1.1 The Unhealthiest Place To Live
Over half of your life is spent inside your home. Yet it may be the unhealthiest place you can be. Chemicals, pollutants, and toxic substances can surround you in your house and can create a number of health problems. You may never realize how dangerous household chemicals can be until it is too late. This lesson tells you about the most common household pollution hazards and how you can avoid them for better health.
You may think that you are safe in your own home. After all, the air pollution is on the freeways, and the poisoned waters are in the industrial rivers. But the foul air and water are also in your home, and much of it is brought in by your family. Here is one area where a natural and hygenic lifestyle can provide immediate benefits to all family members.
1.2 The Household Chemical Problem
Just for a start, look around you and count the various chemicals found in your house. Over the course of a year, the average home will contain forty-five aerosol sprays, another two dozen nonspray chemical cleansers, several insect killers and repellents, paints and paint thinners, spot removers, room fresheners, natural gas leakages, and so on.
Inside your house alone are more chemicals (in floor polishes, oven cleansers, detergents, etc.) than were found in any major chemistry lab of a century ago! Worse yet, we do not understand anything about these chemicals, how they should be used, and the toxic effects that accompany their use.
Labels list dozens of unpronounceable and unrecognized chemicals in all sorts of household products. It is foolish to believe that all are harmless and that they can be safely used.
An experienced homemaker cannot handle most chemicals properly. For example, one woman dragged her small oven outside to clean it. She did not, quite rightly, want the fumes from oven cleaners in her house. Unfortunately, while spraying the oven outside in the wind, the spray blew back into her eyes and permanently blinded her.
Housewives and children are allowed to handle dangerous chemical compounds that experienced chemists would not touch unless they had on protective gloves. Not only that, but the toxins and pollution from these common household products can eventually poison all the members of a family without their knowledge.
A family in a rural area had a problem with flies in their house while they were eating. To combat the problem, they hung a "No-Pest" insecticide strip over their table to keep the insects away. After a few weeks, three of the four family members were hospitalized for acute pesticide poisoning. The anti-pest strip they had thought was safe had nearly killed them with its "fallout" over their food.
Besides the sheer quantity of new chemicals in the home environment, another problem arises from the multiple use of these products. For example, cleansers may be mixed or other chemicals may be used together. When combined, these household chemicals can produce deadly byproducts. This combination of one or more household chemicals produces what is called a synergistic effect which means that the total effect of the mixed chemicals is greater than the individual chemicals used separately.
Homemakers do not actually have to even mix various cleansing agents, etc., together to create this dangerous synergistic effect. Simply having the vapors from one cleaning lingering in the air which may then combine with other chemical vapors can have a toxic effect on the individuals. In fact, within the average American home, at least once a day two aerosol sprays are used within a half hour of each other. These sprays can combine in your house to form toxic fumes.
We often improve our diet and our health, but we may neglect the source of potential health problems: the chemicals in our own home. This lesson identifies the more common household chemicals in use, and how you can avoid them by adapting a new lifestyle along the teachings of Life Science.
Home > Lesson 51 - Chemicals In The Household Environment
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