different. In most cleaners, the chemicals used in homes meet industry standards anyways. There has to be a way to open up a dialogue about safety of chemical cleaners that are used in our homes.
WHIMIS protects employees in the workplace but there is no training for using chemicals in the home. While workers compensation board rules allow employees to refuse to handle toxic chemicals unless they are given the appropriate equipment, people often use the identical chemicals without any protection because they just don’t know any better. Or I least I didn’t anyway.
Again, as I suspected but was never informed, many of the chemicals in cleaning products have the potential to cause cancer, hormonal disruption, nerve and organ damage, asthma, allergies, immune system failure, infertility, endocrine system and other health problems.
(These are areas that I am currently researching in depth and will post my findings in coming months!)
The rise in rates of these conditions I believe could be considered a direct correlation to our daily use of household chemicals and chemical exposure. Even if the level of a single contaminant may be low, they all add up over a lifetime. Although this information started to scare me I dug deeper because I needed answers in order for me to determine my actions to take care of future generations.
When I was a little girl, my mother told me that our brain sends messages to tell our body what to do. This seemed like a magical idea to me, but it isn’t magic at all. The messages that our brains relay to different parts of the body are done through hormones. Hormones are our body’s messengers in the endocrine system. Hormones and cells are like a lock and key.
Hormones act as the body’s control system to regulate operations and reproduction, growth and development. Each type of hormone has a unique molecular shape that allows it to attach to specially shaped receptors on the surface of cells and transmit chemical messages.
I had no idea that many common synthetic substances have the ability to mimic hormones in our body. Molecules of certain pesticides and synthetic chemicals have shapes similar to those of natural hormones and can affect the endocrine system in people and animals. These chemicals can attach themselves to estrogen receptor molecules and giving too strong, too weak or mistimed signals. Some even act as hormone blockers where no signal is given. Some pollutants called thyroid disruptors may disrupt hormones released by thyroid glands and cause growth and weight disorders and brain and behavioral disorders.
It’s no coincidence that our cancer rates have and asthma has reached epidemic proportions in children right along with the introduction and use of synthetic chemical compounds.
Non-biodegradable chemical cleaners not only contaminate our waterways but also our homes. These nasty chemicals accumulate after each “cleaning” and it is inevitable that you and your loved ones will breath, touch and ingest these toxic pollutants long after the synthetic scent has subsided.
I think Chemical cleaners are being used too casually in our homes and we need to address this matter if we want the health of our Children and our future Grandchildren to improve.
Some Health Issues when Dealing with Chemicals:
· A condition after an individual becomes ill after being exposed to chemicals – VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air.
Even if the person cannot smell the offending chemical it can still be triggered by minute amounts of VOCs.
Symptoms of MCS
· Neurological: dizziness, foggy thinking, confusion, headache
· Respiratory: Breathlessness, Asthma, Wheezing, Coughing
Estimated 15% of the population are affected in industrialized nations.
Women appear to be affected more frequently.
The most effective treatment is to create a chemical free home and limiting social activity where chemical exposure occurs.
How do we keep ourselves from constant chemical exposure in cleaning products?
Learn how to read labels on Household Chemical Cleaners.
The American Medical Association does not recognize Multiple Chemcial Sensitivity as a chemical caused illness – do they think people are just making this up?
In Germany, Multiple Chemcial Sensitivity is formally recognized by the National Health Care System.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission recommends workplace accommodation for chemically sensitive workers.
The world health organization estimates that we could prevent more than 80% of all chronic illnesses by improving our lifestyles in simple ways, like working to reduce our exposure to environmental pollutants and eating a healthier diet.
The continual barrage of mutagens can finally overwhelm the immune systems ability to kill off mutagen cells and so resist cancer.
So-called diseases of civilization are increasing in affluent societies but are relatively rare in poorer ones.
Too many free radicals – sticky molecules that cause havoc in our cells – lead to mutations of DNA and vulnerability to diseases like cancer.
What we are looking at is a breakdown of our bodily resiliency leading to a physical disability to bounce back from challenges.
(Diabetes and Auto Immune Disorders like Lupus, MS and Asthma.)
I read about Dr. Martha Herbert a pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School and she:
The immune system ordinarily produces short lasting inflammation while fighting infections, but when a defect in turning inflammation off occurs, a condition that should only be temporary becomes ongoing.
There seems to be a tipping point where the body’s breakdown of harmful chemicals overcome its ability to handle them anymore.
The specific malady that results depends on what we’re exposed to and how our unique genetic profile responds. Some may be autism, but for others with a different point in life might develop diabetes, to asthma to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
I have Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory immune disease, and I have previously read that my immune system is attacking my digestive system.
In my mind I pictured a little army of cells that were chopping me up and they were the bad guys. However, after reading this I realize this little army I imagine are actually confused, they recognize my body as an intruder and think they are doing well. Something has confused them, I’m just not sure what.
Years of steady inflammation undermines the endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and the immune systems ability to fight the beginning of some cancers, while the constant irritation of the lung pathways prepares the way for COPD.
Ex. Emphysema – usually end stages for smokers, however, there is a growing rate of emphysema in people who have never smoked.
Worldwide COPD rates are predicted to increase because airborne particles like factory smoke, auto exhaust, and indoor air pollutants are on the rise.
Learn Natural Alternatives to Clean your home with no risk of Chemical Exposure!
Bad Chemical Advice