The environment you live in is key to keeping your health. In today’s world, products we buy and bring into our homes can off-gas chemicals which have been used to manufacture these products. Things such as adhesives used in constructing tables to simple air fresheners may cause adverse health effects with those who have multiple chemical sensitivities. Fresh air is essential to indoor air quality in your home and to your health.
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can turn a mold-free home into a toxic environment. The same can be said for mold as it can produce MVOC’s and contaminate your air and home. Indoor air quality is important to the healing process and a safe environment is key to promoting that healing.
Having a clean environment allows patients to have a place where they are no longer exposed to mold or high levels of VOCs. This gives the body a chance to detox without repeated exposure. Often, a safe, clean environment is a major step on the road to recovery.
At Rezilir, we believe that your home health is just as important as your physical health. Environmental factors can wreak havoc on our bodies, often for years without us ever knowing the true cause of our illness. Our Indoor Environmental Professionals at Rezilir Health are dedicated to assessing your home and making the right recommendations to create a safe, comfortable environment to promote a healthy home for you and your family.
Choose your food wisely. Eat as organically as possible. Limit animal fats as chemicals get stored in fat including endocrine disruptors and heavy metals that accumulate in the food chain. The higher your animal protein source, the greater the potential toxic load. Choose seasonal and local foods. Fish consumption: Avoid fish like tuna and swordfish that may contain high levels of synthetic chemicals. Wild-caught salmon and cod are better choices.
Avoid pesticides. If you can’t buy all organic food, try to pick and choose. Certain crops are more heavily sprayed than others. The Environmental Working Group database (www.ewg.org ) offers guidelines on the fruits and vegetables containing both the highest pesticide residues and the lowest. Produce containing the highest pesticide levels include peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming, or peel them if they are not organically grown.
Support your body’s natural ability to detoxify. Use a sauna or steam bath to sweat our toxins. Use a dry loofa skin brush. Drink filtered water. Increase fiber found in whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds (flax) and nuts. Cruciferous vegetables are high in glucosinolates and sulforaphane including watercress and broccoli. Include Green tea, curcumin, alpha-lipoic acid, and resveratrol to support detoxification pathways.
Take Precautions with cell phones and electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Use the speaker function or an earpiece to decrease your exposures. Avoid sleeping with your phone under your pillow or in your pocket or bra.
Preparing for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Be vigilant about chemicals. Become aware of what you can eliminate to be the healthiest you can be in preparation for pregnancy. Be aware of chemicals in your foods and in your personal care products when breastfeeding. Follow the guidelines on eating fish for pregnant women listed on the American Pregnancy Association’s website here: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/mercury-levelsin-fish/
Know your water supply. Find out whether your local community’s water testing program checks for hormone-disrupting chemicals and heavy metals. Not all household filters work effectively on chemicals and, unfortunately, not all bottled water is checked either. Read your water quality reports. If you drink purified water out of plastic bottles, do not leave the bottles in your car or the hot sun for any length of time; heat activates the molecules in the plastic, which increases the rate at which the polycarbons leach into the water. Filter your tap water— both for drinking and bathing/showering as your skin absorbs contaminants.
Avoid using plastics. According to ongoing research, avoid Bisphenol A in plastics. The “safest” plastics are marked with the recycling codes 2, 4, and 5. Never let infants chew on soft plastic toys and avoid microwaving food in a plastic bowl or covered in plastic wrap. A good rule of thumb is that the softer the plastic, the more chemicals. Buy in bulk and store foods in glass jars. Reuse hard plastic tubs. Limit use of plastic bags and cling wrap products. Assess the amount of plastic in your life and try to reduce it by five. For example: Bring a reusable mug to your local coffee stop. Buy a refillable glass or earthenware water jug. Invest in glass food storage containers that can be washed and reused for a lifetime. Use reusable cloth totes for groceries. Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric.
Evaluate kitchenware. Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware. Avoid aluminum pots and pans.
Avoid artificial fragrances. Look for products that are fragrance-free. One artificial fragrance can contain hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals. Avoid synthetic fragrances in perfumes, air fresheners, scented candles.
Evaluate your personal product use. Become aware of what you put on your skin. Women are using an average of 12 products daily with over 60+ total ingredients. Men use 6 products with over 80+ ingredients. Check out your products at www.safecosmetics.org
Exercise your rights as a consumer. Never doubt the power of consumer demand. Ask for green products when you don’t see them in your neighborhood stores. If you have a talent for organizing and recruiting people, use it to develop community ordinances regarding the use of chemicals in public places. Encourage young people to learn more about environmental issues and to pursue research into redesigning the future.
Become an environmental detective. Investigate the chemicals in your home, work, and community. Take the necessary steps to create healthier environments.
Become an environmental advocate. Support local and federal clean air and water initiatives. Support elected officials who make a clean environment their priority.
Together we can create a healthier future for us all
REFERENCE: Portions of this document are used with permission. Luck, S. (2015). Environmental Health. In Dossey, B. M., & Keegan L. Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice (6th edition) (pp. 633-677). Burlington, MA: Jon