MAY IS ENVIRONMENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS MONTH!
Many may not consider themselves to have an Environmental Illness, but everyone is affected by chemicals. Moreover, everyone is at risk and millions are affected, but not all make the connection.
When we think of exposures to chemicals, we often think of a hazmat situation or “sick building syndrome.” However, an Environmental Illness such as a Chemical Injury can occur through a large, sudden exposure or a small, gradual exposure to chemicals or mold.
We may be aware of the obvious offenders in our environment, such as smoke, exhaust, paint or even new carpets. Nevertheless, we often don’t realize the affects of every day cleaning products, as well as personal care products that contain synthetic fragrances made up of neuro-toxic chemicals.
For example, these are chemically fragranced products such as perfume, laundry detergent, fabric softener, air fresheners, deodorants, lotions, shampoo’s, etc.
In a 2010 study, in 25 standard products, an average of 17 VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) were emitted; many of which are “regulated as a toxic/hazardous chemical” under 1-7 laws.
About 15% of the population knowing lives with Chemical Sensitivities to the chemical fragrances in these products (1999 Study, Kreutzer). Some of the symptoms reported are difficulty breathing, vertigo, migraines, loss of consciousness, memory loss, seizures and more.
About 38% of the population reports some sort of “adverse health affect” when exposed to fragranced products (Exposure Assessment, Steinemann) and it is suspected that many more are experiencing symptoms, but have not made the connection. Sadly, for millions of people, mild to serious reactions can cause isolation from public, friends, family, special events and more.
I have lived with Chemical Injury due to the use of everyday products such as perfume, air fresheners, body sprays and fragranced laundry products since 1996. I started out having vertigo and migraines from strong perfumes and exposure to the cleaning products isle in the store.
Unfortunately, I continued to use other products I didn’t think I was reacting to. Thus, I became more and more reactive to more products until I ended up isolated in my home, unable to attend church, family dinners or step into a store.
As if that were not bad enough, people cannot come to visit me unless they do not use any chemically fragranced products, nor do they have a newer car or have walked through a store. It has been devastating!
These neuro-toxic chemicals can affect us all, whether we notice immediate reactions or not. My story is not rare. So, I am here to warn people that this could happen to anyone!
Again, Environmental Illness often occurs through exposure and use of every day cleaning and personal products. Therefore, it is vital that we clear our homes and bodies of these offenders, before we develop reactions to them that are debilitating and cause a person to be isolated from the world and those they love.
As a result, I implore everyone to take a look at the products we use in our homes and on our bodies. We can start replacing these products with natural and fragrance free alternatives. After doing this, most experience a moderate or huge change in how they feel, whether they are healthy or whether they are dealing with illness.
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