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Thread: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

  1. #1
    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    How Common are Chemicals and Fragrances at Home?
    written by Mark Sneller, PhD


    http://www.boomer-living.com/2009/12...ances-at-home/

    A popular shampoo for women has twenty-two chemicals plus fragrance. Another brand contains as many as forty ingredients. The male version has somewhat fewer ingredients, plus fragrance. The typical bar soap has as many as eighteen ingredients plus fragrance. The fragrances in bar soap and shampoo become volatile (airborne), which means we inhale them in the shower. The effect is enhanced by the chloroform and smell of chlorine that comes from the warm water tap.

    We dry our heads and bodies with towels that have been washed in laundry detergent with fragrance and a little chlorine bleach, and then placed in the dryer with an antistatic product plus fragrance. Skin care lotion has twenty-four ingredients plus perfume. A popular self-action tanning lotion has thirty-four ingredients.

    After showering, most people use deodorant containing about ten ingredients plus fragrance.

    Hairspray has eighteen ingredients plus a fragrance and a propellant. Hairspray also has acrylate copolymer thickening agent, which is a form of plastic. Isobutane is a common propellant in hair sprays and mouth spray fresheners, non-stick cooking sprays, and numerous other products. It’s a small hydrocarbon molecule that is liquefied under pressure and becomes a gas when the pressure is released. Isobutane is considered innocuous in terms of causing any health effects when it is used as a carrier propellant for products used in the home. Unless carbon dioxide is used, propellants should be considered flammable and should not be used near an open flame.

    Many people use body lotion or body talc after the shower. Men use aftershave. Virtually all of these are scented. Makeup frequently contains formaldehyde, and the allergic reactions it causes are well documented. Toothpaste may contain ten ingredients and a “flavor enhancer.” Mouthwash can have twelve ingredients plus “flavor”.

    It’s easy to see how our lungs, hair, skin, and clothing come in contact with an ocean of solvents, dyes, and chelating agents to bind the ingredients, perfumes, emulsifiers, and various enhancers. We can be exposed to as many as a hundred or more chemicals and a half-dozen fragrances, and we’re not even out of the bathroom yet.

    A vast amount of research has shown that chemical compounds and fragrances often are toxic to our bodies. Are we losing the war for better respiratory health because somebody else is telling us what is good for us and selling us something we don’t need? Are we blaming such substances as pollen for our breathing problems when the answer is in our bathroom?

    Not all chemicals or scented products are bad. In many cases there might even be an improvement over products of past years. If you have concerns about the issue, it might not hurt to stop using certain products altogether. After all, if you don’t like what’s on TV, you do have a choice—you can turn it off. In today’s world, many products are available that are fragrance free. These include laundry detergents and soaps, skin lotions, and deodorants. The purposeful use of fragrance should be avoided.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Something that didn't register when I looked at the apartments I recently moved to is that the dryers vent out into the breezeway. Someone moved across the way from me a few days ago and runs her dryer about 24/7 with the stinkiest stuff I've ever smelled. I have to wrap a towel around my face to just go out and walk the dogs and the stench still gets in my apartment when I open the door and causes me to choke for hours. I don't know what to do about this, but it is becoming a major major issue in the 4 days they've lived there. They have a 3 1/2 y/o and a newborn. ARGH. Guess I'm going to go to Lowe's and see if I can get some kind of charcoal mask.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Can't you complain to the super?

  4. #4
    EmmaPeel
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    mellowsong,

    So sorry to hear about this. I can relate to your issue as I have several neighbors who use heavily scented fabric softener that triggers migraines.

    Perhaps a chat with the manager is in order? You have a real medical issue that requires them to investigate. It drives me batty when I go out for fresh air and I run into giant great steaming neighborhood blocks of fabric freshener and perfumie detergent odors on my walks!!! Cough cough choke....I think it all should be banned!!

    That is an infringement of your air space! It is the equivalent of a chain smoking neighbor living next door who blows smoke into your doorway and windows every day that God gives!!!!!

    Perhaps a basket of muffins and a friendly visit to your new neighbor might also do the trick? Sometimes people just don't know the alternatives to using chemicals, and who knows, maybe it will trigger a whole new way of living for them! If they have a baby, they are probably softening its clothes not even realizing that they are putting their child in danger. Good luck and let us know what happens!
    Last edited by EmmaPeel; 12-06-09 at 02:35 PM.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Good ideas, Emma Peel! The muffin approach never occurred to me!

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    Veteran Member Samurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by mellowsong
    Something that didn't register when I looked at the apartments I recently moved to is that the dryers vent out into the breezeway. Someone moved across the way from me a few days ago and runs her dryer about 24/7 with the stinkiest stuff I've ever smelled. I have to wrap a towel around my face to just go out and walk the dogs and the stench still gets in my apartment when I open the door and causes me to choke for hours. I don't know what to do about this, but it is becoming a major major issue in the 4 days they've lived there. They have a 3 1/2 y/o and a newborn. ARGH. Guess I'm going to go to Lowe's and see if I can get some kind of charcoal mask.
    Mellow,
    There is an old accountants' saying, "Everything is deductible, until you are audited."
    And so, one could easily say there might be a "slight of word" if you will, to you your situation by saying, "Everyone with food / perfume sensitivities is paranoid or being a baby until it happens to you."
    There are 2 ways you could go about this: if you go to the management first, without talking to them, they could easily take it personally, and the situation might get worse. OR you could talk to them first, and explain the situation that you are in, and maybe, just maybe they might have some intolerances themselves that they might be able to empathize with.
    I strongly warn you that if you double up by letting them know that these perfumes are setting their child up for respiratory issues, you will most likely NOT get what you want (even though you are quite right).

    The secretaries at my job love their "Glade plug in's". They make my candidasis worse, and frankly they smell like the toilets at Wal-Mart. So, I expained to them how messed up I am, and I in turn replaced the Glade scents with natural aroma therapy oils that heat up. The girls are happy, I am happy, we are all having our cake and eating it too. Unfortunately, I do not know of any natural alternative to "Bounce" and I think that is what they are using or, "Downy".

    Anyway, I hope you get your answer! Personally, when I am driving, I wished that I had hand grenades for diesel trucks; that is the smell that really gets to me. But what else can I expect? I live in the 4th largest city in the US and in a place where oversized trucks (don't ya know, everyone has something to haul ***sarcasm**) are in abundance.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Thanks all. I have a poster on my door that says
    SEVERE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY:
    No Perfumes, Bleach, Chemicals Anything scented etc etc.

    Management is well aware of my problem as I talked to them before moving in. The maintenance man came close to sending me to the ER spraying something to loosen a faucet. That episode scared him to death and he even told the manager about it. However, I don't know how to approach people but I guess I'm going to have to. I was thinking of talking to the manager tomorrow and seeing if she had a suggestion.

    I could get some kind of muffin mix and do something like that I guess or Christmas cookies and try talking to her. I could go get the masks and bring them something while the dryer is running and me wearing a mask

    I know I have to do something but I don't want to cause problems either.

  8. #8
    EmmaPeel
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Mellowsong...Christmas cookies are good! Muffins are good! Heck, even a casserole might be welcome if they have two little kiddies!

    ...not sure about going 'on over ' with the mask, but it certainly would be an effective way to get the point across...but then they can't see your face...just a mask and a basket of muffins!!

    I had a similar situation a few years ago with someone who was infringing on my right to a reasonably quiet home when I had a neighbor who insisted on walking her screaming infant up and down the hallways starting at 7 am and went on several times up to around 10 pm!

    I went over with a tin of cookies and asked her to please stop doing what she was doing because it was causing me stress, lack of sleep, and I couldn't even hear my TV over the wailing baby!

    She was so apologetic and sorry that it never happened again. Turned out her husband worked shifts and when he was at home sleeping she would take the fussy baby out walking in the halls!

    Thankfully they moved out about a month later anyway because other people had also complained.... and there was just not many options for them (with his shifts) aside from taking the little nipper over to nannies when daddy had to sleep!! They bought a house and chose to move anyway! WoooHoooo!

    ...saints preserve us...I could nap after work again!!

    Last edited by EmmaPeel; 12-07-09 at 07:43 PM.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Well, I got up the courage to speak with Bill when I saw him out with his son. He was very nice about it. Actually he was very surprised at how strong the odor was in the breezeway when they hadn't run the dryer for a good 12 hours. He said next time they need detergent they will price compare and see if they can switch to something hypoallergenic. They'd been considering doing that anyway because of the baby but hadn't because the baby didn't seem bothered.

    So, fingers and toes crossed they really switch. Meanwhile, they have settled in so the dryer isn't running constantly like it was.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just How Common Are Chemicals In The Home?

    Yay! Bless you all

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