A Mother's Love

A mother's love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. (Anonymous)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Many Chemicals Are In Your Home???

Have you ever really stopped to think about what really surrounds you in your own environment? I've always considered myself to be environmentally aware by recycling, not being a "litter bug", keeping things energy efficient, turning off the water while I brush my teeth, keeping lights off, and all those little things.
Yet, when I decided to start my own home business this year with Melaleuca, a 25 year old Wellness Company, I became more conscious about the chemicals that are in all of my household cleaning products so I switch my stores. Then I started hearing stories from other moms who where able to improve their overall health for themselves and their families by eliminating the caustic-chemicals found in their homes. I became more aware of what many moms, who are already dealing with their own children's health issues, are doing about it. What I've come to realize, is that many have completely eliminated the chemicals in their homes and found safer natural cleaners to use instead. Did you know that if you gathered up all of the household cleaners in your home and stuck them out on the curb, chances are your garbage collector would refuse to take them? Why you ask? This would be due to the fact that the chemicals are too harsh on the landfills and hurts the environment. Yet.......we use them in our homes on a daily basis and continuously around our families. That just doesn't make good sense to me. Think about that the next time you're scrubbing down you bathroom and find your throat tickling and making you cough. That's not natural.
I thought to myself, how crazy is this! Why? Why as a society are we not more socially aware of the damage we are doing to ourselves and our families? Why haven't we been convinced to change our ways? Perhaps because we figure the government will eventually recognize and resolve our concerns. Maybe someone like Oprah, will have enough public influence over us to start some sort of a pandemic for change? I think it more simple than that though. What if we all as individuals looked towards ourselves for the answers? Shouldn't we all feel some sort of obligation to improve the environment around us? How did we get to this point anyways?
Wanting to know some history on how we got to this point, I did a little searching, including some reading in a book called "A Legacy of Wellness" by Melaleuca. What I learned is that since WWII there has been a dramatic rise in the amount of man-made chemicals that we use in our homes. Why? I believe the answer is because these man-made chemicals have proven to be a quick and cost effective way for companies to manufacture and get out onto our grocery store shelves. They don't want to take the time and energy require to come up with something better. Time is money right? At least that's what I learn in business school.

"The typical homes now contains over sixty-three hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals."[1] What?! Now back up and read that again and think about what that means. What do you think? How about that fact that at the same time these products have rapidly entered our homes "there has been an equally dramatic rise in the incidence of certain chronic health problems." [2] Hmmm... interesting I thought, but at the same time that's just down right scary to me as a mom of 4 young kids.
Here's some more facts for you. Today in the U.S. one in three women and one in two men will suffer with cancer some time in their lives. Back in the early 20th Century the cancer rate was only about one in fifty. According to the American Cancer Society, " cancer is the number two killer of adults and the leading cause of death from disease in children."[3]
So if the increase of health issues have been on the rise since we started using hazardous chemical products in our homes then wouldn't it make sense to eliminate them? I think that as a society, many of us are so busy raising families, having careers, on the go that we put our blinders up and run the maze in whatever direction we are pointed to go that gets us to our goals faster. We let these big companies inundate us with advertisements telling us what we should buy, how fantastic their products are, how convenient they are and so on and so forth.
I have to say overall my family has been pretty fortunate health wise. My mom always told me growing up that "we were made of the good stuff". Yet, when Alzheimer's disease decided to sneak in and slowly rob away my Grandma's life I watched (in slow motion like the disease) what it did to my family. I had to watch my family suffer and was angry and hurt that we couldn't bring her back from it or conquer this pestilent demeaning little disease. Yet, you know what? I've come to realized what we can do about it. We can each start by take the small steps to improve our overall health and give our bodies and our environment a fighting chance against the things that we may or are dealing with.
Why not start today and make one change that would be better for your family? Perhaps that's to get rid of the hazardous household chemicals,to eat healthier foods or maybe to start recycling if you haven't yet. Whatever it is, I just encourage each and every one of you to try and make a change to a better way of living. It doesn't have to be huge, just start small. We all have to start somewhere. I hope you found my article to be interesting and informative. Thanks so much for reading :0)
[1]The World Resources Institute. The 1994 Information Please Environmental Almenac [Houghton-Mifflin-1994]
[2] The Melaleuca Wellness Guide 14 edition. Is Your Home a Healthy Home
[3] American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 1994
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