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A Breath of Fresh Air…

non-toxic without the nonsense Oct 22, 2021
A woman in a relaxed pose with her eyes closed, breathing deeply with the ocean in the background, signifying tranquility and mindfulness.

October is National Healthy Lung Month! 

 

Typically lung health advice is narrowed down to 1 key piece of advice…

Don’t smoke.

 

Ok…
but that can’t be the only way we can help keep our lungs in tip-top shape, right? 

 

Let’s dive into a few other strategies you can take to protect your lungs and help keep them healthy! 

  1. Avoid indoor air pollutants- more below! 
  2. Minimize exposure to outdoor air pollutants- start the day by checking the air quality index! 
  3. Prevent infections- wash hands, get your shots and avoid big crowds when able. 
  4. Exercise- helps clear our lungs, strengthen our muscles and boost our immune systems! 
  5. Get symptoms checked out. Early treatment of conditions like asthma or pneumonia can prevent lung damage! 

 

We spend 90%+ of our time indoors. 

Indoor air quality is known to be 2-5x worse than the outdoors! 

YIKES! 

 

Let’s break down 4 indoor pollutants and how we can minimize our exposure to each… 

  1. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is a known cause of lung cancer and responsible for over 21,000 deaths per year.

    It is released by the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in the soil, rock, and water across the US. Since nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated levels, the best way to know if you are at risk is to
    get your home tested

    If the levels are above 4pCi/L, then a radon mitigation system can be installed.

    Although this can be an added expense, it is very common for this testing to be required prior to the sale of a home so it is likely an expense you will inevitably incur. 

    The EPA has an incredible resource to guide you through this process called A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.

    Click here to download a free copy: https://bit.ly/A-Citizens-Guide-to-Radon-CA

  2. Formaldehyde tends to be associated with anatomy lab…
    but most of us are exposed in our own homes!

    Not only can these chemicals cause eye, throat, and lung irritation and trigger asthma but they have also been associated with an increased risk of cancer too.

    The most significant sources of formaldehyde and related chemicals are pressed wood products like particleboard, plywood paneling, fiberboard, paints, stains, household cleaning products, and personal care products.

    These products “off-gas” over time thus reusing and recycling products or opting for hardwood alternatives are safer options when feasible.

    It is also advisable to
    increase ventilation by opening windows, running fans, and an air purifier (if you have one), when new sources are brought into the home. 
    https://bit.ly/Formaldehyde-and-indoor-air-quality 
    https://bit.ly/Formaldehyde-CA

  3. Cooking exhaust from natural gas and propane releases not only formaldehyde but also carbon monoxide and other chemicals into the air. Wood stoves and fireplaces can release wood smoke which can also cause harm to our lungs.

    No matter your heat source, it is prudent to consider strategies to
    improve ventilation in the kitchen.

    Range hoods should be vented to the outside and used while cooking.
    Using the back burners can help the hood work more effectively too.

    If you don’t have an exhaust hood, using a wall or ceiling exhaust fan and/or opening windows or doors to the exterior of the home or apartment can also help improve air circulation. 
    https://bit.ly/Indoor-Air-Pollution-from-Cooking-CA 

  4. Personal care products can also be sources of exposure to substances that can harm our lung health.
    In addition to formaldehyde- mentioned above- personal care products can be a big source of exposure to fragrance (phthalates) and irritants. Aerosolized products especially common with haircare are especially concerning given how they are applied... 

      

Let’s talk dry shampoo…

I love dry shampoo and have tried a few over the years. It can transform a greasy bedhead into office-ready in under 5 minutes. ⁣

I thought I was doing a great thing by buying a fragrance-free version at Target. I know fragrances are a no-go with my asthma and allergy patients and are not good for my health.⁣

 About 2 years ago, Charlotte complained about being in the bathroom while I was using my fragrance-free aerosol product. “It stinks mommy and makes me feel icky”. 

 A few days after hearing her complaints, I finally looked at the ingredients. 

My jaw hit the floor. 

💩

This is what I have been spraying on my head and breathing in a few days a week for months. ⁣ 

This is what I let my daughters’ breathe in as they looked up at me with that look of awe that little girls have for their mamas.⁣

  • Isobutane- propellant, a petrochemical precursor and used in fuel canisters. ⁣
  • Propane- flammable which is why we use it to fuel our gas grills.⁣
  • SD alcohol 40-B- solvent, drying properties⁣
  • Aluminum starch octenyl succinate- anti-caking agent, probably safe if screened for heavy metals⁣
  • Isopropyl myristate- used as an emollient but also kills lice by dissolving the wax in their exoskeletons⁣

AND last but not least…

  • Silica. 

A human lung carcinogen!!

A substance that causes lungs to harden in a condition named… silicosis.  

Carcinogen = cancer causing.⁣

So… what can you do? 

  • Opt for non-aerosol options when able. I love Primally Pure’s dry shampoo which not only works just as well but is made from ingredients I can pronounce.
    P.S. The dark version is colored with cocoa! 
  • Turn on the exhaust fan when you are using aerosol-based products. 
  • Download the free Healthy Living app from EWG.org to get a rough idea of how safe a particular product is. 
  • Support companies that are walking the walk AND talking the talk like Primally Pure, Beautycounter, Innersense, and Honest. Although not perfect, I also really like a few Monat products too. 

 

https://bit.ly/The-association-between-personal-care-products-and-lung-function
https://bit.ly/Learn-About-Silicosis

 

P.S. For a VERY limited time, I am offering FREE 15-minute Non-tox without the Nonsense consultations! These quick, high yield sessions are designed to help you start making safer swaps. We can sit down, discuss your needs, budget, priorities, and create your personalized NO nonsense plan together! 

Click here to schedule before it is too late. 

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