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| Welcome to the August edition of the National Allergy E-Newsletter. This month I will continue our two-part series on the Ways and Benefits of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals At Home. Last month we focused on common household products, and offered some alternative options for many products we use every day. This month I will examine various personal care items - so read on to find out what questionable substances may be on the ingredients lists of your favorite bath and body products!
In This Month's Issue:
Katie Weaver & The National Allergy Newsletter Team
P.S. If you're new to the newsletter or you'd like to reread any of our newsletters, you can find all of our past issues on our website. In the coming months we'll have more educational articles about the aggravating factors behind allergy, asthma, and sinus problems as well as helpful tips and valuable subscriber-only coupons. To top it off, we're giving away an Austin Air HM-400 Air Purifier, valued at $449.99, to one lucky subscriber every month!
Part 2: More Ways & Benefits Of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals At Home
Why Should I Be Concerned?As we explained last month, in part one of this series, our lives are more inundated with chemical exposure than we realize. Recent studies have linked exposure to various chemicals and compounds to everything from asthma to cancer. The latter of these health risks is a huge issue about which many of you may have concerns. However, our primary concern in this series is about the effects of chemicals on allergy and asthma sufferers. I will list some outside resources should you want to read further about other dangers associated with chemicals commonly found in personal care items.
Last month I gave you many commonly-found household chemicals to look out for, and some alternative product ideas. This month I will take a closer look at the ways we keep our skin and body looking and feeling healthy.
Are There Potentially Harmful Chemicals In My Personal Care Products?
Here are some substances commonly found in personal care items that could be harmful. This list is not intended to scare you, but to educate you on a few ingredients to look out for. In fact, according to the CDC, "a measurable amount of a compound in a person's body does not mean it causes disease or other damage." I have not listed every chemical that I read about in my research, but mainly those that negatively affect our general health, our skin or have irritating effects for asthmatics.
What Are Some Safe Alternatives To Chemical-containing Products?People sensitive to chemicals do have other options. Fortunately, safe, non-toxic products are more commonly available these days. Here are a few skincare and personal care products that we have identified to keep your body safe. For more information about skin care and allergy-related skin conditions, refer to our January 2005 Newsletter.
Our bodies are 70% water and must be replenished daily, so drinking good quality water is very important. Many counter-top and under-sink filters are available to remove chlorine and other irritants. In addition to the presence of chlorine, recent research has also shown noticeable levels of various other types of chemicals in drinking water. Sometimes called "emergent contamination", this new class of substances showing up in our drinking water includes traces of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, as well as industrial run-off from farms and factories. The effect of these contaminants is unknown, and the amounts are so small that any problems would probably manifest from consistent long-term exposure. If you'd like to read further about the "emerging" contaminants in U.S. water supplies, a more thorough article by The Academy of Natural Sciences is available through this link:
Many people use installed or counter-top water filters to minimize their exposure through drinking water. In-home water filtration not only contributes to good health, but it helps the environment and our budgets because we're not buying and disposing of hundreds of bottles of water each month. What many people may not know about chlorine exposure is that half of it occurs in the shower. Unfiltered shower water can double exposure to chlorine by absorption through the skin and by inhalation of chlorine vapors. Chlorine vaporizes in hot shower water and is inhaled into the lungs, then transferred into the blood stream.
Because of this absorption process and its potentially harmful effects, we recommend shower water filters such as the Sprite Royale Handheld Filter, which minimizes exposure to chlorine, as well as other potentially dangerous chemicals that have been found in the water supply. The further benefits of such filters are softer hair and smoother skin.
If you are concerned about what, if any, other substances may be in your home's water, visit the EPA's "What's In My Water" site for specific information on your town or county's water supply. For those who have well water, the EPA's website offers information so you can find out more about possible chemicals, metals or other substances in your water.
The topic of water purification is an extremely broad one that we can only touch on in this article. Equally far reaching is the general subject of chemical avoidance. So many household elements have implications for our readers that we needed two articles to tackle the topic! I truly hope this month's tips and information, combined with last month's newsletter, have helped you discover some ways to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful substances.
This information is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor first about your specific condition, treatment options and other health concerns you may have.
If you have additional questions about the content in this newsletter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call one of our phone experts at 1-800-522-1448.
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