Thursday, February 15, 2007

Healthy Homes e-News for July 2006

Happy July 4th! I trust your holiday was enjoyable and relaxing. My husband and oldest son went to his parents this past weekend to help them around the house. They enjoyed the fireworks as they drove home last night.

The other three and I enjoyed the day at my parent’s house here in town. We were at the beach most of the day – with a break for lunch & naps. We got home last night to a firecracker/fireworks display put on for us by our neighbors. We watched out our back window for about an hour, until they were too tired to stand up. Then we all piled into my bed to rest, because none of us could sleep with all the noise. It was a nice holiday – in spite of being separated.

It was made all the sweeter by the realization that at the end of last month, I was promoted! I’m so excited – and want to thank you for being faithful members and customers. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you as your link to this company and its wonderful products.

In this month’s issue of e-News:

1) How to Make your Bedroom an Allergen-Free Zone

2) A Plan to Beat Allergies is Worth the Cost

3) Commentary on a Commercial

4) Keep Your Radar Tuned…

5) Ways to Save Money


1) How to Make your Bedroom an Allergen-Free Zone (Chicago Tribune)

Did you realize that if you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep, you will be spending about one-third of your day in your bedroom? To get good sleep, here are steps you can take to keep the allergens out of your bedroom.

1) Take off your shoes before walking in your bedroom. 85% of household dirt, dust and allergens come from the bottom of shoes.

2) Get rid of the dust. Clean light fixtures and electronics – and all other surfaces – with a reusable microfiber cleaning clothes. The rags I used as a kid just push the dust around, while microfiber cloths grab dust and dirt, which removes many common allergens from your room. (Personally, my kids and I like the clothes from – look under “General Cleaning,” then “Cloths.” We’ve been using these for years.)

3) Wash and Protect your bedding. Buy protective covers for pillows & mattresses, and wash all your bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees) each week.

4) Don’t let pets sleep in your bedroom – this will keep out extra dander, pollens and allergens.

5) Check your air supply. Keep humidity levels below 50% (you can buy a humidity level reader at home supply stores). Keep your a/c set at a lover temperature and try to keep windows closed during high pollen seasons. (You can sign up for a daily pollen level e-mail report at Also, take a shower and change clothes if you’ve been outside on a high pollen day (I’ve found this SO helpful!) – it also helps to keep your laundry bag in another room.

I would also add to this article – get an air purifier. Glen, my husband, will testify to what a difference it made in my allergy reactions on high pollen days. I’m not the only one who has found the air purifier helpful. Donna Paterson says this:

[This air purifier] made a significant improvement in my daughter’s life. Hope had her first bout with pneumonia in ’99. She was diagnosed with asthma after three weeks and put on steroid-based medicines to control it. Her activities were limited. The following two winters she again contracted pneumonia. She lived in constant fear of not being able to breath and worried herself and me to death. I purchased an [air purifier] in 2002. It lives in Hope’s bedroom and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Her room smells like clean seaside air. Not only did she make it through the next winter pneumonia free, her need for asthma medicine seems to be lessening. Her reactions to allergens and pollutants are almost non-existent. In fact, when her best friend who has asthma came to our house to stay for several days, she improved, too. Just sleeping over and playing in Hope’s room during the hottest part of the day was enough to strengthen her breathing. Now I don’t worry about her as much. She can even keep her cat now since it doesn’t bother her anymore. The [air purifer] has freed her to play, run and just really live.”


2) A Plan to Beat Allergies is Worth the Cost (US News & World Report, October 24, 2005)

“Allergies often spark asthma attacks, so reducing exposure to allergens like dust mites, mold, and cockroaches is a big goal. A customized plan drawn up by an environmental counselor can help. But at $1,469 per household, is the intervention cost effective?

Yes, say researchers who folled 937 inner-city children and reported their findings in the October (2005) Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Savings included a 19 percent drop in unscheduled medical visits and fewer missed workdays by parents of sick kids.” (emphasis mine)

That’s good news, but still $1400 is a lot of money! If you or someone you know is facing allergy or asthma issues, it just makes sense to try this air purifier first – at $699 retail price, it’s much less expensive than a personal plan mentioned above.

If you spend most of your time on the road, consider an mobile air purifier. “I overheard Jessie Seaton, a tour bus driver, complaining about catching colds from his passengers on the bus. I offered him a [mobile air purifier] to try. Three weeks later, he saw me and said, “I like it and I want to keep it.” He’d placed the mobile unit on the back of his seat, close to the air conditioning fan. He said it completely stopped his constant sneezing. He also used it inside his hotel rooms. The disinfectant smell disappeared after a couple of hours.” –Judy Loretan


3) Commentary on a Commercial

The other evening, I treated myself to a TV show while I read the newspaper. A commercial with a mother and baby caught my eye. The little girl was sitting in her high chair, and the mom was playing with her, tickling her toes to make her laugh. It was a really cute moment. Then, it cut away to the mom grabbing a Clorox Cleaning wipe, her wiping up a spill off the table, then getting right back to playing with her child, without skipping a beat. No need to wash her hands, wring out a rag, etc.

My heart just sank at the message of that commercial – that these cleaning products are safe for frequent, everyday use for everyone – even around tiny children. I’ve never checked the label of the Clorox wipes, but I’m assuming it has bleach in it, since Clorox is known for bleach.

Bleach can be so harmful to children! The fumes can cause their brains to “malfunction” (for lack of a better word). As an experiment, a bottle of bleach was opened in the back of a school classroom while the children worked on a writing assignment. Their writing was compared before & after the bottle was opened. In a short amount of time, not only did the quality of their handwriting diminish (the worst being the children closest to the back of the room & the heaviest fumes) but so did the quality of their writing and vocabulary.

Terry wrote: “I have a friend who is a nurse. Her son was a bedwetter, so she would always clean his bedding in Clorox bleach. He is 7 and has bone cancer. The facility they took him to find out how he got the cancer asked how he was exposed to bleach consistently enough that he got cancer from it?” (emphasis mine)

If you are bleach user, please consider switching all your household cleaners to true green cleaners. They are non-toxic and biodegradable, safe for children and for our environment – and they work!

More about non-toxic cleaners here.

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