» Indoor Health Matters

Do Allergies Defend Against Cancer?

Posted by John on November 5th, 2008

If you have allergies, you may want to put down that bottle of antihistamines and let your sneezes do their job. A new study from Cornell University suggests that allergies may protect against certain types of cancer by expelling carcinogenic particles from the body.

Allergies appear to protect against cancers that occur in organs that come in contact with environmental particles – the mouth, throat, colon, rectum, skin, cervix, pancreas, and glial brain cells. Continue reading

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Synthetic Chemicals and Cancer

Posted by John on October 31st, 2008

In our country, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight. In 1975, the risk was one in eleven. Why do cancer rates keep increasing? The Boston Globe suggests that it’s because of the continuing proliferation of synthetic chemicals:

Since World War II, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals has gone hand-in-hand with the increased incidence of breast cancer. About 80,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, and their number increases by about 1,000 each year. Only about 7 percent of them have been screened for their health effects. These chemicals can persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. According to a recent review by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, 216 chemicals and radiation sources cause breast cancer in animals. Continue reading

Avoid VOCs to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Posted by John on October 18th, 2008

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be found throughout a typical home – in carpet, paints, furniture, and plastics; the problem with these chemicals is that they off-gas into the air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks, and some VOCs cause asthma and cancer. Continue reading

Toxic Textiles

Posted by John on October 9th, 2008

From The Philadelphia Inquirer: Jeanine Burgin’s back started to itch in April. Then came red patches, blisters and a burning sensation.

Skin-care products only seemed to make things worse. She was in and out of hospitals, where doctors tried cortisone and other treatments – all to no avail.

“It was a mystery,” says Burgin, 69, who lives outside Paris.

Turns out the mystery was right inside her house: her new upholstered armchair. Continue reading

Support Breast Cancer Research

Posted by John on October 6th, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we’re proud to offer two great deals in conjunction with the opportunity to support breast cancer research this month.

Blueair Pink AirPodsOrder a Blueair Pink AirPod air cleaner for the special price of $69.00, and $5.00 from the sale will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. These portable, efficient air cleaners make great gifts, and they’re the perfect size for offices, dorm rooms, and other small spaces.

Rabbit Air BCRF air purifiersAdditionally, 12% of each sale of the Rabbit Air BioGS BCRF special edition air purifier will benefit breast cancer research. Rabbit Air’s three-stage filtration eliminates allergens and germs plus dangerous chemicals.

breast cancer researchPurchase one of these air cleaners this month, and you’ll be supporting a noble cause while creating a healthier environment.

Cell Phone Use Linked to Brain Tumors in Children

Posted by John on October 4th, 2008

Ask ten people to name ten possessions that they can’t live without, and most are likely to list their cell phones. But these convenient devices may be much more dangerous than their owners realize, especially when it comes to use among children.

The Daily Green reports that a Swedish study found that people who begin using cell phones before the age of 20 are five times more likely to develop a glioma, a form of brain cancer.
Children are more susceptible to developing cancer from exposure to cell phone radiation because their brains and skulls are not fully developed. The Independent put it this way: “They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.” Continue reading

Antibacterial Soap with Triclosan – Healthy or Unhealthy?

Posted by John on September 23rd, 2008

I had an eye exam a few days ago and noticed antibacterial soap in the optometrist’s office. It seems like everyone is buying antibacterial soap these days. As more people become concerned about health, antibacterial soaps (and other antibacterial products) are becoming more popular. But is antibacterial soap necessary? And could it actually do more harm than good?

Most antibacterial soaps contain triclosan, a synthetic chemical that’s classified as a pesticide. Introduced to consumer products in 1995, triclosan can remain on the skin for hours, even after you rinse your hands, and it has been linked to liver damage. Continue reading

A Benefit of Allergies? Lower Risk for Certain Cancers

Posted by John on September 16th, 2008

Allergies make people feel tired, run down, and just plain miserable. Allergies may cause itchy eyes, runny noses, and skin rashes – what could possibly be beneficial about allergies?

Medical News Today recently revealed an unexpected benefit of having allergies: People who have allergies are up to 25 percent less likely to get the most common type of Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). Continue reading

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Poor Air Quality in Nail Salons

Posted by John on September 12th, 2008

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nail salons that offer manicure and pedicure services commonly have high levels of dangers indoor air pollution. At sufficient concentrations, these indoor air pollutants may increase the chance of cancer and lead to other serious health conditions like reproductive problems, birth defects, severe allergic reactions, and aggravated asthma. Continue reading

Chlordane – The Pesticide That Won’t Go Away

Posted by John on September 11th, 2008

Toxicologist Dr. Richard Cassidy of says that over 30 million homes built before 1988 were treated with the insecticide chlordane. Chlordane is still in the dirt under these homes, off-gassing at a constant rate.

When people inhale chemical vapors from chlordane, the liver convertsthem into potent carcinogens and toxins like oxychlordane, heptachlor, epoxide and dieldrin. These toxins get stored in fat cells in the body. Continue reading

Toxic Chemical C8 Found in Eggs

Posted by John on August 29th, 2008

I eat a couple of eggs for breakfast nearly every morning. They’re highly nutritious and filling. Several years ago, many Americans cut back on egg consumption because of fears that eggs would raise their cholesterol. Now we know that there are different types of cholesterols and different types of fats – some good, some bad – and you don’t have to worry about having a heart attack because of moderate egg consumption. (Cardiovascular disease is more commonly brought on by lack of exercise and junk food – processed foods, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and excessive carbs.)

But now there’s another reason to worry about eggs: they may contain toxic chemicals, according to The Charleston Gazette. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked a respected scientific journal, Environmental Science & Technology, to delete from its website the results of a study which found perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in chicken eggs.

An EPA scientist says that there was a major error in the study – that the PFCs were not really PFCs but other unidentified substances that simply looked like PFCs under a microscope. Hmm… That sounds a little strange to me, especially considering the fact that other studies have found PFCs in chicken eggs (and wild bird eggs) in other countries. Continue reading

Airborne Soot Exposure as Dangerous as Smoking Cigarettes

Posted by John on August 28th, 2008

ScienceNews reports that daily exposure to airborne soot from car exhaust, smokestacks, and other sources of combustion is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.

Barry Dellinger of Louisiana State University says that the exposure could be the equivalent of smoking one cigarette per day – or as many as two packs a day!

Dellinger’s research team found that combustion produces free radicals that linger in the air much longer than previously thought. “To our enormous surprise, the free radicals survive hours, days, even indefinitely.” Continue reading

Rachel Carson’s Legacy – The Silent Spring Institute

Posted by John on August 22nd, 2008

Rachel CarsonI first learned of Rachel Carson’s work when I read her book Silent Spring in my high school biology class. The book, published in 1962, shed light on the toxic effects of pesticides on nature, especially birds. Silent Spring inspired many people to join the modern environmental movement. Rachel Carson died of breast cancer less than two years after the publication of Silent Spring.

The Silent Spring Institute was founded in 1993 to investigate links between environmental toxins and women’s health issues – breast cancer in particular.

The Richmond Times Dispatch recently published advice from the Silent Spring Institute about dealing with indoor air contamination.

“It ends up being part of your environment,” says Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute. “You end up breathing it, and it gets on your hands.” Continue reading

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Your Health

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) causes cancer, warns the National Cancer Institute. Often called second-hand smoke, ETS also causes developmental defects, heart disease, and respiratory diseases like asthma.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and many of them are known carcinogens. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that ETS causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in non-smokers. Continue reading

Indoor Swimming Pools Create Unique Health Problems

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

This summer my baby sister (who is 18 months old) started taking swimming lessons at an indoor swimming pool. I think that all children should take swimming lessons – you never know when they’ll need those skills, and swimming is great exercise – but parents also need to be aware of the health risks associated with indoor pools. Chlorine byproducts contaminate the air above indoor swimming pools and have been linked to lung damage, asthma, and cancer. Indoor pools also increase humidity, which can lead to mold growth. Continue reading