Toxic Home Environments
How Your Environment Affects Your Wellness
More than 200 disesases have been linked to pollution in a recent
study. We are actively poisoning ourselves with chemicals and other
pollutants released freely into the environment.
Although the National Institutes of Health [USA] study has recommended
that American doctors and nurses be given more environmental health
training, there is a lot of politics involved and sufferers from
pollution have a hard time getting their illnesses recognised. Apart
from industrial toxins released into the environment, of particular
- Second hand tobacco smoke
- Household toxins
- Dust Mites
- Toxic Producing Moulds
- Household Product Toxins
Second Hand Tobacco Smoke
The dangerous particles given off in second hand smoke can linger
in the air for hours. Breathing these toxic fumes for as little
as 20 or 30 minutes can harm your health in a number ways. Health
experts have acknowledged the causal relationship between second-hand
smoke and health risks for many years.
Some of the health risks include:
Cancer - environmental tobacco smoke is one of
the most dangerous cancer-causing agents responsible for roughly
3,000 deaths of adult non-smokers each year in the United States.
It is also linked to cancer of the nasal sinuses, cancers of the
cervix, breast and bladder.
Heart disease – Second hand smoke harms
the cardiovascular system of non-smokers causing coronary heart
disease, damage to blood vessels, and interferes with circulation
increasing the risk of blood clots. It's estimated that 35,000 non-smokers
die of smoking-related heart disease in the United States every
Lung disease - Chronic lung ailments, such as
bronchitis and asthma, have been associated with second-hand smoke.
Exposure is also associated with chest tightness at night and feelings
of breathlessness after physical activity.
Limiting exposure to second hand smoke is not always easy, with
social pressures the biggest culprit. Fortunately, many countries
are now implementing laws enforced with strict penalties against
smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants and other public places.
Houses are a toxin collection pool, with construction and finishing
materials containing toxic preservatives and paint chemicals, and
then the layers of toxins we add to the mix with dust mites, household
moulds and everyday household products.
Dust Mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders
and ticks and can be found in house dust all over the world.. There
are two common dust mites, the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides
farinae) and the European house dust mite (D. pteronyssinus). Due
to their very small size, these dust mites are not visible to the
naked eye. They live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and
old clothing, where they feed on the dead skin that falls off the
bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found
where they live.
When dust mites grow, they shed their skin. This shed skin and
faeces can cause allergic reactions in some people, ranging from
itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks.
Dust mites need at least 70 percent relative humidity to survive,
so maintaining household humidity below this level is a good control
measure. Unfortunately, reducing humidity levels in microclimates,
such as in bed fibres or carpet fibres, is impossible. Regular cleaning
and vacuuming will have a greater impact in these areas.
Toxin Producing Moulds
Many, but not all household moulds produce damaging mycotoxins,
which induce serious health risks including:
- Vascular system (increased vascular fragility, hemorrhage into
body tissues, or from lung, e. g. , aflatoxin, satratoxin, roridins)
- Digestive system (diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal hemorrhage,
liver effects, i. e. , necrosis, fibrosis: aflatoxin; caustic
effects on mucous membranes: T-2 toxin; anorexia: vomitoxin
- Respiratory system: respiratory distress, bleeding from lungs
e. g. , trichothecenes
- Nervous system, tremors, incoordination, depression, headache,
e. g. , tremorgens, trichothecenes
- Cutaneous system : rash, burning sensation sloughing of skin,
photosensitization, e. g. trichothecenes
- Urinary system, nephrotoxicity, e. g. ochratoxin, citrinin
- Reproductive system; infertility, changes in reproductive cycles,
e. g. T-2 toxin, zearalenone
- Immune system: changes or suppression: many mycotoxins
Source: http://www.mold-help.org. This site provides excellent
advice on identifying and removal of toxic moulds from homes and
to Household Moulds
Stacchybotrys mould, the peril of the “leaky
house syndrome” prevalent in Canada and New Zealand can
have long term irreversible respiratory damage.
Household Product Toxins
"Toxins in U.S. homes now account for 90 percent of all reported
poisonings each year," says Rose Ann Soloway, administrator
of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Many traditional
household products pose serious health risks.
Certain dangerous chemicals are frequently found in:
- manufactured wood products
- personal care products
- cleaning products
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