Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plant a Plant: It might save your life.


I came across this article today about house plants and how they can reverse or calm the effects of the VOCs in our homes, rendering our environments less toxic. I found it to be very interesting. I knew plants did invaluable amounts of good, but this I'm not sure I was aware of. It turns out they are “botanical combatants” for each major toxin found in our home. Good Magazine put out a "plants for your health chart" detailing who battles what. Here are just a few: Chrysanthemums will detox the effects of house cleaners, plastics and inks. Peace Lilies will detox the effects of detergents and paints. Spider plants will detox clothes. English Ivy will detox smoke. The list goes on and on.

If you want to read more about this, click here.


If you want to view the plant chart from Good Magazine, click here.

When I was growing up...


Do you ever wonder why there are so many diseases and overall health issues that weren’t around when our grandparents, or even our parents, were growing up? Do you ever wonder if the plethora of medicines and protective measures that we have available to us are what’s causing all the health issues in the first place? There are more pills and potions out there that cause more damage and side effects than they cure the original problem!! If you ever listen closely to the disclaimers at the end of the commercials, you hear a multitude of side effects. It doesn’t seem worth it to take the pill in the first place!

For example, do you ever wonder why there is so much skin cancer today, with all the protective potions and lotions that are available to us that weren’t available to previous generations? Can you really blame it all on the ozone layer and global warming? Have you ever considered the products (and chemicals) that you are lathering into your skin thats being absorbed into your body? Coincidence? Maybe. But it is a question I have always asked.

So lets take that thought further to the way we clean our homes... We have a larger variety of cleaning products available to us than we have choices in toothpaste (and we have a lot of options when it comes to toothpaste!)!! Do they really work? Or do they cause more problems for us than cleaning solutions (pun intended)?

Some of the most popular products out there have ingredients in them that cause some serious health issues! The VOC levels these products give off are through the roof.

inhabitat.com: Some of the “top-selling” products are the most toxic to us. For example: Lysol Antibacterial Spray, who’s ads encourage parents to spray wherever children are, contains denatured ethanol (which can cause central nervous system depression) and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a known pesticide. Wow! Now is that really worth using for a little case of some germs? Kinda harsh don’t you think? The majority of glass cleaners contain glycol ethers that have been shown to cause reproductive effects if exposed to high enough levels. Pledge, the leading wood cleaner, contains silicones, butane gas, and propane. Most air fresheners contain formaldehyde (which is highly toxic and is a known carcinogen) and phenol (a delightful chemical that can cause cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma, and even death). If aware, I think most people would prefer not to expose their children or pets to such harmful chemicals.

You can cut through the marketing by looking for a few obvious things: products that have grain alcohol instead of toxic butyl cellosolve. Use borax instead of bleach. Also, look for products that are “petroleum free” and avoid products that include phosphates (such as dishwasher soaps). You’ll also want to avoid any furniture polishes or PVC products that include phtalates. A safe general rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it. If you can’t tell what the active ingredient in a cleaning product is, then you might want to reconsider slathering it all over the house.


These types of products weren’t around in the day our our grandparents, and gosh, neither were these wonderful health issues as common as they are now.... It’s food for thought at the very least anyway.