The Healthy Home

 

There are many books out there that cover the chemicals in our homes and Dr. Myron Wentz and his son Dave  do cover those issues in their book titled The Healthy Home: Simple truths to protect your family from hidden household dangers,  but they go much further in to what constitutes a healthy home than just the cleaners we use. They take on clothing and even how we wear them and give us the alternatives to look for as we make the change to a nontoxic home environment. I read this book a while ago and luckily had this review in a word document on my computer so I can share it with you now.

healthy home

Starting with clothes, the authors begin with synthetic fabrics. I knew synthetic fibers are petroleum based and even knew that they pollute the waterways because they shed fibers that are so small they escape the filtration processes. But I didn’t know that synthetic fibers, according to Wentes are poison to our bodies.

Synthetic fabrics contain petroleum, pesticides, perfluorochemicals, antimony and cadminum along with the cancer causing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Exposure to antimony can affect the heart, digestive system, eyes, skin and our lungs. So pretty much every part of our body.

To list all the warnings here would overwhelm both you and me so I will keep this short and suggest you pick up a copy of the book to learn all the different health warnings the Wentz’ have collected. In the meantime, to wear healthy clothing these fabrics are the ones suggested: Organic cotton, linen, wool cashmere, silk and hemp.

Before I made the switch to homemade laundry detergent I used a fragrance free green brand. What I didn’t realize until reading the healthy home is that even brands labeled fragrance free may still have certain fragrance chemicals in them. These fragrances, while not noticeable to your senses, are there to neutralize the odors of the other ingredients. For those of you with sensitive skin or children who have skin issues you may want to look into this further.

Wentz’ go deep into the subject of Dry Cleaning. I never used dry cleaning, long before I knew the dangers, because it was one more expense and errand to contend with. If you use dry cleaning you may want to rethink this. The solvent used to remove dirt and stains is not water soluble and will forever be a part of the clothing you had cleaned. Long term exposure to these chemicals can lead to kidney and liver damage. Short term exposure can cause many ailments but what caught my eye was the central nervous system depressant. What is even worse about these chemicals is that they can enter the body through the skin and lungs and are stored in our fat cells. Because they are not water soluble we can not flush them from our bodies through increasing our water intake.

The authors then take on how we wear our clothes and the consequences for our health.

Constrictive clothing of any kind that leaves even the tiniest of red marks on the skin is the same as wearing a tourniquet. This restricts the lymphatic and circulatory systems. These systems carry nutrients and removes waste from our body while fighting germs.

For women, the advice is to not wear a bra, but if you must wear one then choose a bra that is two sizes larger than normal to avoid restricting your lymph flow. On this subject I can say that giving up the bra was one of the best things I ever did. (TMI?) On my 40th birthday I found a lump in my breast. This wasn’t the first but it would be my last. Benign cysts and breast cancer runs through my family on both the maternal and paternal side so this was bothering me greatly.

This cyst would be a defining moment for me. The doctor that I was routinely sent to have my cysts drained was unable to see me right away due to a family health problem. I decided to wait for him to return to his practice rather than find another doctor. This turned into a three month wait. In that time the cyst became so painful I couldn’t stand to have a bra touch it, so I stopped wearing a bra for this period.

When I was able to see the doctor my cyst was gone. I knew the pain had reduced to the point I didn’t notice it any more but didn’t realize the cyst was no longer there. When I told the doctor the only thing I had done differently this time was to remove my bra he smiled and said “If women stopped wearing bras I would never see another cyst and probably never see another case of breast cancer.” I was stunned. He told me to do some research for myself, but in societies where the bra is not a part of a woman’s wardrobe there is virtually no cancer regardless of diet or family history. Our breasts were made to move as we move, not to be held immobile. When the breasts are allowed to move freely our lymph nodes are free from blockages.

Men are not free from constrictive clothing. Take a look a neckties. Men who have a tight collar and wear a tie are cutting off oxygenated blood to the brain and sensory organs of the head (nose, ears, and eyes). This can affect vision and even fluid build up behind the eyes. The advice: make sure you can fit a couple of fingers comfortably between the collar and your neck.

ElectroMagnetic Frequencies (EMF) are also an important subject to the authors when it comes to a healthy home. EMF waves cause DNA fragmentation! When this happens in reproductive cells there will be a reduction in fertility and increase in genetic disorders in future generations. Cell Phones and wireless signals are the focus in this section. The suggestion to have a healthier home is to turn off wi-fi and to keep a cell phone at least four feet from you when sleeping along with never carrying the cell phone up against your body.

Probably the most surprising thing I learned from the book was that exposure to VOCs in the home can mimic a cold or hay fever. Symptoms can include: congestion, throat and eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These reactions to VOCs appear to affect children and the elderly the most. I was left wondering if the rise in allergies among children could be a reaction to VOCs in their environment.

This book reinforces my belief that the modern lifestyle choices are wrecking havoc on our health and healing could be as simple as cleaning up our homes. What do you think?

Have a great weekend, I’ll be away this weekend celebrating a birthday and the Super Bowl. See you Monday.

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12 thoughts on “The Healthy Home

  1. wow…all interesting

    especially interesting re the Bras and Cysts and Cancer

    you mention..
    “Men are not free from constrictive clothing”..and mention neckties

    but I wonder too
    what about Mens underwear/tight underwear/tight jeans/tight swimsuits and Testicular Cancer? There are huge increases in Testicular Cancer…mm

    along the lines of TMI, I have for some reason been wearing a bra which is looser (don’t think it is two sizes loose, but)
    and have taken to liking it. As to not wearing one at all…well I often feel I need the support, for comfort for myself.

    as to the toxins in clothing, and detergents and soap…Yup, wicked stuff.

    another one re clothing and fabrics..
    it has been found that any fabric degrades nearly microscopic/nano sized balls of thread/fluff/”bits”. These easily pass through any washing machine filter, and through any sewage treatment plant process and out into the rivers/oceans/lakes. I have now seen countless articles/pictures on these, and how fish/birds etc eat these in water, or eat these thinking it is food. Problem is, it builds up in the animal, in liver, intestines, stomach etc..Often these animals die of starvation, because of course there is no nutrient value in this. I guess the natural fibres degrade, unlike any synthetic ones.

    Now all of the above is horrible, of course, but I have been wondering about something I have not seen addressed.
    So, these bits evade any treatment process…I assume then, at least some (if not a great deal) are also coming out of our water treatment plants into our taps? What happens to humans? Nothing good, I am sure. Besides (as in critters) the problem of bio accumulation of “bits” in the human body, what about the bio accumulation of chemicals and toxins in the human (and critter) body as the chemicals these “bits” are made from “break down”/ or / “break down and combine to form new chemicals”?

    It is so pervasive, I have seen articles (seriously) on inventions to test food to see if your food has any of these bits in it.
    It looked like hand held scanners that the average consumer could even use on their own. They were talking fruit and vegetables too. Why you wonder fruit and vegetables? Well….If these bits are truly not able to be “filtered out”, or truly ARE NOT being filtered out (there is always the cabability if there is the will to invest the technology)..then these bits are in the water used to irrigate fields etc etc..

    scary stuff

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    1. I don’t recall reading anything in this book about testicular cancer, but yes it is on the rise. There must be something different that caused this but where to start in trying to figure it out… Our bodies are attacked from all sides, from the foods we eat and the clothes we wear to the lifestyle choices and the environment as well. When you think about it the human body is pretty resilient to be holding up as well as it is under the circumstances.

      Yes, I too have thought about those fibers that escape the filtration systems being ingested by us too. Some days I think the safest water to drink would be rainfall. It isn’t pure any more either but at least it would have less chemicals, less pharmaceuticals, and even these clothing fibers. The contaminant in the water, starting with fluoride, is the reason I hate to even think of watering my gardens with tap water.

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  2. All things to think about. I certainly agree with the fewer the chemicals the better. I should give this book a look because some of these books leave me skeptical because they use “science” in one area and extrapolate it to a different area where it does not react the same way. That results in a doom and gloom that scares a lot of people when things aren’t necessarily as bad as reported.

    I’m not sure how wearing a bra two sizes too big works. Wouldn’t it ride up and end up in the middle of your breasts? I only wear a bra when I’m out in public. It’s definitely not top on my list of clothing. But then again, I don’t like clothing touching me any where.

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    1. This was well written, I think you would like it. Of course there are areas I skimmed over as I have already eliminated the commercial cleaners from my house. I did still find this one useful to me.

      I have never tried to fit myself with a bra larger than what I needed. I would assume one could try a larger size sports bra or use a built in shelf bra a bit larger and that might stay in place. I would think the larger busted one is the better the two-sizes larger bra suggestion would work.

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  3. I’m also in the “I hate bras” camp. In the wintertime it’s easy because you can wear enough layers that nobody notices. In the summer, I tend to opt for tank tops that have “built-in support” They’re much less constrictive that the traditional bra. I do wear an exercise bra for bike rides though…

    I’ve been feeling guilty that I spent some money this fall buying a few SmartWool base layer tops. I just LOVE them so much – they are warm without being bulky, and when you wear them next to your skin they feel wonderful. Apparently the company has some patented process that scrapes the barbs off of the wool so it’s not scratchy. The things are not cheap though, so rather than drop $80-$120 per top, I turned to eBay and bought them used for an average of $20 each. Of course I’ve had to wash all of the toxic smelly laundry detergent out of them, but other than that they’re great. Anyhow, I was sorta thinking that this was all an unnecessary splurge, but perhaps they were a good investment after all.

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    1. I had to stop and check out the SmartWool site to get an idea of what you bought. I love wool but do have problems with them feeling scratchy. You’ve just given me something I really want. 🙂 I think purchasing wool, especially with all your allergies, is a good thing. Finding them used for so much less is a bonus.

      Winter does have that one thing going for it doesn’t it? 🙂 The only time I wear anything it’s a shelf bra I cut out of a tank top that I put on when I’m going somewhere really nice where it will be seen as really inappropriate to show up looking “sloppy”.

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      1. I can’t afford the Smart Wool base layers but I’ve been lucky enough to find thin cashmere sweaters (think old “sweater sets”) that I use instead. They are the softest thing in the world and I carefully hand wash them because I don’t want them to ever wear out! $4 is the most I’ve ever paid for one.

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  4. There is a lot to think about here, Lois. I know about the chemicals used to make all fabric. I have to wash everything when it comes home. You walk into the fabric store and if you are sensitive, you can start sneezing right away. I just know there is very little in our world anymore that is healthy. We are getting to the tipping point once again where it will all revert back soon and start over. I too hate bras and try to go without as much as possible. Hard to manage since I’m so ample but big shirts help a lot. I get a lot of men’s shirts and wear them over my smaller shirts so you don’t notice. But I do have to wear them when I’m out and they are tight and uncomfortable. I won’t spend the money on new ones. Not a high priority. I guess I have too many other things to really worry about so I just have to let some things go. I prefer to buy cotton but even that is not chemical free.

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    1. Yes, I too wash everything before wearing or using them. It started when I was a kid and the thought of wearing clothes strangers might have tried on before me was too gross to consider. Now it’s for that reason and so many more.

      I was always small chested and able to get away not wearing a bra because no one really noticed, yes I was that small. I always felt bad for my friends who were big busted and had to wear a bra even in the summer when it was hot and muggy wondering how they could stand it. But of course to not wear one when so ample would be just as uncomfortable I should think in that heat.

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      1. You are lucky. I always wanted to be a member of the itty bitty club. Even at 100 pounds, I was more than ample. My last husband wanted me to get surgery so it would take the strain off my back. Insurance wouldn’t authorize it unless it has severely damaged my back so I still cope. I have a very rounder upper back from it. I can’t tell you how much I hate summer. ;(

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        1. I’m so sorry your insurance won’t cover reduction surgery. They cover so many things that are for vanity only yet won’t cover the things that would make our lives better physically.

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