Tag Archives: carcinogens

Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

 Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

smoking effects all of the people and pets around you.

It’s impossible to deny the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes for both smokers and the people around them. We all know that secondhand smoke is harmful, but less obvious is just how easy it is to pollute your indoor air with cigarettes. Just one or two cigarettes will do significant damage. Even if no one in your immediate family smokes, it’s critical to set boundaries with visitors that might be smokers.

Those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke are small children and the elderly. While it can be awkward and feel confrontational to set these boundaries – especially with certain family members! – you protect the health of your whole family by doing so.

Shoot for Clean Indoor Air – The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
There are some pretty alarming statistics linked to secondhand smoke alone:

  • 20-30% increased risk of heart disease
  • 20-30% increased risk of lung cancer
  • Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for babies exposed to secondhand smoke
  • More frequent ear infections in children exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Increased risk of ADHD in children exposed to tobacco smoke

Designating an Ideal Smoking Area

 Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

A Japanese designated smoking area.

Contrary to what some people believe, opening a window does not eliminate the risks of indoor smoking in the home or vehicle. In an ideal world, no one would smoke cigarettes at all. Until that day comes, it’s wise to have a designated area for smokers to go. The ideal place is an area that diminishes the risk of others being exposed to the secondhand smoke.

The following guidelines from the EPA can help you determine where that might be near your home:

  • Should not be near any entryways, windows, or air ducts into the home.
  • Should not be near anywhere children play.
  • If outdoors, should not be anywhere where airflow directly affects entryways or windows.
  • If indoors, such as a shed or detached garage, should be well ventilated. Consider adding a smoke-reducing air purifier to indoor smoking areas.

Steps to Reduce Third Hand Smoke
It’s important to reduce exposure to third hand smoke as well. Third hand smoke is the residue left on a person’s body and clothes after smoking. We’ve all had that experience where you’re standing next to someone and you just know they are a smoker or spend a lot of time with one! That’s third hand smoke at work.

To lower that chances of third hand smoke entering the home, ask guests to wash their hands when they come in from smoking. Also, consider keeping a coat hanger just outside the door by the doormat rather than inside, to lessen the amount of third hand smoke enters the home on clothing.

Setting these boundaries with your family or other people in your life might not be the most fun thing in the world to do, but your home will be a much healthier place to be when all is said and done!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are supposed to, well, clean, right? They’re supposed to get rid of grime, bacteria, and other things that are harmful to our health and the health of our children. That’s what cleaning products are supposed to do, but you’d be surprised by some of the things that are actually in the bathroom cleaner, furniture polish, and laundry detergent that you use regularly.

 Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Buyer Beware!

After all, they do come with all these warnings and possible symptoms: keep away from children, watery eyes, do not swallow, chemical burns. Shouldn’t something that cleans our home be a bit safer than that? You’d think, but here are four things that are actually in your cleaning products, things that may actually contribute to indoor air pollution and chronic health problems.

Nonylphenol ethoxylates

This, however you pronounce it, is a common ingredient found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaner. It is banned in Europe (like many toxic ingredients found in American household cleaners), as it has been shown to disrupt the hormone system, to be toxic to aquatic life and to persist in the environment. It’s even been banned for any cleaning product manufactured after 2012 in California! To find this one, look for “nonylphen” or “nonoxynol” within the ingredient name.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is found in spray and wick deodorizers as well as furniture polishes and wood treatments. It is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen. It’s also found in cigarettes and is used to preserve dead things, like the things you might have seen and studied in middle-school science, or your relatives in a funeral home.

Methoxydiglycol

Also known as DEGME, and also banned in the Europena Union (at levels higher than three percent), methoxydiglycol is not only found in American household cleaners like floor, bathroom, and oven cleaner, but in concentrations up to 15 times higher than what is allowed by the EU. On top of that, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says DEGME is “suspected of damaging the unborn child.” Don’t want to know what it could do to the rest of us.

Chlorine

Yes, chlorine and chlorinated phenols. This one may seem harmless, but it’s not the same stuff that’s in the neighborhood swimming pool. It’s found in toilet bowl cleaners, among others, and is toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. Chlorine is also toxic because if it’s mixed with ammonia, which is found in bathroom cleaners and glass cleaner; it’s literally a deadly combination.

To Make This Even Worse…

Did you know that household cleaners are the only product in the United States that don’t have to list their ingredients, and if they do list ingredients, they don’t have to list them in order from greatest amount to least amount? This means that even if do take the time to inspect bottles for warnings, instructions, and ingredients, you might not be getting all the information you need to make a good decision. In fact, the generic brand of cleaning products found in Wal-Mart and Target don’t even have an ingredient list on them! The average household also contains anywhere from 3-25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in these cleaners, and most of which we might not even realize are there.

Guess what? There are Alternatives to All This!

Fortunately, you have more options than cleaning your home with these awful products, or living in filth the rest of your life. Basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and olive oil can be used to make your own cleaning products that are full of things that you can actually pronounce and recognize. Companies such as Seventh Generation, Full Circle, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day actually specialize in eco-friendly and human-safe cleaning products, stuff that will leave your home smelling like lavender instead of toxic fumes. To cut down on the amount of chemicals and toxins, purchase cleaners in smaller quantities, and throw out half-full bottles and such after a significant period of time. There’s no reason to have this stuff sitting around your house.

Be Aware and Be Healthy!

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Who Says A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt Her?

 Who Says A Little Dirt Wont Hurt Her?

My Baby Eating Dirt

Who says a little dirt won’t hurt her?  It’s hard to believe that I was allergic to dust all my life and never knew what house dust was made of.  I thought it was just dust.  Those innocuous little dust bunnies can be comprised of dust mites, lawn pesticides, animal feces, carcinogens, bacteria, mold, fungus and high concentrations of lead, mercury and cadmium.

Why I Took Action!
I created Dr. Doormat because I wanted to make my home as safe and healthy as possible for my children. Watching my baby play on the floor, I realized she put everything in her mouth and became concerned about what she was ingesting.

I decided to research the impact of household dirt and started looking on the internet and soon after reached out to major organizations including the American Lung Association and the EPA.  I found myself in a pool of experts and hired a home environmental engineer to help me sift through the piles of information and bring me up to speed on the issues.  I was shocked to discover that the toxins in soil and dust that we track into our homes may cause allergies, asthma, learning disabilities and even cancer.  When I learned that doormats only compound the problem and over time becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, microbes, mold and other pollutants, I felt compelled to take action and create the first doormat to bar harmful allergens, toxins and pollutants from entry.    

After two years of research, lab tests, field studies and consulting with microbiologists and home environmentalists, I launched Dr. Doormat, the first antimicrobial treated doormat for home use  — Third party lab studies showed that after wiping shoes thoroughly (at least twice) on Dr. Doormat you can remove up to 99% of the debris from the soles of your shoes.  The decisions I had to make when designing the mat were all tied to solving a problem without creating a bigger one.  For me it was all about protecting the ones I love and safety had to come first.  I learned quickly that not all antimicrobials are equal.  The technology that I eventually chose for Dr. Doormat was unique and did not poison the microbes or leach into the environment.  The antimicrobial formula is infused into the yarn of the doormat, creating a positive bio-static barrier. It pulls the negatively charged microbe down upon its surface like a magnet and through a physical mode of action (like popping a balloon with a pin), disables the “odor causing” microorganism on the mat on contact

Recently I was having dinner with a friend and expert who specializes in the research of infectious diseases in Washington, DC.  We respect each others opinion and the discussions are always healthy and lively.  He strongly takes the side that being exposed to dirt and germs is good for your body and allows the body to build up a stronger immune system.  I stated my case and presented him with a three ring binder of the field studies and research I had compiled.  The research shows that toxins, pesticides, heavy metals and even broken glass are included in that so called healthy dose of household dust.  When we finished dinner and our discussion he admitted that he had not considered the other elements and didn’t want his children exposed to those dangers.  Even my husbands mouth dropped when he said he wanted a Dr. Doormat and asked me what colors and sizes are available.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.