Today’s guest post is from my new friend, Jessica, who writes about food, kids, and autism at “You are what you eat“. Check out the valuable information she provides for families about household items:
When Gina asked me to “guest write” on her blog about something I am passionate about, I was first honored and humbled, then the swarms of ideas were flitting in and out of my busy mind. What should I write about? Should it be about biomedicine, about autism or the spectrum, should it be about parenting and our devotion to our children? These are all very important topics in our lives, but there is one topic that, for me, trumps them all, because it impacts all of those things on a daily basis….and that is toxins. Yes, toxins. We live among them in our houses, our cars, outside, we eat them, we breath them we even have them in our teeth! What is it about toxins I could possibly want to discus? Aren’t we stuck with them after all? No, we aren’t. We can make conscious choices to reduce our toxic burden thereby decreasing our reactions to them.
Toxins Inside Us
You probably don’t even realize the impact toxins have on you right now. I could probably write a book on this topic, so I will try to keep it simple, especially since other very talented writers have already done that. Let’s start with your body. Do you have amalgam fillings? If you answered yes to this, do you also have a child on the spectrum or with ADHD, or even mild learning disabilities, allergies or asthma? You may want to look inward. Amalgams are 50% mercury by weight and they release mercury vapors into your mouth every single day. Mercury vapors cross the blood brain barrier quite readily, and it’s one of the worst forms of mercury to encounter. Every time you chew, drink a hot food, grind your teeth, brush….you are releasing that mercury even faster. To add salt to the wound, if you like pretty gold earrings and necklaces, wearing those close to your fillings doubles the release of this highly toxic gas! What I don’t get is how the government has finally stated that it is a risk to use in the mouths of pregnant women and children….why not anyone else? Remember that half of those adults that dentists are installing mercury into are pre-childbearing age. What are they going to do when they are ready to have kids, have them all removed and replaced? Some may, but most won’t. Without getting into too much detail, there are protocols that address the safe removal of amalgam fillings, but that is a topic for another day! Just know that you should NEVER go to the average Joe-Shmoe dentist and have him willy-nilly drilling out your fillings. This will release more toxic fumes than your body will know what to do with. In addition, intertwined with the issue of mercury is an issue of voltage, because these little silver fillings are also little mini-batteries, effecting your immune system in ways only a scientist can thoroughly explain. I wish I could go on, but there is just too much to discuss here. You can learn more on the topic by looking into the research of Dr. Hal Huggins and Dr. Hulda Clark. Both are pioneers in their field.
Toxins in our Homes
Now what about your home….ahhh, your safe little humble abode! If you are trusting commercials to fill your head with ideas that only chemicals you buy in that stinky isle at the grocery store can clean your home efficiently, think again! Chemicals are harmful, even in small amounts. Think about this. You wash your tub, hoping to get the grimies out so you can place your beautiful delicate little baby into it for a nice clean bath. When you do this, that chemical residue you just placed on the entire wall of the tub is going into your child’s pores, and bloodstream to be filtered out by their little hard-working liver. Our skin is our largest organ and anything you place on it, might as well be eaten. It’s the same thing. Consider the concept of medication patches. Back to the cleaning products, there are easy to find (you probably already have them in your house) cheap ingredients that can be used to make cleaning products that are not only safer for your family and environment, but even more effective on the dirties! Anything that is antibacterial is going to strip your surfaces and your skin of the good guys who are needed to fight the bad guys off, plus it creates a resistance in the bad guys who then take over. Natural ingredients like vinegar, tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, borax, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can all be used in various combinations to make up your cheap cleaning arsenal. Scour your house and the internet for a couple of simple ingredients lists where you can come up with a great selection of non-smelly safe cleaning products that won’t have your children soaking up…blech! You can even scent them with natural essence oils if you want to get fancy (your cleaning products, not your kids!)
Back to the body, I mentioned soaps, lotions, sprays, and even toothpastes all contain unnatural unsafe ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate, parabens, alcohols, etc. I take this into consideration with anything I put on my skin, nut just in the bath, but also with lotions, soaps and sprays. If I can’t eat it, it doesn’t go on my skin. There are very nice lines of natural products out there available at your stores and online, there is no need to cover yourself or your children with toxins daily. Many of these ingredients have been linked to cancer, need I say more?
Toxins Around Us
What about pesticides? There is so much talk about organic food these days and I see countless articles about how they are no more nutritious than their pesticide-laden counterparts. Maybe not, but what about the chemicals and mercury that are in those pesticides and what those pesticides do not only to us, but to our environment? Again, I could get into details here, about the lethal effects they have on wild life and the changes we are seeing in nature and people due to pesticides, but I will save that for the book writers. There is also plenty online, you could search through pages and pages of google results. You will discover that pesticides are highly dangerous to us and our environment.
The luscious lawns in my neighborhood just make me cringe. Why? They are beautiful you look at, you say? They provide aesthetics that even I used to appreciate, as an artist. Sure, they are gorgeous, but they are also toxic! They don’t need to be. Our expectations of what a lawn should look like is unrealistic. We don’t live on golf courses. Natural, healthy, native grass looks VERY different from how we have been peer-pressured into thinking our lawns should appear. We want to have one up on our neighbors, we want THE nicest lawn in our manicured development….yadda yadda yadda. Guys, we are spraying chemicalsright INTO our water table! We are killing the very ecosystem that is needed to create a healthy, natural lawn. Then you walk all over that pretty lawn and right into your safe home where your 10 month old is crawling around with his toys, licking them and biting them along with whatever you just brought in on your shoes.
Toxins Beneath Us
That’s right, shoes in the house is another toxic-topic. Besides the chemical laden lawns you are walking on and tracking inside with you, can you guess what other goodies are coming in with your favorite jogging sneaks? Bacterias like e.coli and klebsiella pneumonia as well as a slew of parasites. You might like to think that our bodies filter these ugly bugs out easily too, but the truth is that they make themselves quite at home where they settle in and stay for the long haul. There they can wreak havoc on our immune systems, dragging it down little by little.
Our Toxic World
My goal here is just to bring awareness to the topic of our toxic world. What I am hoping to do is force you to revisit the things you take for granted in your presumed safe world. With illness on the rise and our children at the heart of it, it’s time to think outside of the box and stop depending on manufacturers, advertisers and even our government for the information we should be seeking out ourselves. Be an educated consumer and take responsibility for your family, your house and your life. We have always assumed that what we buy is safe, but why? Who ever told us this? It is time for us to start questioning what we consider safe for our families, only because we want the best for them.
I consider my job as mother and wife to be a serious one, I am the engineer, the chef, the scientist, the doctor and I plan to educate and protect my family in the process. We want to be in this world for a long time and we want this world to be here for us just the same.