We are all looking for ways to improve our health and explanations as to why there are so many illnesses and diseases these days. In my quest to find answers and to learn more about the things in my everyday life that may be harmful to me and my family I picked up this book.
This book is a straight forward/plane language/easy to understand explanation - room by room - of the things in our homes that could be harming us. To make it even better - it didn't condemn me for not knowing this stuff beforehand (Yes I've come across some pretty preachy books on this stuff too). The book simply tells you the truth about what the chemicals are that surround us, what they do/could do, and ways to avoid them.
This book taught me a whole new way of shopping, whether it's for groceries or furniture or clothing, I pay attention and think about what exactly I'm buying. I try to make better choices but sometimes -unfortunately- the newer organic/natural things are just too expensive, but I still do my best.
It made me realize that I was putting too much faith in thinking that my government was doing it's best to protect me from bad foods, that was an eye-opener! It made me take a good look at the food I was buying in big name grocery stores and I started to look to see where the food was coming from. I can't always afford to buy everything organic but I know which ones are worth the extra cents. I buy very little pre-prepared foods and do a lot more 'real food' cooking. I know what questions to ask at farmers markets - because they aren't all organic or pesticide free either!
Shortly after reading this book we bought new couches right when I was first pregnant, the smell coming off these couches made me so physically sick I could barely stand in my own house, I was so dizzy and sick to my stomach. I had them returned as soon as I could and got another set of new couches which unfortunately still had the smell but it wasn't as strong and I did everything I could to air them out. The smell was coming from the Flame Retardant that they sprayed the couches with - chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health issues in humans and pets. I would've returned the couches and bought from somewhere else but my partner didn't support me and thought I was taking 'organic living' too far. Birth defects and I was pregnant - I don't think I took it far enough! (but that's another story)
I made sure we paint only with 'no VOC' paints. I take a good look at the toys my kids are bringing into the house (next time your buying a doll or stuffed animal - smell it - that nasty smell that just made you gag is also flame retardant and that's what the child is breathing in every time that doll gets a hug). I also consider where that toy will go when my kids are done with it. (With Christmas on its way think of all those big plastic toys that fill our garbage dumps and take eons to decompose).
Since reading this book and a few others on natural parenting as well I have become a 'non-consumer' parent - which means quality over quantity. I do everything I can to recycle as much of our waste as possible. I choose not to buy some products based on their packaging alone - if I can't recycle it I don't buy it.
I love this book because it educated me on a lot of areas and sent me out asking questions and looking for the right answers. I hate this book because I can no longer shop like crazy and not have to think about everything I buy and bring in to my house. I love this book for the health it has given to myself and my children but I hate it for pointing out how many people in the world are getting poisoned by their own homes.
Again, I really think everyone should read this book and learn about what is out there and how it can harm us or help us. Ignorance of the chemicals in our lives is no longer acceptable and we can no longer trust our governments to look out for us. We have to look out for ourselves and know what we are buying and consuming for our own health and happiness.
I'll leave you with a small sampling of her suggestions
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Most air fresheners are made with synthetic fragrances containing phthalates.
- Essential oils are not the same thing as fragrance oils. Essential oils come from plants, while fragrance oils are artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals.
- Potpourri that lists 'fragrance' on the label mean that synthetic chemicals were used, and they should be avoided.
3 WAYS TO MAKE A SHIFT
- Look for products with scents that are naturally derived or are plant-based or labeled as using essential oils. Make sure the word 'fragrance' does not appear on the label.
- For scented candles, try those made from soy or beeswax, and make sure their fragrance is made from essential oils.
- To clear the air, use a nonaerosol citrus spray containing only citrus peel extracts, which are effective at dissolving airborne odors, instead of scented aerosol sprays, liquids that emit a continous scent, and solid air fresheners.