My little disclaimer before I begin my with my findings…I by no means claim to be an expert. Anything you research has ‘facts’ on both sides of the debate/issue as well as 100 things in-between so you have to go with what your gut is telling you and determine what works for you and your family. Although I am educating myself on all kinds of different health related topics I still want to live outside of my home and you can’t control what your friends and family or restaurants do so yes, I will still socialize and if I use a hand soap somewhere that has a toxic ingredient or eat a non-organic apple that has been genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides then so be it. Knowing that the majority of the time when we are home and do control food and products we are making the choices we want to make that we feel are best for us.
Now, onto the real stuff…
My quest for information started when I felt like everyone (it really wasn’t everyone but sure felt like it) talked about the asthma and allergies their kids had. When I was growing up it was very rare that you knew someone with either of those let alone have multiple medications for them. My poor brother does have bad hay fever but he was about the only person I knew! Sorry Scott! Something had to have changed in what is in our environment, what we ingest or something for these to become so common. As it turns out my hunch was right…according to the Consumer Federation of America the asthma rate has tripled in the last 20-30 years. The cause…it’s some of all of the above. Obviously there will be pollutants from smog or grass, pollen etc. that a person can be sensitive to but come to find out there’s more to it. The inside of our homes are more polluted and toxic than the smoggy pollen filled air outside. In fact, a study from the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, comparing women who work outside the home with women who work at home, found a 54% higher risk of developing cancer in women who work at home. The study concluded that this is a direct result of the chemicals in household products. The EPA states that indoor air quality is up to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality.
When you read that you think what the heck, what these big companies (Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble etc.) are advertising and selling in the stores we go to must be safe otherwise they couldn’t sell it…right… WRONG!!! Those companies have different products that they sell to different countries in Europe and Asia just to name a couple because those countries govern the ingredients in cleaning and personal care products. We have the FDA but that’s food and drug (the debate on what they truly regulate is an entirely separate one that I will get to one of these days!)
It also comes down to your diet too (as do most health concerns). Although it seems official studies and links to specifics are all still in progress the information is leaning to the fact that kids with higher rates of asthma aren’t getting the ‘whole foods’ of fruits and vegetables and instead their diets consist of a lot of processed food or fast food.
This is where my quest started and my research and education went from there so for today I think I will wrap it up. I have plenty more to say but my novel doesn’t need to be in 1 post :)