Breathing, like your heart beating, your blood circulating and your food digesting, is just one of those things our bodies do without us having to think about it
but is essential for our well being. We simply wouldn’t be alive if we didn’t breathe!
And just as important as the act of breathing itself is what we actually breathe in, the quality of the air we inhale. This is something that has been recognised for a long time. In fact initially the air that we breathe, or more specifically the bad smell of that air, was thought to be the cause of disease. We have since realised that actually illness is caused by microbes – and our healthcare outcomes have significantly improved as a result! – but the cleanliness of the atmosphere around us continues to play a large part in modern medicine.
No more so then in recent years when, once again, discussions have increased as to the role of pollution, and the growing impact on public health. Certainly this type of disturbance on the body is on the rise. I have noticed that the majority of my clients now have a constant low level of background pollution disturbance whereas a few years ago they didn’t.
Much of the focus has been on external pollution – that which is outside our homes. But is this the main issue?
Could our homes actually be more of a threat to our health?
It is encouraging to see that more recently there has been mention of this source of pollution in the media, possibly indicating a growing recognition of this silent threat? Certainly it has been, to date, a very over looked area.
Our homes potentially are more polluted then the environment around us and therefore affect our health much more,
not least as it is our homes where we spend a significant proportion of our time, especially those all-important sleeping hours.
But where is this pollution coming from as not many of us have diesel cars running in our homes or planes taking off!
Since the late 1940s there has been between 40 and 50,000 new chemicals introduced into our daily lives, many of which have found their way into our homes, and are having a huge impact in the quality of the air in them and our health as a result.
And where are these chemicals found?
In our furnishings, furniture, carpets, paints and building materials, cleaning products, artificial air fresheners, cosmetics and personal hygiene products. In effect almost everything we use on a daily basis. And it’s a problem made worse by our increasing drive for energy efficiency which leads to us sealing our homes more to keep the heat in but also many of these additional extras we could do without!
So what to do?
Awareness is key. Simply being more aware of this source of pollution, and making some small changes as a result, will make a huge difference.
There are many chemical free options now available – paint, carpets and furnishings, and cleaning products – for both our homes and us. But even some small relatively inexpensive changes will help. Here are a few ideas:
- Use essential oils instead of artificial air fresheners.
- Check out some of the old fashioned chemical free cleaning options. Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can do most jobs just as well as the fancy chemical laden products can.
- Use more natural fabrics in your home, cotton and wool, for example.
- Open your windows! Ventilation is key, especially if you have recently purchased a new carpet, furniture or painted.
- Use more natural cosmetics and personal hygiene products. These are much more widely available now but again check out some of the homemade options – fun to make and use, and so much better for you!