Things in your house that are making you sick

January 19, 2010 4:07:37 PM PST
Five things in your home that are making you sick! Find out how to protect your family.
  1. Problem: AIR - Poor Indoor Air Quality in homes

    Fact: The EPA has deemed indoor air quality one of the top five environmental health risks the United States faces today.

    Product Solution: Lowes Idylis Air Purifier CADR 200 (great example of purifier that contains a HEPA filtration which removes eliminates 99.97 percent of all airborne particles up to .3 microns, significantly reducing tobacco smoke, dust and pollen, dust mites, dander and molds, also has UV-C Light Technology (the technology used by hospitals for sanitization): UV-C can effectively kill 99.9 percent of germs that cause colds and flu. A proper air purifier is one of the most effective ways to better IAQ.

  2. Problem: Chlorine treated bathing water - Chlorine and its by-products (found in bathing tap water) are linked to serious illnesses like bladder cancer.

    Fact: Chlorine not only gets into the pores of our skin when we bath, but it also vaporizes during a hot shower and can be an asthmatic trigger.

    Product Solution: Chlorine Shower Filters will reduce chlorine exposure and are easy to install.

  3. Problem: Formaldehyde in bedding - Common day bed linens contain toxins like formaldehyde and other chemicals that are detrimental to our health.

    Fact: By law mattresses have to contain flame retardants and these chemicals are hazardous to our health. However, there are healthy alternatives. Also, Conventional cotton is not good for the environment because of all the pesticides that go into it. Once it's turned into bedding it is treated with more harsh chemicals to prevent wrinkling, bacteria, or fire.

    Product Solution: Organic Cotton Bedding / Pure Wool or Natural Rubber mattress - Look for pure virgin wool, certified organic cotton, natural latex rubber, or hemp to replace foams and synthetics for mattresses. For bed linens avoid labels that read "wrinkle free," "no iron," or "easy care." Most are poly-cotton blends and are treated with a formaldehyde resin to keep the fabric from wrinkling. Choose organic products free of pesticides.

  4. Problem: Conventional household pesticides

    Fact: Research has shown higher rates of leukemia and brain cancer in children who live in homes where pesticides are used.

    Product Solution: use Non-Toxic Pesticides and / or the bug Zooka to suck up insects and dispose of them. Traditional pesticides are designed to kill living organisms and can harm us. Be aware of so-called "inert" ingredients labeled on pesticides sprays and bait traps. Some of these inert ingredients have been shown to be more toxic than the active ingredients and even receive less testing.

  5. Problem: Chemicals and Biological contaminants from Carpeting

    Fact: Carpet is a haven for dust, dirt, mold and bacteria. Many types of carpeting also contain harmful chemicals and off-gas VOCs.

    Product Solution: buy Nontoxic and all Natural carpet - look for carpet made from wool, sea grass, jute, and other natural fibers. Natural carpet that is made with no dyes, pesticides, or toxic glue backings are the best options. Also try to look carpeting that has 100 percent post-consumer recycled content.
About Lisa Beres & Ron Beres, Co-founders & Owners of Green Nest:

Green Nest began its inception in 2003. Lisa, a former Interior Designer, started feeling run down and tired all of the time. Being well aware of the abundance of toxic materials in homes today, she began a self journey in search of answers. After much research and numerous doctor visits, she came to the conclusion that her house and choice of products were making her sick.

According to the EPA research, on average, the air inside our "Nests" typically contain levels of pollutants 2-5 times higher than the air outside and in extreme cases can be 100 times more contaminated. The average American spends about 90 percent of their time inside. It is no wonder the EPA ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.

The National Academy of Sciences estimated that indoor air pollution costs our country between $15 and $100 billion each year in related health care costs. The materials used to build and furnish our homes contain a variety of synthetic materials from carpets, paint and foam cushions to insulation and chemically treated pressed wood products.

These products, known as VOC's (volatile organic compounds), outgas. This means that the chemical compounds they contain break down with age and are slowly released into the air over time in the form of toxic fumes. In one study of VOCs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that while outdoor air at sampled sites contained less than 10 VOCs, indoor air at those same sites contained 150 VOCs!

In addition to these staggering facts, Lisa discovered that xenoestrogens (man-made chemicals that mimic estrogen in the human body) were contributing to her hormone imbalance. These chemicals include common pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, industrial chemicals (such as dioxin, mercury, and PCBs), and metals. Many of these chemicals are used in the production of numerous products that we, as consumers, use every day (e.g., plastics, detergents, hormones such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, antibiotics in animal feed as well as lawn and garden chemicals).

Many homeowners use a large number of petrochemical cleaners and other toxic products like pesticides, disinfectants, and air deodorizers liberally around the house. These products produce hazardous fumes when used and leave residues behind that then gradually dissolve into the air over time.

The constant application of such a wide variety of chemical compounds throughout the average home greatly increases both the number of dangerous indoor air pollutants and their concentration levels. In addition to all of this, we are exposed every day to chemicals in personal care products and cleaning supplies. It is no wonder our bodies become overloaded and may even develop MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) or EI (Environmental Illness).

It was through this research that Lisa decided to become a Certified Baubiologist (Building Biology - a study derived from Germany which encompasses how buildings impact life and the living environment). With her B.A. from Arizona State University already under her belt, she then decided to incorporate her two passions in life - interior design and health.

After making the necessary adjustments to their home, her health gradually became better and she and her husband Ron decided to help other people in their endless efforts to attain optimal health. Together, with Ron who earned his B.A. from George Mason University, they chose to seek "greener pastures." In addition, Ron has also continued his education through Bau-biologie focusing on air, water and indoor materials and electromagnetic radiation.

Whether you suffer from allergies, asthma, hormone imbalance or unexplained fatigue, we are confident that by incorporating the necessary steps into your "Nest," you will begin to prolong your life and more importantly enhance the quality of it!

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