• Caroline O'Hagan

Hidden nasties in your home - and I don't mean spiders!

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

Despite the very prevalent scientific research showing that synthetic chemical substances can cause a whole host of health conditions, they are used in almost everything we come into contact with, every day.

Unless you have actively sought out these potential hazards to your health, and replaced them, you are exposing yourself and your family to their negative effects, constantly.

We all know that mobile phones and wifi are probably not doing us any favours, and its no secret that substances like alcohol, cigarettes and highly processed foods are not good for us, but what about the things we haven't considered yet?

Remember a few years back there was suddenly a huge big deal about BPAs and other substances that were used to make single use plastic bottles? Remember how we were all told that they could cause cancer, and not to drink from them especially if they have been left in the sun? Remember how suddenly there was a massive influx of reusable and BPA-free water bottles everywhere? (This was definitely a sensible step for the environment too!) Well, BPAs and the other letters you have been warned to avoid, are part of a group of chemical substances known as Endocrine Disruptors. The reason there was such a hoo-haa about how these water bottles may have been causing breast cancers, was because of the dangerous effects they were having on the natural hormonal processes in some women.

These chemicals, upon entering the body would mimic naturally occurring hormones such as oestrogens, and bind to oestrogen receptors, blocking the real hormones that were desperately trying to do their job. This in turn would cause a break down in communication in the hormonal chain (think of hormones as messages, sent between organs), and leading to harmful build ups of the real hormones in the system.

The toxic load this would put on the liver, over time, has been shown to be responsible for many hormonal based diseases, including Endometriosis, Breast cancer and more.

This discovery was only one of many, as there are plenty of other substances that we innocently use in every day lives that have similar or equally as dangerous effects on the body.

Lets talk commercial perfumes, deodorants, cosmetics, shampoos, sunscreens. Recent studies have shown that regular (not even over-use) use of cosmetics, skincare products, hair products, hair dyes, sunscreens and more, are responsible for trends in much earlier onset of puberty in females. What's worse, is that if the mother had been using these products during pregnancy, the cause may even be tracked back to that, as opposed to current usage - and made worse by current usage!

This website has more information and links to studies. This study links exposure to phthalates (one of the many harmful substances in question), to developmental issues in childhood, particularly with language development.

When you put these substances on to your skin, it has absorbed and entered your blood stream in a matter of seconds. Once it has reached your bloodstream, it can roam throughout your body, and disrupt whatever it likes. The list of health conditions that can be caused by or exacerbated by endocrine disrupting substances is too long to mention, but if you have thyroid, adrenal, or fertility concerns, PMS, Endometriosis, or have suffered from cancer, then it is important to look carefully at the products you routinely use. If you truly are on a mission to get well and live a low-tox life, then removing these items from your skin care, hair care, and beauty routine is absolutely crucial.

I have my own personal favourite products and I am always happy to help you make the switch to better alternatives for you and your home.

Cleaning products - apart from the chemicals used in cleaning, being on every surface, all your utensils and crockery, your clothes and linen, you are also breathing in microscopic particles left over from that bug spray, surface spray, or toilet cleaner. They are really unnecessary, and a few simple items can replace all of them, which is better for your health, your wallet and the environment - surely thats a big WIN!

I have written an article about this before, so no need to rehash it again, but you can read it here!

So there are some chemical substances that can be avoided, but what about the sneaky things that you can't see, or don't realise could be a problem?

MOULD! If there are skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, respiratory conditions like asthma or allergies, even brain fog and headaches, unexplained fatigue, tremors, or even night sweats (that aren't related to menopause or the weather!) you could be suffering with mould toxicity. If there is mould present in your house, then this could be your issue. If you have these symptoms, but cannot identify sources of mould, it could be worth bringing in a specialist to identify sources and help to to eradicate it.

Bacteria on towels, face washers, bed linen - especially in the humid climate of a Queensland summer, these things should be switched out and cleaned very regularly. Bed linen is slept on for an average of 56 hours a week (or more if you are lucky or a child!) so changing and washing them weekly is ideal. Towels may be necessary to change daily in extremely humid environments where they won't fully dry.

Sun drying your linens and towels can help, especially if you are unable to wash as often as necessary.

What about the fridge?! Well, if you have mouldy or rotting fruit or veg, or worse -meat - in your fridge, then chances are that the spores have travelled within the fridge and could land on other things. Keep things sealed with silicone zip lock bags, lidded containers, glass jars or their original packaging to avoid contamination. If your bread goes mouldy, chuck it all out - don't even give it to the chickens! One spot of mould might be all you can see, but microscopic particles will have infiltrated the whole loaf by the time it begins to be visable.

An old roommate of mine once said to me (to get out of doing the washing up), there is nothing wrong with a little low-grade bacteria. And he is right about that, if it is the kind of bacteria that is beneficial to us and our health. But unless you have a science-guy on standby to test everything you come into contact with, it is better to assume that things would be much safer if they were cleaned and washed properly. Having said that, excessive use of hand sanitiser and its delightful ingredient Triclosan, has been shown to have had negative effects on health from damaging healthy gut microbiomes, to causing behavioural problems in children, and fibroids. This link is to the pubmed search page where I simply typed in "triclosan" - you can see for yourself that it has become a hot topic in recent years.

If you believe that some of your health concerns may be being caused by or made worse by substances in your home, I am here to help. I can come to your home and help you to identify possible causes, as well as offer solutions and replacements for your current products.

This service can be taken as a standalone, or as part of your holistic treatment plan. For more information, you can contact me Here or call Caroline on 0433 280 621.

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