August 2012 - IS YOUR HOME MAKING YOU SICK? - It's time to live safely and naturally from the inside out!

Our homes are our clean sanctuaries where we retreat form the polluted and chaotic world. But did you know that indoor air quality can be typically five times worse than outdoor air quality?
Ever covered your nose or coughed and spluttered as a noisy truck or bus belched out a cloud of grey fumes on a street corner? Naturally, we all cringe at the prospect of inhaling such visible pollution. What about the indoor fumes and chemical residues we can’t see?  I’m talking about our homes.
 According to environmental specialists, such as Dr Mark Donohue, for those of us buying chemical based cleaners, fragrance sprays, laundry powders, soaps, shampoos, deodorants and more, (nearly ALL supermarket brands), indoor air quality is typically five times worse than outdoor air quality. In our quest for cleanliness, the chemical cocktail of disinfectants and detergents have absurdly made our homes, workplaces and schools unfit for healthy living. We may not all see the instant ramifications of such chemical use, but over time, our immune systems become weakened by the chronic chemical onslaught.
Have you ever wondered why we have seen such an increase in epidemics of asthma, eczema, allergy, autoimmune diseases, all types of cancers and behavioural problems with our children? The answer lies mainly in weakened and damaged immune systems, through poor diets, processed foods, lack of anti-oxidant rich nourishment, over use of antibiotics and the cumulative action of chemical exposure. “All of these things are also strongly connected with the built environment,” says Nicole Biljsma, naturopath, building biologist and author of Healthy Home Healthy Family. Every day, we unconsciously apply chemicals that infiltrate our face creams, deodorants, shampoos, cleaning solutions, dishwasher powders, laundry detergents, sunscreens, make-up, perfumes and just about everything else we buy at the supermarket or department store. Even the so called ‘green’ or ‘earth’ options are often filled with the cheap chemical soaping agent- Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). Did you know that paediatric dermatologists believe the biggest factor in triggering childhood eczema is bathing babies (who have a more permeable skin barrier), in products containing SLS? It’s time to stop the lunacy and get back to basics.

You maybe shocked to hear that since the 1950’s, post war era, we have seen the explosion of the availability of hundreds of new chemicals. Advertising in the 1950’s heavily targeted the house- wife with images of chemical based supermarket products knocking out pathogenic germs as she sprayed every surface to protect her children from the clutches of disease. Our grandmothers and mothers began buying all sorts of heavily scented laundry powders, ammonia based floor cleaners, bleaching agents, toxic mold sprays and chemically laden insect repellents. Our toilet bowls turned blue and a can of fake fragrances was perched on top of the toilet cistern. For most households, long gone were the days of lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease. Our homes became filled with a toxic slew of ‘convenient’ chemical cleaners and our carpets and fabrics were impregnated with stain resistant chemicals. In effect, the public unconsciously became part of a long term, chemical science experiment…….but it’s time to opt out!
So what’s the solution? I’m not suggesting we all live in panic and fear and retreat to a bubble. But it’s time to turn back to the basics of ‘clean living’. Back to the power of plant based cleaning solutions, using the beauty of essential oils and non-toxic personal care products.
1. Invest in truly ‘green’, plant based, organic products that you bring into your home, apply to your skin and spray freely in your home. This will lessen exposure to irritants, hormone disrupters, toxins and carcinogens. Most importantly, it will lessen the onslaught on your immune system. Start by removing chemical cleaning products from your home including dishwasher powders and work your way towards shampoos and cosmetics.
2. Change the way you think and what you value spending money on. Your health should be number ONE and it begins at home! Become aware of the chemical conditioning we have unconsciously become accustomed to and change your purchasing habits. It’s the only way forward.
3. Let your house breathe. The biggest single factor affecting your health at home is air quality. Open doors and windows and add air vents to allow built-up chemicals and combustion particles to dissipate and to control damp. Attack any mouldy areas using amaze paste, clove oil and vinegar.(NO bleach and chlorine).
4. Take your shoes off at the door. This stops you tracking in dirt, dust, pesticides and allergens from outside.
5. Do not buy processed foods. It’s time to nourish your family with real food - fresh, and raw where possible and it’s time to remove the toxic overload from our homes. We can’t afford NOT to. It’s one of the best and simplest ways to take out health insurance for our homes and the people we love- without the high premiums.