May is Multiple Chemical Sensitivities month. For those living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, it is no easy feat. The onset of this debilitating medical condition can cause an allergy-like reaction to even low levels of chemical exposure. There are over 48 million Americans suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
For those suffering with chemical allergies there are little things you can do to maintain your quality of life. Although there is currently no cure for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, there are ways to take control of your symptoms. This May, AllerAir is providing small, but significant suggestions.
Step 1: Detoxify Your Home
Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities means taking the necessary steps to detoxify your home. The best relief for those suffering with multiple chemical sensitivities is avoidance, which means removing pollutants. Reducing the number of triggers found in your home can deliver some much-needed relief. Take the time to detoxify your home---it’s the best thing you can do for your health.
So, what’s polluting your indoor air? Start by removing pollutants like:
Pesticides, petrochemicals, second hand smoke, mold, formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in homes across North America. The dangers of chemicals are present whether it’s asbestos in the walls of an old home, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from home furnishings, or the carcinogenic chemicals found in cleaning products.
A few well-known culprits include:
· Cigarette smoke
· Air pollution caused by photocopiers
· Paint fumes, glues, solvents (Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs)
· Formaldehyde (found in furniture, carpet and other types of flooring)
· Petroleum products
· Cleaning products
· Beauty products like hairspray and perfume
How to detoxify your home
1) If you’re not a smoker steer clear of second hand smoke. There are over 4,000 chemicals emitted by just one cigarette. Ask visitors to refrain from smoking prior to visiting you, but keep in mind the smell of cigarettes may still be lingering on their clothing.
2) Avoid the use of bug sprays and other pesticides in your home. Always ask guests to remove their shoes before entering your home; pesticides can be insidious. Talk to your neighbors about the dangers of pesticide use on their lawns.
3) Invest in chemical-free enzyme cleaners, or even a package of baking soda. The Environmental Working Group discovered over 457 hazardous chemicals in 20 household cleaners. Natural enzyme cleansers are capable of removing stains, grease and bacteria, without the harrowing effects of chloroform, benzene and formaldehyde.
4) Avoid aerosols, plug-ins and scented candles; they mask odors and contribute to indoor air pollution. The EWG found 89 air contaminants known to cause organ system toxicity as well as endocrine and neurotoxicity. Opt for compact, portable cases of granular activated carbon, which are brilliant in litter boxes, refrigerators and closets.
5) Fix leaks in your home promptly, and always shower with the fan on to avoid mold. Aside from spawning irritants and allergens, molds release hazardous mycotoxins. Mycotoxin is one of the most hazardous indoor air pollutants, because of its ability to cause neurological damage, especially in children.
6) Buy wood furniture; pressed wood products generally contain formaldehyde. You may also wish to remove carpets and window dressings as they tend to out-gas air contaminants.
7) Stay away from plastic shower curtains. A recent study revealed that over 108 VOCs were released in less than a month. Concentrations of these chemicals are even higher after you shower.
8) Newer homes tend to be airtight, proper ventilation and the use of an air purifier is strongly recommended.
9) An air purifier can help, but not just any air purifier---do your homework. The air purifier you chose will not provide a cure to all of your problems, but it will help. For people suffering with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, carbon+HEPA technology is mandatory. Only an air purifier manufactured with the most inert parts available will do the trick