Saturday, May 4, 2013

Your Thoughts on Clean Air?

As most of my readers know, I have chemical sensitivity, which is not an allergy, but an extreme sensitivity to most chemicals. Fragranced products are the worst for me. Air Fresheners, perfume, scented laundry products and dryer sheets are common triggers that will throw me into an asthma attack or severe bronchitis.

Many sufferers of chemical sensitivity have toxic homes and must move out. I believe that my home, although much safer than most places for me, is toxic as well. The plastic bags that come in with me when I shop are toxic for me. Cat litter is toxic for me and I have a cat. Odors from other people who enter my house linger after they are gone. Many items in my home and used in my home probably off-gas chemicals.

I use no scented products of any kind. My soap is unscented, my paper goods are unscented, all of my personal products must be unscented. When I checked into my room at the Hampton Inn in Albany, GA this week, I was annoyed at first because the chemically sweet scent of something hit me in the face. I had specifically asked for a room that had not been sprayed with an "air freshener" or anything with a fragrance. I also asked that they use an "ionizer" which is an air purifier most hotels have on hand to clean smoke from a room where someone has broken the no smoking rule.

The first thing I did at the Hampton Inn was to open the door and leave it open while I brought in my luggage. The next thing I did was to bring in my own Holmes air purifier and set it on 4, the highest setting. I noticed the scented air was stronger near the bath. I found the culprit lurking in the soap dishes, still tightly wrapped, but putting out powerful odors and chemicals that polluted the air throughout the room. 

I stayed in that room for three days and nights and slept better than I do at home. Once I rid the room of the soap and cleaned the air, the bed was delightfully comfortable, the sheets crisp and cool, unscented and clean.

Jennifer Parker's Foundation

I read an article from this site today.   Jennifer Parker is one of us, the millions of people who suffer from environmental illness. She has started a non-profit foundation that is helping people, like me, with MCS, find non toxic housing. I hope you will click on her page and see what she has to say about this illness that so many suffer from and many don't even know it.

My brother has been diagnosed with COPD and CHF, two terminal illnesses. He and I can't go down the detergent aisle of the grocery store and breathe. I wear a carbon mask when I enter the store. He just tries to run and get what he needs and get away from the cleaning products.

At home, his son thinks he is breathing in toxic fumes from a gas heater and I can tell his house needs a good air purifier going all the time. 

As we age, our immune system becomes overwhelmed with the toxins we ingest into our bodies, by eating, breathing, and rubbing on our skin. It is the elderly, ill and the youngest of us who suffer most with the chemicals in our every day use of synthetically manufactured products, many made from petroleum. We need to take a stand against putting toxic chemicals into products we buy at the grocery store, the pharmacy, and products we use daily. As Americans we believe that if it is on the shelf and sold to the public it must be safe, right? Wrong! 

Does the smell of an air freshener make a room clean?

We have been convinced by TV ads that air fresheners make a room smell clean. If the room needs air fresheners, it likely is not clean but has been sprayed to make the public think it is clean. 

I noticed the cleaners used by the housekeepers at the Hampton Inn and spied a horrible toxic spray - Fabreeze fabric freshener. Later I saw the manager going door to door and spraying this in each room after the rooms were cleaned. If I had gone into one of those rooms where she had just sprayed, my bronchial tubes would have swollen and shut down. I would have become very hoarse, and if I had stayed in that room, likely I'd end up with serious bronchitis that could incapacitate me. I might have ended up in the hospital.

I will support Jennifer Parker's foundation, and other organizations that are working to give us unpolluted indoor air. Visit to learn what products are safe.
Thank you all, my friends and readers, for stopping by. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on clean air and safe houses.

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