Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Did you know?? Fragrances in everything from perfume to cleaners may be damaging our health and the environment. Our lives are filled with artificial scents, from the perfumes, deodorants and shampoos we use on our bodies to the air fresheners, detergents and cleaners in our homes.
But evidence is piling up that, as pleasant as they may seem, many could actually be harmful, both to us and the environment. “Fragrances, because they evaporate and we inhale them, need more rigorous evaluation,” says President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and pollution policy advisor for Environmental Defence. “We don’t know what the effects might be because cosmetic ingredients don’t need to be tested for safety before marketing.”
As well, chemicals in synthetic fragrances; dozens to hundreds of them in each scent, including preservatives and solvents; are derived mostly from petrochemicals. Around 95 percent of the 5,000-odd chemicals, such as benzene derivatives and aldehydes, come from fossil fuels, the extracting and transporting of which can be hazardous to the environment. They are cheap and plentiful, but they’re often toxic and disruptive to the body’s nervous and hormonal systems.
They are also capable of creating carcinogenic by-products. The chemical terpene, found in some pine- and citrus-scented air fresheners, for example, can react with ozone in the air to spawn formaldehyde, and the probable carcinogen 1,4-dioxane is a common contaminant that is produced by the manufacturing process. Reactions are surprisingly common. Many people suffer dermatological and allergy-like symptoms if exposed to synthetic fragrances, and sometimes even neurological symptoms like headaches, dizziness and loss of concentration.
So start thinking from now!!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- Avoid Second-Hand Smoke– Passive smoke is produced by smokers but can harm non-smokers as well. Try to avoid areas that are filled with smoke and ask smokers to smoke outdoors.
- Check For Radon – Radon arises naturally from the ground and could cause fatal lung cancer. Purchase a testing kit to find out if the radon level in your home is dangerously high.
- Don't Smoke – When you smoke, you not only harm yourself but also create problems for other people's health.
- Don't Use Wood Stoves – Wood stoves emit large amounts of CO indoors. This can build up in your home and create a dangerous health risk.
- Drive Less – Cars are one of the largest sources of air pollution. You should carpool or take public transportation whenever possible.
- Have Plants – Plants can absorb some dangerous chemicals that are polluting your air. In doing so, they reduce your risk of getting sick.
- Look For Asbestos – Many old homes still contain asbestos from when they were built. Asbestos can get into your lungs, stomach, and chest, causing problems that can prove fatal. As a result, you should look around your home for asbestos that is crumbling or loose and remove it.
- Minimize Air Conditioning – If you can avoid air-conditioning, do so. By keeping windows and shades shut, you may be able to avoid needing air conditioning, which will mean using less energy.
- Use Efficient Appliances – To cut down on energy usage, buy energy-efficient home appliances. Less energy usage will not only decrease pollution, it will decrease your energy bill too.
- Watch Out For Formaldehyde – Don't buy products containing formaldehyde because it can enter the air and cause chronic respiratory problems.
- Avoid Open Burning – Open burning is any set outdoor fire that does not vent to a chimney or stack. Don't ever do open burning because it can release many kinds of toxic fumes. Protect yourself, your neighbors and your wallet by knowing what you can burn and where.