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Dangerous Cleaning Products You Need To Stop Using

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True confession: I hate housework. I grew up in a large family and from an early age we were all taught how to clean properly and were responsible for thoroughly cleaning our five-bedroom home regularly. By regularly, I mean EVERY. Damn. Day. With a deep cleaning every week. Laundry was done every day.

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Dishes were washed, dried, and put away after every meal. Bath linens were washed daily, then folded precisely and put back in the linen closet. Bed linens were changed on all the beds every Saturday. We’re talking hospital corners. The whole nine. All surfaces were dusted and polished. Floors were swept and mopped. Carpets were vacuumed. Every. Damn. Week.

Vacuuming

Because I had asthma as a child, cleaning was very uncomfortable for me. The dust that spewed out of the fan in the back of the 1960s vacuum became airborne and made me sneeze. Chemicals in window cleaners and household cleaners emitted toxic fumes that made me dizzy and caused me to wheeze. But, that did not stop the progress of housecleaning. Chemical cleaning smells and inhaling concentrated amounts of dust came with the task and were all we knew. I grew up thinking that household cleaning was hazardous to my health and I was determined not to do it when I became an adult. Sometimes letting dust bunnies accumulate is better for your health than stirring up dust particles and making them airborne by cleaning.

Since those days, vacuums have become highly efficient. When I bought my first house, I plunked down $1000 and bought a high end vacuum that filtered everything, even the finest particles. If clean air is important to you, skip some other indulgences and invest in the best vacuum you can afford. They are now so well made that the air that spews out the back is cleaner than the air taken in during the act of vacuuming. And, best of all, these vacuum options are now more affordable.

Dusting

Let’s talk airborne allergens. Dusting should NOT be done with a feather duster. You’re just moving that dust around. It floats in the air, getting inhaled, and then settles down to accumulate in another place. Waste of time. Dust instead with a damp cloth so you are actually picking UP the dust. And, in washing your damp dust rag, you are washing that dust down the drain.

Another airborne allergen is fragrance. You know that sweet smell in candles and cleaning products? That is a chemically derived fragrance. The fragrance industry is actually part and parcel of the chemical industry. They manufacture scents that smell “clean” but are very far from clean. If you have any doubt, pop into a typical nail salon. You can barely breathe in there because the smell of chemicals is so strong, right?

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Chemical companies synthesize a fragrance that may smell good but it is exactly the same as the nasty smelling chemicals. Your brain, your mood, your breathing, and your overall health are negatively affected. Better to smell real cinnamon than to smell a candle that is chemically scented to smell like cinnamon. If you think about it, it doesn’t even make sense that we would buy a toxic version of something that already exists in nature and is safe and smells better! If you like the scent of cinnamon and vanilla, put them in a pot on the stove and simmer them. Your whole house will smell amazingly cozy and you won’t have damaged any brain cells.

So, give up the scented candles and buy unscented or beeswax candles instead. Your body will thank youbeeswax for it. As for scented cleaning products, invest in some good essential oils and add a few drops to your homemade cleaning products. Be aware of the impact of chemical versus natural scents on your physical and mental state and on your mood. Be certain that the products you are using to scent the air, like candles, potpourri, et cetera, are natural scents such as food products and essential oils and not chemically derived fragrances.

lysol_products-crisp-linen-02One of my least favorite products is Lysol™ deodorizing spray. Some people are obsessed with using it to clean and deodorize the air in places such as the bathroom. Did you know that Lysol spray is purposely made sticky? You spray it in the air and it doesn’t actually diminish odors, it masks them. The sticky spray particles are inhaled by the user (and anyone who has the misfortune of being nearby), coating the hairs in the nose so you can only smell the Lysol.

The bad smell is still in the air, you just can’t smell anything but what is stuck up your nose. The sticky particles are also inhaled into your lungs. Your lungs will produce mucous to rid the lung cilia of the sticky substance. Excess mucous floods your lungs, causing chest congestion, wheezing, and hopefully coughing to clear it out, but ultimately, you are drowning in your own phlegm. This is an asthmatic reaction that can send the sensitive to the Emergency Room.

Lysol also has other harmful effects that damage body systems, like endocrine disruptors and central nervous system effects. Would you knowingly spray a pesticide in your bathroom? Doubtful. Lysol is classified as a pesticide by the FDA. I rest my case.

Mold

The worst airborne allergen is mold. You need to be vigilant with that stuff. Don’t let it get a foothold in your home. You want to kill it before it spreads. Unlike dust, airborne mold spores are living organisms. If you inhale them, they’re in your lungs and growing in your body. If you come in contact, they can grow on the surface of your skin, causing bacterial infections.

If you have mold anywhere in your living environment, whether it is your own home or a rental, clean that mold up and out. If it’s just a damp smell in your basement, get a dehumidifier and keep it going all summer. Basement dampness can be the first sign of mold growing behind your walls and you may need a professional to remove it. Get on that! You can’t sell a home with mold. And, your landlord’s building can be condemned if it is found to contain high levels of mold. Don’t jeopardize your health. Be proactive when it comes to mold.

Chemicals

I’ve learned to make housecleaning bearable by weeding out the poisons in my home that made me sick. Surface cleaning can also be bad for your health. You know: Floors. Counters. Sinks. Bathroom tile and fixtures. Furniture. Fabrics. Appliances. And, windows – ack! Open the cabinet under your kitchen sink. What’s down there? If you have a childproof lock on that cabinet, you already know the answer — it’s poison, quite literally. If your child needs to be rushed to the Emergency Room after ingesting something from under your sink, then you already know you’re cleaning your house with poison.

If it’s poison to ingest it, why would you use it to clean surfaces that you or your child or your companion animals come into contact with? Kids put their fingers in their mouths after touching the surfaces you’ve cleaned. Animals clean themselves constantly and they are laying on the floors you just used that poison on. And, lastly, YOU are touching these same surfaces that you just used rubber gloves to clean because you didn’t want to get the poison on your hands. 

Are you getting the visual here? When you apply poisonous chemicals to surfaces believing you are cleaning or disinfecting them, you are turning your house into a hazardous area. Unless your family is all outfitted in hazmat suits, right down to the dog, you are living dangerously in a home that has been poisoned. Sounds alarmist? You should be alarmed. The chemicals found in most standard cleaning products have been deemed hazardous by the EPA.

Most cleaning products are laden with chemical toxins. How many of the cleaning products under your sink are chemical cocktails making outrageous claims of their cleaning, degreasing, and disinfecting ability? If ANY of them have chemical names in the ingredient list, dispose of them responsibly like you would any other poison.

Bring them to your local recycling center and make sure they aren’t just dumping them down the drain. If you wouldn’t drink/eat it, do not use it to clean your home. Not only are chemicals in cleaning products skin and eye irritants, many contain ingredients that are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and may also cause birth defects. Why take any chances with your health or a family members’ health? Not to mention the health of your companion animals.

Specifically, avoid ingredients such as bleach, toluene, parabens, formaldehyde and anything with benzene in the name. Also avoid anything that has chemical fragrance.

Many people are now going the natural route, and most magazines and websites are now featuring homemade cleaning products. They clean surfaces naturally with a mixture of vinegar and water. You can clean almost anything with some variation of these ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and natural soaps like Castile or hemp.

Here are some links containing lists of safe natural ingredients you should stock your cabinets with to use for cleaning, with simple formulas you can create right in your own home. If you don’t like the scent of vinegar, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil. This provides an aromatherapy benefit too, as lavender has a calming effect on your brain. If you prefer another scent, like lemon or orange, because that is the smell that you associate with cleanliness, then by all means, use essential oils of lemon or orange or pine to clean surfaces.

But, notice that it is the scent that you associate with cleanliness. That’s how fragrance makers get you to buy their chemistry experiments. It’s a psychological association with cleanliness. They synthesized those natural scents and turned them into chemical fragrance. Doesn’t it make sense to just use the natural source? Here are some safe simple options: non-toxic solutions

Okay, so maybe you’re not a Do-It-Yourselfer. For pure convenience, you just want to buy the lovely new “natural” cleaning products that are now increasingly more present in your local grocery store. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We should support companies that produce healthy products and are trying to make a difference by not contributing to the pollution of our planet. But, not all natural products are alike. There is natural and then there are the “greenwashed” products. Greenwashing is making your product look like it’s natural but it actually isn’t. If you’re wondering what Treehugger would recommend, click here.

I have to admit that I fell victim to a greenwashed product myself. I bought a window cleaner made by a company called Green Works™ that was a clear liquid in a clear bottle, as opposed to the familiar blue spray that we shall not name here. When I used it to clean my countertop, my nose immediately picked up a chemical scent. I looked at the label more closely.

Yup, chemicals. Turns out that Green Works is owned by Clorox™ — the least natural company on the grocer’s shelf. In 2007, Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees™, a small natural beauty brand sold in health food stores for a whopping $925 million. At the time, I wondered why Clorox would be interested in tiny little Burt’s Bees. They were just trying to greenwash their image so they could hop on the “natural” products bandwagon, straddling both the latter and the chemical side, making money off of all consumers. They made the Burt’s Bees buy just before launching the Green Works brand. Those rascals! I was furious at myself for falling for it. So, let the buyer beware!

So, what should you buy if you don’t want to make your own concoctions? There are many reputable brands on the market. I advise that you consult the Environmental Working Group’s recommended products that can be found here.  Then go to the store and check them out for yourself. Some are very costly due to package design and marketing, but there are many affordable options.

I encourage you to visit the links here to find options for both off-the-shelf products or for recipes for homemade cleaners. This site and this one has great tips. Cleaning can be a fresh, pleasant, and healthy experience. I won’t go so far as to say it’s fun. But, I’ll definitely settle comfortably for healthy. As you begin the new year, consider cleaning up your cleaning supplies. While you’re at it, put on your favorite music and make it a sensory experience. Happy cleaning!

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Alternative News

Thousands Gather To Mark The 33rd Anniversary of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

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Government’s gift to Pharma of liability-free vaccines puts children’s health at risk states Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Washington, DC – Thousands of advocates for children’s health will gather Thursday at the Vaccine Injury Epidemic (VIE) Event on the National Mall to mark the 33rd anniversary of National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The rally on Nov. 14th will spotlight the devastating impact NCVIA has had upon the state of children’s health. While children continue to be injured by vaccines daily, vaccine makers cannot be held accountable, thereby eliminating incentive for vaccine safety.

In his remarks, RFK, Jr. will address the ramifications of NCVIA and honor those whose lives have been impacted by vaccine injury and death. “It’s time to call out Congress, the CDC, and drug companies for allowing industry profits to trump children’s health,” said Kennedy. “There is no crisis more urgent than the epidemics of chronic health conditions among our nation’s children.”

Following NCVIA’s passage creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the childhood vaccine market sparked a gold rush for Pharma as more vaccines for routine childhood illnesses were developed. Coterminous with the burgeoning vaccine schedule, chronic health conditions in children rose from 12% to 54%. As vaccine industry profits grew to $50 billion annually, so did diagnoses of asthmaautismADHDallergiesanxietydepressiondiabetesobsessive-compulsive disorder and auto-immune diseases.  Here are the facts:

  • An HHS-funded study found only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported.
  • Despite NVICP’s high burden of proof and two out of three claims dismissed, over $4.2 billion has been paid for claims of vaccine injury or death.
  • The vaccine-injured find NVICP to be a years-long, litigious program with no jury, discovery and precedent. While medical bills mount, the injured are up against DOJ lawyers and HHS “Special Masters” that act as judges.
  • The Department of Justice and the NVICP are accused of fraud and obstruction of justice in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
  • The Institute of Medicine reports that the vaccine schedule as recommended has never been studied for long-term health effects despite independent research suggesting that unvaccinated children are healthier.
  • Modern medicine acknowledges that not everyone responds the same to vaccination and the “one size fits all” vaccine policy is not science based.

Children’s Health Defense’s created these six steps to vaccine safety. RFK, Jr. interviews are available upon request.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

How To Clear Seriously Blocked Sinuses Naturally In 1 Minute

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Three simple steps you can take to clear blocked sinuses that seem to work for many people.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you healthy? What natural things do you do when "flu season" comes around to give your immune system a boost?

Having clogged sinuses isn’t fun. You can’t breath, you can’t smell, your head hurts, and your voice sounds funny. Finding relief when you have clogged sinuses is usually like finding a million dollars on the ground — it’s amazing!

The causes for nasal congestion can range greatly, and you don’t have to be sick to be congested. Many people will experience congestion from allergies, temperatures, dust, smoking, spicy food, and air particles.

Recently I was at Contact in the Desert in California and I found myself having clogged sinuses from the blowing sand and dry air. Within two days, I couldn’t breathe at all out of one side of my nose and my sinuses got blocked up, causing my face and head to hurt. I needed a solution.

After trying to blow my nose over and over again, I turned to the internet for relief. Sure enough, Google came through.

I found a video by Dr. Adam that quickly and easily explained how to clear sinuses in about one minute using just your fingers — and no, they don’t have to go in your nose. Sure enough, I had relief from the pain the blockage was causing, and I could breathe!

Some might be wondering why I didn’t take sinus or cold medication to get relief. The answer is simple: I don’t like taking medication for anything unless I absolutely have to. I know many of you are on the same page and like to do things naturally. Many cold medications just mask symptoms and come with negative side effects that are worth avoiding if possible.

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How to Clear Your Sinuses Fast!

You simply need to sit down and get your hands ready for the following steps. The video below offers a visual demonstration, so I recommend checking that out too.

1. While sitting with your head and body on about a 45 degree angle, turn your head sideways and rub your sternocleidomastoid muscle downward four or five times. You can find the muscle right beneath your ear running down your neck to your collarbone. See image. Do this on both sides of your neck to help relax your neck.

2. Take your index fingers, locate the hard, bony part of the upper sides of your nose, and move downward toward the soft part on the side of your nose where the bone ends. Begin massaging this area in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can for about 20 seconds. Once completed, rub the muscles from the side of your nose down and toward your cheekbones to relax them.

3. Take your index fingers and run them under the inside orbit bone above your eyes until you find a notch in the bone called the super orbital notch. It is usually just above the centre of the eye. Massage that notch in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can handle for about 20 seconds. Once done, massage your forward with both hands starting in the centre of your forehead and pulling outwards towards your temples.

That’s it! Once you have gone through this process you should notice a lot of relief in your sinuses and should be able to blow your nose quite easily. You may have to repeat this process again, but play with it and see what works for you.

Below is a video from Dr. Adam explaining the entire process. I have also included another helpful method that worked well for me as well.

Alternative Method

This method is simpler but may not be as effective for everyone. As always, do what works best for you.

1. Push your tongue flat into the roof of your mouth, with decent pressure, for one second.

2. Then, take your thumb and press the area right between your eyebrows above your nose for one second.

3. Alternate between steps one and two over and over again for about 20-30 seconds. Note: You are not pressing the points at the same time, simply alternating between them.

Repeat this process as necessary to help clear your sinuses.

Prevention

If you’ve had blocked sinuses, you probably don’t want it to happen often, so prevention is the key! Here are a few ways you can avoid blocked sinuses.

Eat a well-balanced diet – Eating healthy foods promotes good health. What you put into your body to digest is what determines your health. If you want your immune system working well, take care with quality food and keep your gut performing well.

Get regular exercise – Regular exercise also helps improve overall health and the immune system.

Quit smoking – It goes without saying, but cigarettes are not good for us and the smoke can irritate sinuses.

Use a humidifier – If you find your house dry, use a humidifier to help dampen the air. You can also hop in a warm shower and breathe in the steam. It’s best to use a chlorine filter on your shower head so you aren’t breathing in toxic chemicals from chlorine.

Cut out antibiotics – Antibiotics don’t do anything for viral infections, which is usually why people get clogged sinuses when they are sick. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your health. Only take them when they are absolutely necessary!

Keep a clean home – Dust and poor air quality can also cause blocked sinuses. Vacuum and wipe down surfaces of your home regularly. Decrease clutter and areas where dust can collect and stay.

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Alternative News

Cannabis Might Reverse Heart Failure, University of Hawaii Study Finds

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New research is showing that TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor found abundantly in the heart may be key in slowing down and potentially even reversing heart failure.

  • Reflect On:

    With so many medical applications and the potential to treat and even cure a wide variety of diseases, why has there been such a lack of research, funding and clinical trials when it comes to medical marijuana?

Cannabis could potentially slow and even reverse heart failure via TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor. This is according to research led by a team at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).  Alexander Stokes, a JABSOM assistant professor in cell and molecular biology, said “the potential medical benefits of using cannabis-based therapies for the treatment of heart disease are promising.”

TRPV1 is showing long-term effective reversal of heart failure when the substance is administered orally. The key here is orally, this doesn’t mean that you can smoke cannabis and it will be good for your heart, in fact, it may very well have a negative effect if you do that. “TRPV1 has primarily been studied as a pain receptor,” said Stokes. “The receptors are abundant in the heart, and we are excited to show that if we inhibit its function with oral doses of drugs, we can reverse some effects of heart failure.”

The findings were published in the journal Channels.

A Big Topic Right Now

The topic of medical marijuana is a big one right now, especially in Canada where it was recently legalized. For years, there’s been a negative stigma attached to the substance, and when one dives deep into the subject it’s quite easy to see why. Cannabis, often called marijuana, has potential to treat and possibly even cure a wide range of diseases, but because of prohibition, the studies examining the medicinal aspects of the herb have been very limited. This is very unfortunate, for a number of reasons, and also very suspicious.

If we look at cancer, for example, multiple studies have clearly shown its potential to completely destroy cancer cells, many in vitro studies have clearly demonstrated this potential, without question. They’re not hard to find and have been published in abundance. Here is a video of Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant) can completely kill cancer cells. THC is simply one constituent of cannabis. It has been shown to be effective for multiple diseases as well, while other diseases are better treated with CBD, another constituent within cannabis. This begs the question, why have there been no, or at least so few, clinical trials set up as a result?

This hasn’t stopped people taking matters into their own hands though. There are numerous examples all over the internet of people claiming that cannabis oil, for example, cured their cancer. But from a scientific perspective this isn’t evidence, it’s simply anecdotal and as a result of a lack of research we cannot officially say cannabis kills cancer. We can only say that it has tremendous potential and that a lot more research is needed.

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Pharma vs Cannabis

When a pharmaceutical drug shows even less than half of the potential that marijuana has shown, clinical trials are set up right away. Just imagine if the same resources that are poured into conventional cancer treatments were given to medical marijuana’s potential to treat cancer, among a wide range of other diseases. If that were to happen, we would know much more. But the lack of research continues. Is it because if scientists were to discover what strain, method of delivery and all of the other factors that require more research that are needed to treat disease, cannabis could become an effective treatment for cancer? What would happen to conventional treatments? Would people have to pay for their treatment if it was disclosed how to, for example, make cannabis oil in the right way for a specific cancer? Maybe this has something to do with it?

Big pharma would lose billions. It’s definitely something to think about.

What’s happening right now with the legalization of marijuana is that components of it are allowed to be studied. It seems that drugs will be developed to synthesize certain components of the plant, and the drugs themselves can then be patented. This is how big pharma will ultimately make money off of medical marijuana.

The Challenge With Government Control Of Cannabis

It’s great to see people with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Epilepsy, cancer and more have tremendous success with medical marijuana. What’s unfortunate is that mainstream medical marijuana will be in the hands of big pharma, it already is. We will not know how it’s grown, how it’s been manipulated, and what’s been changed. It’s simply being used for profit, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about in our current infrastructure. We have a sick care industry, not a health care industry.

A free, open and caring society, a health care industry that truly cares about health could use multiple natural substances to completely wipe out the need for any pharmaceutical drug. There are massive amounts of foods, herbs and plants that, if studied in full, could completely eliminate our dependence on the corporation.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

– Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal  (source)

Important Thoughts To Consider About Cannabis

The other side of the coin is that heavy cannabis use, although not lethal, can be dangerous and potentially damaging to young brains that are not fully developed, and perhaps to those who use it on a regular basis in ways we do not yet understand.

It’s not as harmful as alcohol abuse or smoking cigarettes, but there is still a lot that we don’t know. Legalization in Canada at least have led to the idea that it’s completely safe and beneficial for everybody. This is also, most likely, not true.  We need to get past the idea that it’s something healthy for everybody, and even healthy to smoke cannabis on a regular basis. But when it comes to the medicinal aspects of cannabis, for several diseases, there is a very serious discussion to be had here as it’s again, already helping many people around the world with their cancer, with their epilepsy, etc.

With many people losing trust in the medical industry, it’s easy to see why they are turning to growing their own cannabis, testing doses, and methods of delivery, etc. For some, it’s a shot in the dark but worth a try.

We are not advocating that it’s healthy to use cannabis recreationally and that it will not have any negative effects, we are simply stating that it’s a head scratcher how such a potent medical plant that clearly has multiple medical applications has been ignored and prohibited from research and professionally treating many diseases with it.

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