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Start the Year with a Healthier Home
- The new year represents an ideal time to get rid of some unhealthy habits. As we look towards the future, it’s time to think about the behaviors that could have been disrupting our quality of life up until this point. One of the most overlooked threats to modern wellness is home health.
- We spend around 90% of our lives indoors, yet most people have no idea of the toxins that they’re surrounded by on a regular basis.
- Over 100 million Americans are suffering from mold exposure, and experts suggest that most doctors may be dealing with mold-based illnesses without realizing it. This is particularly relevant to the 28% of the population that are genetically more susceptible to mold reactions.
- Cologne, perfume, and man-made fragrances are another common toxin within the home. No group is currently responsible for regulating the chemicals used in fragrances, which means that creating a healthier home starts by switching from toxic “synthesized” fragrances, to natural, and organic options.
- Research from the EPA suggests that indoor air can be up to 100 times more dangerous than outdoor air. On top of that, around 3% of global disease is attributed to indoor air quality. Cleaning up your air can be an essential part of enjoying a healthier home.
- Besides pollutants, unseen dangers like EMFs can also represent a significant danger to health within the home. People with, or without EMF sensitivity can suffer a range of symptoms due to the interferences that EMFs have with our natural biochemical responses.
- In today’s modern age, it’s important to start considering the benefits of going back to wired products, switching off the Wi-Fi, and reducing cellphone use. After all, EMFs are linked to everything from hormone disruption, to cancer.
- Besides EMF problems, smartphones and other devices also represent a health concern thanks to the presence of blue light. This light disrupts melatonin production which disrupts sleep, and can contribute to depression, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and obesity.
Bad Home Habits
If you’re just about ready to start cleaning up your home after your New Year’s Eve bash – then it might be worth thinking about how healthy your property is. Many homeowners only have a limited amount of time to devote to looking after their property on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Because of this, we focus on making things look “clean and tidy”, but don’t always think about the hidden dangers that could be lurking behind the dust and clutter.
Since we spend around 90% of our lives indoors, it makes sense that if you’re looking to improve your quality of life in 2017, your search for improvement should begin at home. It may be the perfect time of year to start facing up to the reality of indoor pollutants, the toxic substances that plague our walls, and the dangerous hidden problems like blue light and EMFs that could be damaging our health.
Here, we’re going to cover just some of the measures you should be taking to start the year with a healthier home, from getting rid of mold, to sleeping soundly at night.
Getting Rid of Mold
According to research, more than 100 million Americans are plagued by constant exposure to the toxins caused by mold. Why? Because we don’t even realize that the mold is there, and once we find it, we don’t know how to remove it safely. For some people, this can be a particularly worrisome issue, because 28% of the current population are genetically predisposed to severe mold reactions.
However, regardless of your underlying issues, it’s worth noting that anyone can suffer from mold poisoning. In fact, some health experts suggest that most doctors throughout the U.S. may be treating patients with mold-based symptoms. Mold exposure can cause:
- Feelings of lightheadedness or vertigo
- Light sensitivity
- Weight issues
- Weakness and fatigue
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Shortness of breath
- Liver problems
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
- Abdominal pain
- Immune system damage
- Body temperature issues
Some children have even been seen to experience a loss of IQ following frequent mold exposure.
So, how do we address the mold problem? The first step is to stop relying on bleach. Though bleach can remove the spores that are on the surface of walls, floors, and ceilings, mycelia continues to thrive, consuming the moisture that comes from bleaches which contain 90% water. Instead, it’s better to use a substance called “Concrobium” which has been specifically designed to treat mold infestations. You could also consider calling a mold professional for severe circumstances.
Banishing the Cologne and Perfume Bomb
Unfortunately, mold isn’t the only cause of toxins within the modern home. Another chemical bomb that we expose ourselves to on a regular basis is cologne and perfume. Though many people assume that their favorite scents are harmless, the truth is that 95% of the chemicals in your scented products are derived from dangerous petrochemicals.
In the United States, there is no group responsible for regulating the substances within fragrances – which means that manufacturers can place anything into a spray bottle – regardless of what it does to your health. Studies commissioned by the “Campaign for safe cosmetics” recently found around 38 unlisted chemicals within fragrances, and among those ingredients were a range of substances that are recognized as dangerous for personal use – capable of causing hormone disruption and more.
Just some of the dangerous chemicals that you can find in perfumes and fragrances include:
- Benzyl alcohol
If you want a healthier home, then one of the best things you can do is stay away from fragranced products entirely. From the fragrances that you use to spruce up your home, to the perfumes and colognes that you wear on a daily basis. Ditch the man-made chemical scents in favor of something more natural. For instance, instead of dousing your home with chemicals, add a fresh scent to the room with a bouquet of flowers. At the same time, rather than dabbing your skin with potentially toxic substances, choose organic essential oils as the basis for your new year scent.
The more natural you can go with your product choices, the better the results will be for your health. After all, ridding yourself of the unnatural chemicals used in man-made scents will help you, and your family to breathe easier, by improving air quality. Avoid any product that doesn’t disclose all ingredients fully, using words like “perfume” or “fragrance” as a cover. Stick to botanical and organic fragrances that stay away from chemical and potentially toxic compounds.
The Importance of Air Quality
Speaking of air quality – How important is it?
We generally assume that the air inside of our homes is healthier than the polluted air outdoors, but research from the EPA suggests that our homes and offices have the potential to be 100 times more polluted than the air outside. In other words, despite the factories and car exhausts that seem to be constantly pumping fumes into your local atmosphere, your home is the most dangerous place for your lungs.
In recent years, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Cancer Research have combined their research resources to study the truth behind dangerous indoor air quality. As a result, we’ve learned that up to 80% of all cancers might be caused by environmental factors like frequent exposure to carcinogenic materials. Simply put – those fragranced cleaning products we mentioned above could be giving you cancer.
Of course, home fragrances aren’t the only threat to think about when your aim is to start the year with a healthier home. About 3% of global disease is attributed to air pollution in doors, and that toxic environment comes from a poisonous cocktail of household cleaning carcinogens, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, mold, and mildew. In fact, even the gasses that rise up from the bedrock beneath your home could be damaging your health. For instance, Radon is the second most prominent cause of lung cancer in the world.
Fortunately refreshing your home for 2017 could be much easier than you’d think. Research conducted by NASA has found that your average houseplant is ideal for removing around 87% of the toxins within indoor air. For an 1,800 square-foot house, fifteen good-sized houseplants could add some pleasant greenery to your decorations, and even ensure that you breathe easier every day too! Add your plant selections in with some other options for cleaning the air, such as high-quality filters, and you should have a healthier home in no time.
Getting Rid of EMFs
Now that you’re breathing a little easier thanks to removing mold and toxic pollutants from your home, it’s time to think about the other threats that you can’t see – which could be causing damage to you, and your family. For instance, have you ever taken the time to think about what the EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that plague the earth could be doing to your body?
EMFs are dangerous because they interfere with the natural biochemical and electrical responses that keep us running as we should be. In other words, the EMFs that modern devices like smartphones and Wi-Fi routers create clash with our organic functions – leading to a range of complex side effects – particularly for those with “EMF Sensitivity”. If you’re one of the many people particularly susceptible to Electromagnetic fields, then you might experience:
- Aches throughout your body
- Digestive problems
- Issues within your nervous system that lead to sleep disturbances and fatigue
- Prickling and burning sensations in the skin
- Foggy thinking and depression
- Problems with the ears, nose and throat.
- Problems with fertility
One of the biggest threats that EMFs represent to today’s society is the fact that they have been regularly linked to the onset of cancerous tumors. From the speculated connection between LeBron James’s jaw tumor in 2009, to a more recent study in Sweden that suggests that people who use cellphones from an early age have a five-times greater brain cancer risk than those using devices as adults. Simply put – our constant exposure to EMFs are placing our bodies under unnatural amounts of strain.
When you’re clearing up your home for 2017, it may be a good idea to think about the ways that you can get rid of the EMFs around your property. For instance:
- Start a habit of turning your Wi-Fi off at night. You’re not going to need to browse the internet when you’re sleeping, and by allowing EMFs to continue plaguing your home through the night, you’re allowing them to interfere with the core goals of the nervous system during sleep, which include rejuvenation, detoxification, and restoration.
- Get rid of Wi-Fi altogether: You don’t need to live an internet-free life to get rid of Wi-Fi. All you need is a few Ethernet cables. In the modern age, we’ve become convinced that we need everything to be wireless – from our phones to our coffee machines, but this mode of thinking has led to a greater concentration of EMFs throughout the world.
- Look around your home and evaluate your reliance on technology: If your home is full of wireless tech, it might be time to dial it back a notch. Switch to safer, more reliable wired technology that doesn’t emit the same level of harmful frequencies.
- Reduce cellphone use: Finally, turn your cellphone off more often – particularly when you’re sleeping at night. Remember that your smart device is always emitting radiation – even if you aren’t calling or texting someone.
Removing Blue Light for Bedtime
Speaking of smartphones – EMF radiation isn’t the only problem that they represent. In fact, your addiction to your smartphone could be causing issues with insomnia and lack of sleep. While lost sleep presents an obvious problem in the vein of limited energy and exhaustion, it can also link to a range of other serious problems such as increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Some research even suggests that poor sleep could be connected to obesity levels because we’re more likely to snack on unhealthy foods when we stay up late.
As much as the modern person loves their smartphone, and the various other devices that they might use throughout the day – such as laptops and tablets, the artificial lighting in these devices forces your body to stay in “awake” mode, even when you know you should be settling down for sleep. Simply put, it tells your brain that you’re still in the middle of the day – so that you’re less likely to fall asleep. This is particularly problematic when you consider the fact that around 8 in 10 people sleep with their smartphones.
In 2017, it could be a good idea to start breaking the shackles of addiction that keep you tethered to your smartphone – particularly when it comes to sleep hygiene processes. For instance, if you can’t cope with the idea of turning your phone off when you go to sleep – at the very least you should be keeping it outside of your bedroom.
Though many people use their phones as a way to help them relax for bedtime, the truth is that the blue light wavelength your device emits is similar enough to natural sunlight that your brain can’t effectively tell the difference. As a result, your device disrupts the pattern used by your brain to inform it when it should be shutting down for rest. Blue light inhibits the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy), which damages your natural sleeping pattern, or circadian rhythm. On top of poor sleeping habits, an absence of melatonin in your system might also lead to higher risks of suffering from obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression, and even cancer.
The easiest way to make your home – or more specifically, your bedroom – a healthier place for the new year – is to declare it a device-free zone. Ensure that you only ever use your smartphones and tablets outside of the bedroom – and you won’t be tempted to start browsing the internet when you’re supposed to be settling down for sleep. Remember that a good day starts with a good night’s sleep.
Enjoying a Healthier, Happier Home
Making your home healthier for the new year doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or expensive experience. In fact, just a couple of changes can help to improve the health of everyone in your family. From eradicating the signs of mold throughout your home, and reducing chances for further infestation, to getting rid of the unnatural chemicals in your fragrances, and improving air quality – a healthier life could be simpler than you think.
Remember, it’s not just toxins in the home that represent a danger to your quality of life either. Those hidden threats like EMFs and blue light can also disrupt your health, making it difficult to live a long, happy life. Use the new year to make some new changes to your health, and wellness.