Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Steam Cleaners: The Healthy Way to Clean

Posted by Diamond on September 9th, 2011

Steam CleanerThe only thing more disgusting than walking on a grimy floor is “cleaning” it with the same old dirty mop and filthy pail of water. Sure the bucket of water starts out smelling fresh and looking soapy, but by the time you reach the middle of the floor, what was once a bucket of fresh suds has become a cold, gray bacteria fest. And to think we actually dip a spongy mop into that “water” and smear it all over our tile or hardwood floors. Yuck!

It’s ok, we’re all guilty. But there is a better way. A chemical-free, eco-conscious, allergy- and asthma-friendly way. More hygienic than a traditional floor mop and more cost-effective and durable than disposable Swiffer sweepers, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to truly clean your floors of dirt and grime without releasing pollutants from chemical detergents into your indoor environment.

Learn more about cleaning your home with a steam cleaner

Are Your Home Improvements Harming Your House?

Posted by Ivey on November 5th, 2010

Home ImprovementsIf you are thinking about starting some home improvement projects, a new study released by HealthyStuff.org and conducted by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Mich. reveals that you might have more to think about than comfort and décor. The study tested 3,300 home improvement products: 1,016 samples of flooring and 2,312 samples of wallpaper. The results are a bit shocking.

Heavy metals and other chemical additives, which include lead, cadmium, flame retardants, tin compounds, and phthalates, were commonly found in residential flooring and wallpaper. In fact, more than half of the flooring samples tested positive for one or more chemical additives. Vinyl flooring was indicated to be the most harmful—containing the highest percentage of detectable lead and being twice as likely to contain hazardous chemicals.
Find out more study findings and some healthy home alternatives

Remembering the Killer Smog Disaster

Posted by John on November 8th, 2008

Earlier this week, residents of Donora, Pennsylvania remembered the killer smog of 1948 that killed 20 residents. Nearly half of the town became ill in one of the worst air pollution disasters in history. Now the town has a Smog Museum with the slogan “Clean Air Started Here.”

“It was the first time that people really understood that a lot of air pollution in a short period of time could kill people,” said Dr. Devra Davis of the University of Pittsburgh. Read more about killer smog

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. Read more about chemicals and cancer

Atlanta Plant Agrees to Settlement over Chemical Odor

Posted by John on October 25th, 2008

I was living in Atlanta a couple of summers ago when I heard reports of the onion-like chemical odor in south Fulton County.

George Nicholson clearly remembers the odor, too, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The smell was bothering everybody,” said Nicholson. “The dogs wouldn’t go outside.” Read more about chemical odors.

Chemical Leak Forms Toxic Cloud Over Pennsylvania

Posted by John on October 11th, 2008

BREAKING NEWSCNN reports that a toxic chemical cloud has formed over Petrolia, PA, after a chemical leak in a local plant.

The toxic cloud affected at least 2,000 residents, many of whom fled their homes to stay with friends and relatives or in shelters. Others decided to stay home and keep their windows and doors closed. Read more about toxic chemical clouds

Household Chemicals Can Hurt Unborn Babies

Posted by John on October 7th, 2008

The West Australian reports that common household chemicals can damage the lungs of unborn babies and predispose them to childhood asthma.

Professor Peter Sly of the World Health Organization says, “We have evidence that everything from the pesticides used on roses to the bleach in the bathroom impact badly on the developing lungs of unborn babies.” Read more about household chemicals and pregnancy

Toxic Chemicals in Laundry Products

Posted by John on September 30th, 2008

Laundry detergents are supposed to get clothes clean, right? While detergents clear away soil and stains, too many of them leave behind chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment. Read more about laundry toxins

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. Read more about triclosan

Toxic BPA Found in Bodies of Nearly All Americans

Posted by John on September 19th, 2008

USA Today reports that Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like chemical in plastic, has been found in 93% of Americans tested. Recent studies suggest that BPA alters the development of the brain and prostate gland in children. This synthetic estrogen chemical has also been linked to a host of cancers, heart disease, early-onset puberty, obesity, and diabetes.

BPA is found in baby bottles, plastic utensils, dental sealants, food can linings, and plastic bottles. The longer a liquid sits in a container with BPA, the more BPA leaches into the liquid. Read more about BPA in plastic

Cockroaches: The Forgotten Allergens

Posted by John on September 18th, 2008

Most allergy sufferers are familiar with dust mites, pollen, mold, but did you know that cockroaches also produce powerful allergens? Cockroach allergen is also a common cause of asthma attacks. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American (AAFA) reports that 23 to 60 percent of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to cockroach allergen. In one study of inner city children, 23 percent were allergic to cats, 35 percent were allergic to dust mites, and 37 percent were allergic to cockroaches.

Cockroach allergens come from the feces, saliva, and bodies of the insects. Studies show that 78 to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches – and up to 330,000 roaches may live in a single home! If you see just one roach in a basement or kitchen, it’s safe to assume that at least 800 more roaches are hiding under sinks, in cabinets, and behind walls. Read more about cockroach allergies

Hazardous Household Chemicals

Posted by John on September 13th, 2008

Are you aware of the dangers lurking in your cabinets? I found an informative list of the most hazardous household chemicals at consumerlawpage.com:

Air Fresheners – Many air fresheners actually release a nerve deadening chemical agent! Others interfere with the ability to smell by coating nasal passages with an oil film. Air fresheners may include formaldehyde, a highly toxic known carcinogen, as well as phenol, an irritant that could lead to death.

air purifiers for odorsTip: Instead of air fresheners, use odor control air purifiers that will not only deodorize but also clean the air. Read more about hazardous household chemicals

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. Read more about nail salon air quality

Chlordane – The Pesticide That Won’t Go Away

Posted by John on September 11th, 2008

Toxicologist Dr. Richard Cassidy of toxfree.net 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. Read more about chlordane

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. Read more about C8 contamination