Start Eliminating Toxins at Home
by Sheila Cole
UPdate   Fall 1999


Question:  I have just been diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  In order to heal quickly I want to improve the air quality at home, but feel totally overwhelmed by this huge task.  Is there any easy way to tackle this problem?

Answer:     Yes, there are some fast first steps to improving your air quality at home.  The idea is to break down into simple steps and just do one thing at a time.  The first place to look for fast impact is under your kitchen sink.  Products such as Mr.Clean, Fantastik, Pinesol, Javex, Spic and Span, Windex, floor waxes, furniture polishes, air fresheners, etc. all create a toxic chemical cloud around you when you clean.  This cloud lingers and will significantly overload your already beleaguered immune system.  Replace these products with safer items like Down East and Nature Clean brand cleaners which you can usually find at a health food store.   (ed. note: or at Sobey's).
     Next go to the bathroom and look at your body care products.  For your scented soaps, shampoos, body creams, etc. substitute unscented, hypoallergenic products.  Lines such as Almay and Marcelle can be found at most pharmacies.  Clinique also has many options, and most health food stores carry a variety of alternatives.  Ask for help and others will share their finds.  Remember, your skin absorbs everything that you put on it and the substance ultimately ends up in your blood stream!
     In the laundry room use detergent from Down East or a brand like Tide Free which is fragrance and phosphate free.  Eliminate scented fabric softeners and dryer sheets like Bounce.  These products envelop you in a scented cloud all day and even while you are asleep at night.  Better yet, since all fabric softeners contain strong chemicals, try using laundry disks in your washer to soften the water.


Sheila Cole is an Environment and Health Educator, Private Consultant and Program Chair of the NSAEHA.  In our next issue, Sheila will have an article on Maximizing the Healing Potential of Your Bedroom.  Learn how to strengthen your immune system and find energy while you sleep!