Posts Tagged ‘chemicals’

The Safe and Natural Way to Get Rid of Smells in Your Home – Part 2

July 1st, 2012

Here are some simple cleaning recipes that you can use to get rid of pungent odours.

 

Cigarette smokes

To get rid of the unpleasant odour from cigarette smoke, put ½ cup of white vinegar in each of several containers and place them around the house.

If someone in your home smokes, you can put baking soda or cat litter in the bottom of ashtrays to help absorb the odour. The best option is to have a smoke-free home.

To remove cigarette smoke in a car, soak two towels in white vinegar and put each into a bowl. Put these near the ashtray and the back seat and leave overnight.

 

Smelly carpets

To remove smells from carpets, sprinkle liberally baking soda on dry carpets and leave for 15 minutes before you vacuum it up. Repeat if necessary.

» Read more: The Safe and Natural Way to Get Rid of Smells in Your Home – Part 2

The Shocking Truth About Air Fresheners

June 24th, 2012

Do you know that air fresheners with synthetic fragrances do not add natural aromas or “purify” the air? They work by interfering with your ability to smell so you don’t smell anything! They also produce toxic off-gassing from synthetic chemicals to ‘mask’ or ‘overpower’ the odours.

 

They drown out the offensive smell by releasing chemical such as methoxychlor which coats your nasal passages with a film of oil or by deadening the olfactory nerves (which transmit signals from your nose to the brain and help you to identify smell).

 

Air fresheners come in many forms such as aerosol sprays, scented or aromatherapy candles, fragrance impregnated gels, plug-in deodorisers, atomisers, wick and reed diffusers and many more.

 

Some of the toxic chemicals that can be found in air fresheners:

  • benzene – has been associated with cancer and aplastic anaemia. According to WHO, no safe level of exposure can be recommended.
  • formaldehyde – a carcinogen (causes cancer), can also cause skin, eye, nose and throat irritation, asthma, headaches, nausea and vomiting.
  • methoxychlor – a toxic pesticide that bioaccumulates in fat cells and persists in the environment. Its use as a pesticide is banned in Australia and other countries.
  • paradichlorobenzene – also known as 1, 4-dichlorobenzene, or 1,4-DCB has been shown to cause cancer in mice. Its vapour is toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, headache, irritation to skin, eyes, nasal passages and lungs. 
  • phenol – a highly flammable and corrosive substance that causes serious skin reaction.
  • phthalates – synthetic fragrances which are hormone disruptors. They are particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Long term exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities.
  • styrene – suspected to be a hormone disruptor, possibly contributing to thyroid problems and reproductive system dysfunction.
  • and many, many more toxic chemicals…..

 

Aerosol sprays used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) until they were banned because of the effects on the ozone layer. CFC’s had been replaced with volatile hydrocarbons such as methylene chloride, propane, n-butane and isobutene which are all flammable petrochemicals.

 

Scented and aromatherapy candles are usually made of paraffin waxes (petrochemical) and synthetic fragrance oils which release toxic fumes when the candles are burnt.

 

Most of these chemicals have not been tested for their long term and cumulative effects on human health. But it is safe to say that these chemicals represent a real risk especially to those who use them regularly and continuously, young children, pregnant women and those who suffer from allergies and asthma.

 

 

The Safe and Natural Way to Get Rid of Smells in Your Home – Part 1

 

A clean home really shouldn’t smell like anything. Clever marketing campaigns have programmed us to believe that a clean home should have the fragrance produced by synthetic chemicals found in conventional air fresheners such ‘pine oil’, ‘lavender’, ‘clove’, ‘jasmine’, ‘lemon’, etc.

» Read more: The Shocking Truth About Air Fresheners

A Woman with a Conscience…..

June 14th, 2012

Here’s an inspiring story of how Tracey, a fire-fighter with debilitating multiple chemical sensitivities overcame her challenges and founded a company which now produces a range of world class, chemical-free cleaning products.

 

Natural Cleaning Products

Tracey

 

I first met Tracey in 2011 when I was writing the “Go Natural” book.

I was so impressed with the simplicity of her cleaning products that I have actually stopped making my own cleaning recipes and started using hers. I was amazed at how well they actually clean and they are 100% free of toxic chemicals!

Her passion for the environment drives everything that she does. She is an inspiration to me and I hope you will be inspired by her story.

» Read more: A Woman with a Conscience…..

Your Easy Starter Guide to using Natural Cleaning Products

June 4th, 2012

Making natural cleaning products is easy once you have got all your ingredients and equipment ready. We have prepared a simple guide to get you started.

 

List of Ingredients:

Most of these ingredients have been used for hundreds of years. You can find most of these ingredients in your local supermarket. However, you will save money if you can source them directly from the manufacturer or wholesaler and buy them in bulk.

 

Natural Cleaning Ingredient

Water is the best cleaner in the world

 

1)   Water

  • most bacteria are killed by hot, soapy water
  • soaking is one of the most effective ways of removing dirt
  • in hard water area, add a small handful of baking soda as a water softener

 

2)    Baking soda

Natural Cleaning Ingredient

Baking soda

  • is a common baking ingredient
  • is a naturally occurring mineral known as sodium bicarbonate with many great cleaning properties
  • cuts through grease because it reacts with fatty acids to form mild detergents
  • softens water, removes stains and acts as a whitening agent, therefore great for the laundry
  • its abrasive quality serves as a gentle scouring powder without scratching your kitchen or tile surfaces
  • place a bowl of baking soda in the fridge to neutralise the odour

 

 

3)    Fresh lemon

Natural Cleaning Ingredient

  • one of the best way to save money on your cleaning products is to grow a lemon tree in your backyard
  • fresh lemon juice contains citric acid that can deodorize, remove stains, brighten whites in the laundry or kitchen, clean glass, inhibit mould, disinfect toilets, cleans bath edges and showers plus grouting on tiles
  • when used neat (full strength), it will remove grime at the base of taps
  • it’s fresh smelling fragrance makes it an excellent air freshener, just cut a lemon in half and leave it on the bench

» Read more: Your Easy Starter Guide to using Natural Cleaning Products

10 Tips on How to clean your home – Easily, Cheaply & Safely?

May 28th, 2012

More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced since World War II.

Most have been derived from petroleum and coal tar.

 

The majority of these synthetic chemicals have never been tested for their acute or long-term effects.  Neither have they been tested for their combined or cumulative effects.

 

Many of these synthetic chemicals have been added to our food, skincare and cleaning products without our consent and knowledge of their potential effects.

 

Many of these chemicals have also been dispersed widely into the environment contaminating our soil, water and air. Some will persist in the environment for decades and even centuries because they biodegrade slowly and incompletely.

 “The average home today contains more toxic chemicals than the average chemistry laboratory at the turn of the century.”

This is a scary thought but a reality in so many households.

Have a look inside your laundry cupboard, in the bathroom and underneath the kitchen sink and see how many different cleaning products you can find.

Most homes contain many more cleaning products than we really need. These cleaners not only contain chemicals that are bad for our health but also create packaging waste that is disposed in our already, overloaded landfills.

We can smell the toxins whenever we use these cleaning products. The label even warns us to wear gloves, avoid contact with skin and eyes, and not to breathe in the fumes.

 

We need to protect our children when it comes to exposure to toxic chemicals because:

1)    they have higher risk of exposure as they tend to crawl and play in areas that could be contaminated

2)    they also have an increased hand to mouth activity

3)    their smaller body size and developing organs are more susceptible to the toxic effects of these chemicals; damage can be long lasting

4)    they also have a reduced ability to eliminate toxins from their developing bodies as their vital organs are less matured.

 

10 Tips on How to have a Clean & Fresh Smelling Home?

» Read more: 10 Tips on How to clean your home – Easily, Cheaply & Safely?

The True Story of Cosmetics

May 1st, 2012

Since the advent of petroleum ingredients in the mid 1900’s, chemicals have been proliferated throughout our world. The practice of using some substances with the assumption that it was safe until proven otherwise became routine. Only limited research has been done on many of the chemicals that can be legally used in cosmetics.

 

Chemicals in skin care products

Chemicals & Petrochemicals

 

There are three types of chemicals that are of particular concern. These are commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics:

1)     chemicals that cause cancer or damage our DNA

2)     endocrine disrupting chemicals or hormone disruptor which interfere with our hormonal systems

3)     persistent organic pollutants that won’t dissipate in our body or the environment and accumulate and cause increased exposure levels over time

There is growing concern that daily exposure to a combination of toxic chemicals found in most cosmetics, skin care and personal care products could result in detrimental long term health effects.

 

“Personal care products expose children to an average of 60 chemicals every day that they can breathe in or absorb through their skin.” 

Environmental Working Group

» Read more: The True Story of Cosmetics

Are your fresh fruits and vegetables making you sick?…Part 2

April 24th, 2012
Tractor spraying pesticides

Conventional Farming Practices

 

What can we do to protect ourselves from pesticide residues in our food?

 

1) The most effective way to avoid pesticides is to eat certified organic fruits and vegetables which are grown without the use of any synthetic and toxic chemicals.

Washing or peeling conventional fruits and vegetables only removes a percentage of the pesticides as some of them are systemic and tend to be absorbed through the whole of the produce.

Studies have shown that organic produce have a lower incidence and level of pesticide residues than non-organic produce. Where residues were found, these were due to environmental pollution from pesticides used in conventional farming.

 

2) If certified organic fruits and vegetables are not readily available or affordable, choose those that are less likely contaminated with pesticide residues.

In the USA, the Environmental Working Group have published the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce  aimed at helping shoppers determine which fruits and vegetables contain the most pesticide residues. This allows us to avoid eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables.

 

3) Start your own organic garden and grow as much fruits and vegetables as possible. You will have the complete assurance that you are not eating fresh produce that has pesticide residues  or other toxic chemicals. Freshly picked fruits and vegetables will definitely taste richer compared to those in the supermarkets.

 

» Read more: Are your fresh fruits and vegetables making you sick?…Part 2

Are your fresh fruits and vegetables making you sick?…Part 1

April 16th, 2012

Here’s a piece of eye-opening information that could possibly save your life.

 

The 2010 US President’s Cancer Panel Report clearly stated that environmental toxins, including chemicals used in farming are the main causes of cancers. It recommended that people consume food grown without pesticides, fertilisers and growth hormones.

 

This report was written by eminent scientists and medical specialists in the field, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

 

The majority of people get most of their exposure to pesticides through food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fruits & vegetables

 

In Australia more than 7200 registered pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are used in the food production industry

» Read more: Are your fresh fruits and vegetables making you sick?…Part 1

Welcome to our blog!

March 29th, 2012

 

Dr Esther Lok

We look forward to sharing with you our journey towards living a healthy organic lifestyle, free from toxic chemicals.

 

We will share with you how we gradually made small changes and took small steps towards changing our own habits as we learnt and discovered more of the hidden, harmful chemicals found in our everyday lives.

 

We will show you practical ways on how to gradually adopt an organic lifestyle, how to care for your skin & body without toxic chemicals, how to have a clean & fresh smelling home without using harmful chemicals and what nasty ingredients to avoid.

 

You will be able to join us in our conversations with experts whom we met along our journey and share all the resources that we have personally found to be helpful and inspirational.

 

We would love to have you alongside us as we travel together on this path of life. We aspire to live a life that is not just better for our health, but also more sustainable for our future generations.

 

We would love to hear your stories and your experience in your journey towards a truly natural and healthier organic lifestyle.

 

» Read more: Welcome to our blog!