An ongoing series of informational entries

What Is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)?

MCS may increase in severity over time. Researchers describe the stages of MCS as follows:


Stage 0 — Tolerance: You may be exposed to chemical triggers, but your body is able to adapt to it if the exposure is minimal.

Stage 1 — Sensitization: Low concentrations over short or long periods of time start to activate a range of vague symptoms. They may be overlooked as something else and are difficult to correlate with the exposure.

Stage 2 — Inflammation: Your organ systems begin to have chronic inflammation. Exposures to triggers may last for several days, even weeks.

Stage 3 — Deterioration: Your central nervous system becomes impaired. Chronic inflammation increases, which can start to damage organs. That may generate more severe forms of chronic diseases, such as heart attacks, cancer, and autoimmune issues. 

How Do You Identify Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

The responses from MCS can vary from person to person. The same chemical can give two people with MCS completely different reactions. It also depends on the level of toxin exposure. Higher amounts may create a much more intense response. Here’s some of the most common MCS symptoms, as well as other issues that can accompany MCS.  

Symptoms:

When you first start to experience MCS, you might brush off the symptoms or attribute them to something else. But these responses can escalate over time. You may develop severe reactions that happen immediately on exposure.

Reactions or symptoms could include: 

Rashes - Joint pain - Nausea -Fatigue

Headaches - Gut issues - Blood pressure changes -Asthma attacks - Brain fog Dermatitis - Fainting Poor circulation - Hormone disorders

Bleeding in your extremities or on your skin

Food and environmental allergies

For some people, the reactions are debilitating. It leaves you unable to function normally or work. And with severe MCS, you can no longer live indoors because any exposure to building materials generates life-threatening responses. 

Identify Your Triggers:

Although everyone with MCS differs, several items do seem to cause the most issues. Be keenly aware if any of the following cause issues for you: 

Pesticides or bug sprays - Smoke

Air fresheners - Household cleaners - Gas or vehicle exhaust

Perfumes or products containing fragrance - Nail polishes and polish removers - Carpet or new furniture - Specific foods or chlorinated water - Medications

Personal care products, like lotions or hairspray

Please note: 

that some houses that use strong synthecic fragrance, I may not be able to clean. I have customer that remove their plug ins, or strong fragrance, prior my arrival, that way I can safetly clean their home. Thank you for your cooperation.

Our Fifthteen Blog Entry

March 3rd, 2021

We live in an increasingly toxic world. The amount of man-made chemicals is steadily rising in our environment. And so is the number of people becoming chronically ill because of them. New estimates suggest that up to 33% of the population could have some level of multiple chemical sensitivity. Have you noticed you react strongly to laundry soap or perfume unlike others around you? You could have multiple chemical sensitivity.


Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic illness where your body has intense responses — such as rashes, breathing issues, and headaches — when exposed to everyday chemicals. Items such as perfumes, laundry soap, new carpet, or exhaust from vehicles may provoke your body to have intense allergic-like reactions.


This disorder goes by a few different names besides MCS. You may also hear it referred to as toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT) or idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI)

MCS affects women more than men. The latest research suggests that around 75% of people with MCS are women. Researchers think that this may be due to hormones.

MCS reactions can impact your day-to-day life. You may even start avoiding places and people to minimize reactions. For example, one nation-wide survey of Americans suggests that almost 59% of people with MCS cannot even use a public restroom because of the fragrances from the air fresheners and soap.


Associated Issues

Researchers have also noticed that people with MCS have higher rates of other disorders and diseases. Rates of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are greater among those with MCS. Issues with the respiratory system — such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis — are also prevalent. MCS might also affect your mental health. Studies suggest that MCS may be associated with panic disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Researchers believe that the inflammation MCS generates in your body increases the likelihood of developing other issues. As an additional factor, MCS also damages your central nervous system.

What Causes Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

You may react strongly to fabric softener or hair products unlike others in the room, but what’s the difference? Why would you develop a sensitivity while others may not?

A specific exposure in your past may have triggered your body to start having extreme reactions. One study examined what people with MCS believed was their initial trigger. The list includes home renovations and medical treatment, such as an allergic reaction to a drug. Some research implies that post-traumatic stress disorder may also play a factor. Your genetics may impact your susceptibility to MCS as well. Some people's genes allow them to more easily break down and detoxify chemicals they encounter. Others may possess genes that make detox a little tougher.  Another risk factor is mold. Being exposed to mold in the past or currently can lead to mold toxicity. Mold toxicity may create inflammation, damage your central nervous system, and cause immune system dysfunction. This could decrease your ability to withstand all the chemicals exposures in your environment. 

Chronic infections, such as Lyme disease or parasites, may also erode your ability to tolerate the toxins around you. Research suggests that an infection could possibly trigger MCSHeavy metal toxicity, including from dental fillings, may be another factor influencing your ability to detox chemical exposures. Electromagnetic fields, such as from Wi-Fi or power lines, increase your risk of developing MCS as well. 

Minimize Your Exposure

Limiting your reactions by freeing your environment of known triggers is an important step. It allows your body to find the calm in the storm of chemicals that surround you. The following are methods to minimize exposure in your environment. Make your home your safe place: You need a space as free of reaction-inducing chemicals as possible. Remove all traditional cleaners, fragranced soaps, and toxic personal care items. 

Search for nontoxic alternatives: Find chemical-free products online or at your local health food store. 

Even some large grocery chains are now carrying nontoxic, fragrance-free items for your home. Look for nontoxic personal care products as well.

Seek mold-free surroundings: Since mold is known to initiate MCS, make sure your home is mold-free and has no water-damaged areas. It will be impossible to recover if your body is fighting both chemicals and mold toxicity. You can test your home for mold in order to make sure.

Ask for cooperation: Explain what you are dealing with to friends and family. Let them know how seriously ill fragrances or other products make you, and that you won’t be allowing those items into your home to protect your health. Ask for their understanding and help to overcome MCS by not using trigger products around you.

            CLEANING PROTOCOL & COVID-19


A Clean Home Isn't Really Clean Without Proper Sanitizing and Disinfecting

In these times with seasonal flu and the spread of new  Coronavirus (COVID-19) , it is very important that we are mindful of keeping our homes in a healthy manner and taking the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our family. The Cleaning Mom's, cleaning process is exactly what these times require, our procedures, product and equiptment will make your homes more sanitize and helps reduce the spread of the CIVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses.

We understand that eliminating bacteria and germs within your home is very important during these times. As part of The Cleaning Mom's process, we use a protocol  to insure your home is disinfect  in a effective way to fight against the bacterias, germs and viruses. The Cleaning Mom vacuums are 99.9% effective at capturing particles, including bacteria, mold, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites from soft surfaces like carpets, rugs and upholstery. Most of our vaccums have three to four levels of filtration.

Hand Washing Prevents the Spread of Virus-Causing Germs:

Follow these reccomendation from the CDC to help prevent the spread of the seasonal flu and respiratory diseases like Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.


Our Fourteen Blog Entry

March 16th, 2020

Count on The Cleaning Mom to Help Ensure a Healthy Home Environment

Below are some ways we help ensure a healthy environment for you and ourself every time we visit your home:

As a one to two housekeeper service, you don't have to worry abouts having 3 to 4 people in your home. I wear disposable gloves on both hands while cleaning, as well as shoe covers. I always  wear mask, no only because of covid, but because  I have allergies to certain pets or if there is excess of pet hair. I  sanitize and disinfect light switches, doorknobs, telephones, bathroom surfaces, and other commonly touched hard surfaces in your homes using eco-friendly products that are safe for you and your loves ones, but strong enought to remove germs and bacterias amd viruses. 

The Cleaning Mom, vacuums are effective at capturing particles, including bacteria, mold, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites from soft surfaces like carpets, rugs and upholstery. All cleaning cloths are switched out between different areas within your home. After use, these towels are laundered and disinfected and dry with very high heat temperature. My vacuums, attachments, cleaning tools, shoe covers, knee pads, and buckets are disinfected between homes and always at the end of the day.

I have hand sanitizer to use while in homes and while in my car in between homes. The interior surfaces of the my car is disinfected as well. 

If someone is sick or has been sick in your home, whether it's the cold, flu or fever, or covid-19 please notify my office in advance as I may need to postpone your service until your home is healthy again, however, I can not hold your slot or your recurring discounts.  With this being said if you ever come back and require services from us, you will need to pay our currently hourly rate. No exceptions!

Keep in mind, viruses can live on hard surfaces for 48-72 hours, so between visits, please try and disinfect "high-touch" surfaces regularly by using an approved household disinfectant.

As the spread of the COVID-19 is still being investigated, we continue to provide the best service possible, while ensuring the safety of ourselves. The Cleaning Mom is actively following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will refine and update cleaning procedures, as needed, as we continue to learn more about COVID-19 and how it's spread.



My favorite diffuser is a :

Waterless Diffuser

A waterless diffuser disperses essential oils without the use of heat or water. Instead, an atomizer creates super fine particles of essential oils, which are distributed using air. Because of this, you'll get nothing but pure essential oil aroma filling the air around you.

Why Waterless Diffusing Will Revolutionize Your Work Day

Alter your mood - Design a custom essential oil blend to suit your work style - Abandon synthetics - Get rid of that synthetic air fresher or those fragrance oils and replace them with a diffuser that uses only simple, pure essential oils.

REVIVE ESSENTIAL OIL DISCOUNT HERE


Our Thirteen Blog Entry

March 4th, 2020

What are the benefits of using a diffuser?

5 Benefits of Using an Essential Oil Diffuser

Diffusing Essential Oils Promotes Better Sleep. ...

Diffusing Essential Oils Boosts Our Resilience Against Cold and Flu. ...

Diffusing Essential Oils Clears the Lungs and Supports Respiratory Health. ...

Diffusing Essential Oils Help Focus and Cognitive Function. ...

Diffusing Essential Oils Supports Emotional Health and more......


Do you know that oils can help with Bacterias, and Mold?

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacterias, viruses, and germs. Eucalyptus, thyme, clove, oregano, rosemary, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.



DO YOU WANT A QUALITY DIFFUSER CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION?



Before picture

After picture

Before

After

In addition to this air purifier, I personally use www.colorfil.com filters for my home. 

Our Twelve Blog Entry

February  29th, 2020

 AIR PURIFIER SOMETIMES IS NEED IT

What I am about to show you here is my personal experience only. I hire this company originally just to clean my AIR DUCT, because I noticed that even if I dust my home within couples day or week, I will see dust. So, I call Air Duct Cleaning company, make an appoinment and to my suprise this what they find picture are to the left side, this is actually what was hidding in my AIR DUCT SYSTEM, SCARRY!!. We were getting sick and not knowing the actually cause to it. We all know MOLD is super dangerous, but do we even know how this fungus hide in places in our home that we can not even think about it. That's WHY I decide to invest in an Air purifier.

The UV home air sanitizer helps fight indoor air pollution and purify the air in your entire home 24/7! Silent Light uses powerful ultraviolet light to help reduce and kill mold, bacteria, viruses, and other airborne invaders. The use of the ultraviolet light for air purification has been proven effective in hospitals, schools, daycare centers, restaurants, and hotels. It's even recommended by doctors! 

The best location for the UVC Silent Light is over the A/C coil. This will treat the indoor air while simultaneously keeping the coil clean. The moisture on the coil and in the drain pan is a prime breeding ground for bacteria, spores, viruses and other contaminants. If there is no A/C system or the location is not accessible, the optional location is in the return air duct, preferably downstream of the filter. For higher square footage applications, installing two air health units, one over the A/C coil in the supply and one in the return, is ideal for its cumulative effect.

Installation of a residential UV system from will improve indoor air quality (IAQ) by removing bacteria, odors, viruses and allergens from the central air system. The air quality inside your home may not be as clean as you think. Indoor air is constantly being re-circulated through your heating and cooling system. Over time, the air becomes stagnant and serves as a breeding ground for yeast, mold and bacteria. These airborne microorganisms can cause a host of health problems, including allergies, asthma and upper respiratory infections. Since you spend a good amount of time in your home, you want the air that you breathe to be as clean and pure as possible. About 80% of the particle matter in your air is actually dead skin cells. The remaining 20% is made up of over 350 different contaminants, such as smoke, viruses, mold spores, fungi, pet dander and chemical gases from carpet, furniture, or cleaning products. Ultraviolet light has the precise amount of energy needed to break apart organic molecularbonds. What does this mean for you? As the harmful germs and tiny organisms pass through the UV light of your whole house air purifier, their molecular structure is broken down in such a way that results in genetic damage, preventing them from reproducing. UV light has this destructive effect on microorganisms and harmful pathogens, such as fungi,viruses, bacteria and other invisible invaders. It cleans your air much more effectively than other ordinary air filters on the market today. A whole house air purifier runs through your central air conditioning and heating unit, disinfecting and sterilizing the air that passes through your vents. It also helps your system to function more efficiently by ridding it of mold, which increases the system’s workload.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO IF YOU DON'T HAVE THEY BUDGET FOR AN AIR PURIFIER AT THE MOMENT?

A least have a proffesional company cleaning and treating the MOLD. If prices are not within your budget either for this procedure, then I will share my personal option, and what I have been doing ever since mold was found in my home. I did pay for treatment and cleaning of the MOLD and to install an air purifier. However, there's other options if you want to do it yourself. Prepare yourself, HOW? Well,  suit up and cover your body as much as possible, including your face, hands, etc. Wear a mask that may protect you from breathing this airbone(mold). Then, and before starting cleaning or removing mold, diffuse a combination of essential oil that will kill the mold. YES, you hear correctly...... Now you can start cleaning the affected area. 


Top Ingredients to Avoid for a Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent:

Bleach & Brighteners: Just in case you need a reminder on the safety risks, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is extremely toxic and dangerous given its ability to cause severe skin burns & eye damage, trigger dangerous allergy and asthma reactions, its link to cancer and organ damage, and its extreme toxicity if inhaled or ingested.

What’s creating the extra brightness from optical brighteners? Chemicals that actually remain on the clothes to absorb UV light & minimize yellow so that clothes appear brighter. EWG recommends that consumers stay away from these because of skin irritation and environmental safety concerns, and the EPA has said that these are potentially toxic. These ingredients aren’t always listed, so a helpful rule of thumb is that if the product is labeled as biodegradable, it probably doesn’t contain optical brighteners.

Fragrances & Phthalates: Fragrances in laundry detergents are designed to stay in clothing after washing, which means you should definitely be concerned about their safety. Fragrance chemicals can pass through the skin and enter the blood stream. They are often manufactured from petroleum and coal tar and are classified as carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, skin and respiratory irritants. Unfortunately the fragrance industry is self-regulated, where safety testing does not have to precede product sales and fragrance cocktails don’t even have to be reviewed by regulatory agencies. In household products like laundry detergents, fragrances are considered trade secrets, meaning that manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the potentially hundreds of ingredients hiding behind the one word “fragrance”.  Phthalates are often present in laundry detergent but you won’t find them listed on labels. They’re typically associated with fragrances (they make scents last), so here is yet another reason to avoid fragrances. Across multiple studies, phthalates have been shown to cause hormone disruption. The Centers for Disease Control reported that phthalates can be found in the blood of most Americans, and the greatest quantities are in women. They can also be found in some plastic containers, so avoid detergents with recycling codes 3 &  Even more irritating: Don’t be tricked by the phrase “fragrance-free” or “unscented”. You also have to check the ingredient list, because sometimes companies use masking fragrances to cover the chemical smells of their products. Also watch out for products labeled as “natural” or “natural fragrance,” because there is no standard criteria for what these words mean.

Other eco-friendly products and their webpages:


CHECK OUR BUSINESS SUPPORT PAGE

Our Eleventh blog

January 24th, 2020

 How to choose a non-toxic laundry detergent

We wash our clothes to get rid of the gross stuff we interact with every day at work, school and sports. So, how crazy is it that laundry detergents are some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxic ingredients? Even worse: your skin can absorb toxic chemicals (think paragons & phthalates), so wearing clothes that have been treated with toxins is a super bad idea, especially for children. And, while we wish this weren’t the case, the government regulation in this space is severely lacking when it comes to chemical safety. In fact, 0f the over 62,000 chemicals approved for use in the US, only about 300 have actually been tested for safety. Most people also don’t realize that laundry detergent manufacturers aren’t required to show their full ingredient lists, or that “fragrance” on a laundry detergent can actually mask a cocktail of dozens of toxic ingredients! So how do you find a safe laundry detergent when the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the authority on product & environmental safety, rates almost 70% of laundry detergents a D or F (their highest safety concern)? 

 Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): Sodium lauryl sulfate has been linked to skin & eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption & ecotoxicology. The manufacturing of these also leads to a highly toxic & carcinogenic by-product called 1,4 dioxane. Nixing the SLS & SLES can go a long way in your quest towards a non-toxic laundry detergent. Methylisothiazolinone & Benzisothiazolinone -These are preservatives to watch for & both are common in detergents labeled as “natural”. Methylisothiazolinone is linked with inhalation toxicity, dangerous allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. Benzisothiazolinone is an antimicrobial agent. It’s notorious as a skin, eye, and lung irritant, and it’s also an environmental pollutant that’s toxic to fish.

Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents We’re Loving Right Now

Third choice:

Dr. Bonner’s Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Soap is a great, unscented option for a non-toxic laundry detergent and (even cooler) you can dilute it with water, so a little goes a long way. In addition Sal Suds is another options not only for laundry, but to prepare all type of cleaning supplies.

Second choice:  

As my second choice I will say Branch Basics, you can buy the concentrate cleaner and make no only laundry detergent, but hand soap, glass cleaner, bathrrom cleaner, etc. For white close I recommend the oxygen powder they have. 

Our Top Pick:

Thieves Laundry Detergent, from Young Living, are a fantastic choice for grown up laundry, baby, or, even worse, a teenager’s!

THIEVES LAUNDRY DETERGENT BELOW


There are many laundry detergent alternative out there for not only eco-friendly, but non-harmful to our body. Another source you may want to try, and that I have use as well is , Branch Basics, click here if you want $10.00 off. I will keep my reader inform as I research for better products that are safe & eco-friendly for  our body and homes.


#5: VACUUM & DUST REGULARLY

Here’s a mind-boggling fact: microplastics ride on household dust. Much of this comes from dryers which leach microplastics from synthetic clothing into the air. In fact, the main source of microplastic pollution comes from the washing process of synthetic textiles. To avoid breathing them, eating them, drinking them, etc. dust surfaces regularly and clean your floors using a HEPA vacuum, and/or line dry your clothes and choose natural fibers as much as possible. Consider purchasing a Guppy Friend wash bag for your synthetic clothes.

#6: CHOOSE FRESH, WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOODS

This is one’s a no-brainer: when you buy fresh foods and minimally-processed foods, they have little-to-no contact with plastic, which reduces your exposure.

#7: BE AWARE OF BABY PRODUCTS

Items such as teethers, pacifiers, bottles, nipples, and sippy cups should be scrutinized for their plastic content. Don’t presume anything is made from silicone or rubber unless it’s stated on the label. The safest teethers are made of 100% rubber with silicone as a second choice, bottles should be made of glass, look for silicone nipples (and dispose at the first signs of wear), choose rubber or silicone pacifiers, and stainless steel sippy cups.

#8: DITCH THE COFFEE PODS, COFFEE MAKERS, AND TO-GO CUPS ALREADY!

Environmental controversy aside: hot coffee made from K-Cups or even coffee makers, which have plastic tubing, tanks, etc., is a major source of plastic. Instead, we recommend a Presto stainless steel coffee pot, glass or stainless steel French Press, porcelain dripper or all-glass coffee pots like Chemex or Walkure. Finally, if you get coffee out try and bring your own stainless steel mug to avoid plastics in the lining of some disposable cups and their lids…or at the very least, take off the lid before drinking.

Our Tenth Blog Entry

January 17th, 2020

 Eight Ways To Consume Less Plastic

The ill effects of plastic on humans (cancer, birth defects, and hormonal imbalances) have largely been swept under the proverbial plastic industry rug. Sure, we all heard about the dangers of BPA a few years back, but once BPA-free products started hitting the shelves, many people were falsely comforted and forgot about avoiding plastics. And who would have ever thought we would be talking about eating the stuff?! At least until news about the ocean’s plastic pollution started circulating through social media, and especially when this headline rocked our worlds a few weeks back: “You May Be Eating a Credit Card’s Worth of Plastic Each Week”. Suddenly our dependency on plastic got very personal. No longer is it enough to stop microwaving in plastic containers or avoid bottled water, we have to take bigger steps to avoid consuming microplastics in our food, water, beverages, air, and environments. And while this problem may seem overwhelming, there is plenty you can do to reduce your plastic consumption while helping the environment.

Here are 8 ways to consume less plastic:

#1: STORE FOOD IN GLASS JARS OR CONTAINERS

Food stored in plastic has the potential to absorb a variety of chemicals, including BPA, BPB, and endocrine-disrupting cancer-causing phthalates. To avoid this, use glass Tupperware or mason jars to store your leftovers and pack lunch items, picnics, snacks for the kids, etc. in stainless steel containers, bento boxes, and/or thermoses. Lunchbots has a great selection to choose from.

#2: INVEST IN AN EXCELLENT WATER FILTER

Microplastics aren’t just in our oceans, new research has found that 94% of America’s drinking water is full of microplastics. And while authorities, like the World Health Organization, say they aren’t concerned about health risks, “based on the limited information they have”, good old fashioned common sense would suggest this is not a good thing. Especially if you drink 8 glasses of water plus, coffee, tea, etc. every single day for your entire life. 

#3: DRINK FROM GLASS OR STAINLESS STEEL (THAT INCLUDES BABIES AND CHILDREN)

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to ditch plastic water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups in favor of glass. If glass isn’t available or impractical use a lead-free stainless steel. Some of our favorite brands are Klean Kanteen, Lifefactory®, or Glasstic for water bottles, LifeFactory or Boob Joovy for baby bottles, and Thermos Foogo for sippy cups. Mason jars also make excellent “water bottles” on-the-cheap for adults and children—you can even get stainless steel lids and straws for them to prevent spills. For coolers, we recommend Mountain Valley Spring in glass for use with a glass, ceramic or stainless steel dispenser.

#4: DRINK LOOSE LEAF TEA

While you probably saw the credit-card consumption headlines, you may have missed this one: “Tea Bags Can Release Billions of Microplastics into Your Drink”. How is this possible? Many commercial tea companies use polypropylene to seal their tea bag.


I have to work in couples of the above myself!!

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Our Nineth Blog Entry

January 6th, 2019

Carpeting: Avoiding the worst toxin in your home that’s under your feet:

From a geometric, statement piece area rug to beige wall-to-wall in the hallway, rugs and carpets lend a pleasant coziness to our homes. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the largest contributors to toxin exposure in your home. In fact, California Department of Toxic Substances Control has identified carpets and rugs as the largest potential sources of significant and widespread PFAS exposures, especially for children. Mic drop. So, now that you’re sufficiently freaked out, here’s what you need to know about identifying and replacing your floor coverings and cleaners with non-toxic carpeting. 

Three Questions to ask in your search for non-toxic carpeting

1. What chemicals am I trying to avoid?

Like clothing, bedding and mattresses, carpets are some of the most trafficked areas of our home. Our children and pets spend a lot of time playing and interacting with the surface. The quest for non-toxic carpeting is tough as carpets and their backings are often made of synthetic materials, treated with hazardous chemical sprays and then installed with adhesives. Older carpets in particular can contain toxins like endocrine-disruptors, phthalates, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to a variety of health issues like organ and nervous system damage and cancer. Much of conventional new carpeting is made from problematic material, especially the backings, such as the Styrene Butadien rubber backing found on 95% of carpets, which off gas both styrene, a carcinogen and 4-PC, a form of polycarbonate, which have been linked to cancer. The most important thing to seek out, however, is the many treatments carpet manufacturers use. Make sure to avoid are flame retardants, waterproofing and stain treatments, as they usually contain PFCs, which are perfluorinated compounds, the same liquid-repelling technology as nonstick cookware. PFCs are highly toxic, never break down in the environment, and build up in your body where they have been linked to a host of scary health issues.

This same logic applies to how rugs are installed as rug pads are often made from some pretty nasty materials and rug adhesives, used for wall-to-wall carpeting, can contain dangerous VOCs.

2. How do I choose non-toxic carpeting for my home?

Whenever possible, go with a more non-toxic and eco-friendly flooring choice like wood or tile that’s installed with low VOC materials. If some carpeting is needed, go for area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting to reduce your exposure to adhesive and other installation materials that are hazardous. Then, get choosy about your materials. A greta choice? Wool! It’s sustainable and can even improve your indoor air quality. Other natural materials that make excellent non-toxic carpets that also offer some interior design bang-for-your-buck are jute, seagrass and sisal. Just make sure to choose one that has not been treated with any additional chemicals, like a stain-resistant or water-resistant barrier. Rug pads also come in natural fibers like wool and natural rubber. Finally, if you can’t avoid using a synthetic carpet, check out brands that are vetted by groups like Greenguard, a body that screens products for indoor air pollutant VOCs. But (there’s always a but!) remember that, while a product can be certified as safe from a VOC standpoint, it may still contain other hazards that the certifying organization may not screen for, like phthalates. As you decide on floorings in your home, consider this: wall-to-wall in a rarely-used guest bathroom isn’t as important as the living room rug your sweet baby is learning to crawl on. Try to prioritize the safest materials for the high-traffic areas in your home. For more information, the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Home resource has a great guide on carpets.

3. How Do I Clean It?

Okay, so now that you have had to settle for a carpet that’s not going to magically repel everything your kids and pets drag all over it (sorry!), how are you going to keep it clean? First, check out carpet cleaning products on resources like the Environmental Working Group’s database to rule out any toxic bad guys by weeding out some of the worst ingredients and picking a safer carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaning solutions can include PFCs! So make sure you’re scanning the labels for anything containing the term “fluoro” to help you avoid them. Other major ingredients to weed out: fragrance (an proprietary term that allows manufacturers to hide ingredients that may be toxins and allergens) and ammonium hydroxide, a respiratory irritant, allergen and aquatic pollutant.For the big, bad messes, there are non-toxic options that are still powerful enough to take care of the problem without exposing your family to harmful toxins. You just have to do some search and look for best work for your budget and family.




The bottom line: 

Congress has banned some phthalates in toys, but as the recent study above suggests, others have been substituted in their place. Many countries have banned phthalates (EU, Canada, South Korea, Japan, even China). But the U.S. government demands such a high level of proof of harm that many agree it is simply impossible to reach—and our government is slow to respond, banning only a few chemicals in its history. 

My own personal opinon:

Making baby steps changes are better than doing nothing at all. Some may be able to swicth completely from fragrance to a more natural approach, other will be able to do it in baby steps. I believe we have to start somewhere. 

Our Eight Blog Entry

December 27th, 2019

THE DANGER OF SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE

1. WHAT is “fragrance?” More than 95 percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste. Typical Fragrance Oils are made in a laboratory from synthetic compounds and composed almost entirely of petroleum by products such as benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene, and other known toxic chemicals. However, the addition of a little bit of essential oil does not mean they are natural. 

2. WHERE is it hiding? In the U.S., manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of synthetic chemicals in the one word “fragrance” without revealing what those ingredients are. It’s referred to as a “trade secret” in the industry. But really, it’s simply a loophole big enough to drive a fuel truck though. This excuse to not label fragrance ingredients was initiated in an era when the major fragrance houses lobbied to protect their secret formulas made from flowers and oils. But those days are long gone. What the government is protecting now are manufacturers who have a license to poison the American public with more than 3,000 chemicals that are being absorbed, inhaled, and ingested daily.

3. WHY should I avoid it? Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL-ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation, and have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity. 

4. HOW do I avoid fragrance? Many of us work hard to make good food choices such as eating organic and avoiding hormones and GMOs and we read nutrition labels. But how many of us read the labels of our bottles, sprays, and jars? A majority of personal care products for men, women, and children, along with home cleaning products, contain “fragrance.” The ingredients in “fragrance” are absorbed into the bloodstream directly though the skin. It's best for people to avoid ALL products with the ingredient “fragrance” on the label including perfumes and colognes, baby lotions and wipes, air fresheners and candles, dryer sheets and detergents, and so on. Even if the front screams “fragrance free,” products can still contain fragrance ingredients as a masking agent to cover unpleasant chemical smells. Read the labels!



Like mosquitoes, ticks are known carriers of disease and can be harmful to all members of your family, including your pets:

-Anaplasmosis - Babesiosis - Borrelia Mayonii - Borrelia Miyamotoi - -Bourbon Virus - Colorado Tick Fever - Ehrlichiosis - Heartland Virus -Lyme Disease - Powassan Disease - Rickettsia Parkeri Rickettsiosis - -Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness -Tick Borne Relapsing Fever - Tularemia - 364D Rickettsiosis.

Lone Star ticks are spreading a disease that could cause you to become allergic to meat. Alpha-gal, a galactose sugar molecule, causes a re-wiring of the immune system which causes the recipient of the bite to become allergic to meat. The disease, primarily found in southeastern U.S., has spread and become common in farther north and western regions that experience warming temperatures. 

One more word on this TICKS:

They make cause Lyme Disease. This condition is very difficult to diagnose since many of its symptoms closely mimic other health problem and common autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disorders, fribromyalgia, depression, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, Lyme is called "THE GREAT IMITATOR" for this reason. Doctor often rely on blood test and/or the appearance of skin rash to make a diagnoses of Lyme disease, which is why many cases are initially missed. 

Our Seventh Blog Entry

December 5th, 2019

 TINY BUGS, BIG PROBLEMS 

MOSQUITOES & TICKS

Have you ever wondered why some people get bitten by mosquitoes and others don't? It's not just chance. About 10 to 20 percent of people are mosquito magnets due to their body chemistry, scientists say. Here are some things that mosquitoes find irresistible.

Body Odor and Heat

Mosquitoes are very sensitive to scents produced when you sweat, such as ammonia, lactic acid, and uric acid. The more you perspire and the more it soaks into clothing (like socks or T-shirts) the more bacteria build up on your skin (especially if you're exercising or working outside and getting dirty), making you more attractive to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are also attracted by the heat our bodies produce; the bigger you are, the more attractive a target you become.

Perfumes, Colognes, Lotions

In addition to natural body odors, mosquitoes are also lured by chemical scents from perfumes or colognes. Floral scents are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, research shows. They're also lured by skincare products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which are a form of lactic acid that the bugs love.

Cardon Dioxide

Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide in the air, so the more you exhale, the more likely you are to become a blood meal. Mosquitoes usually fly in a zigzag pattern through the CO2 plume until they locate the source. Adults are especially attractive because they emit more carbon dioxide than children and pets.

Other Factors?

It's a fact that mosquitoes thrive on proteins found in the blood. Although some researchers have argued that mosquitoes appear to be attracted to Type O blood in humans, other researchers have questioned the data behind this study. Some people also contend that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, especially blue, and the odors of fermented foods like cheese or beer, but neither of these assertions has been proven true by scientists.

Mosquito Facts

There are more about 3,500 species of mosquito throughout the world. About 170 species can be found in the United States. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood, which they need in order to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes do not bite, preferring the nectar of flowers. Million people contract a mosquito borne illness each year resulting in more than 1 million deaths. While most are aware of one or two of these diseases, the reality is much greater. There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes, 176 of which are found throughout the United States. Many of these species carry the following diseases: -Malaria - West Nile Virus - Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) - Dengue Chikungunya - Yellow Fever - Filariasis - Tularemia - Dirofilariasis - -Japanese Encephalitis - Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis - Ross River Fever - -Barmah Forest Fever - La Crosse Encephalitis - Zika Fever


On the road to better ways of testing for Lyme disease:

There are several existing tests for Lyme available to physicians. Some are better than others at detecting disease. But while these tests may help your doctor diagnose you, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will only count Lyme cases that test positive by an FDA-cleared test and if the case meets the CDC surveillance guidelines. Currently, the only Lyme tests the CDC recommends are blood tests that detect antibodies to B. burgdorferi.  Antibodies are produced by the immune system to help identify and destroy invading pathogens. And finally, most Lyme tests are designed to detect a single species of the bacteria found primarily in the upper eastern U.S. However, there are species of Lyme and Lyme-like causing Borrelia found in nearly every state.

For information about this check:  www.lymedisease.org


1) Furnishings and Paint

The foam in your furniture and your carpets may be emitting many harmful chemicals continuously. VOCs are the volatile organic chemicals that are found in carpets and the glue that hold them in place. VOCs exist in levels 2 to 5 times higher indoors than out. Volatile organic compounds are linked to cancer and heart and lung disease. VOCs can also be found in paint. Synthetic air fresheners emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) continuously. Some contain p-Dichlorobenzene (PDCB), a chlorinated VOC and a toxin commonly found in mothballs as well as pest repellants. Studies show that estimated cancer risks from PDCB exposure at high concentrations surpass the risk associated with most other  VOCs. Formaldehyde and PCB’s are some more toxic compounds that are emitted from many household products such as wire coatings, adhesives, sealants and wood finishes. It is also found in many permanent-press fabrics. Breathing in formaldehyde can make you feel sick and cause symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, nosebleed and scratchy eyes. It’s also known to cause cancer in high amounts, particularly cancer of the nose and throat. Firsthand and secondhand smoke are other sources of formaldehyde exposure. 

Flame retardants contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs. PBDEs have a variety of negative health effects, and worse, they stockpile in the body. Flame retardants are used in computer and TV casings, circuitry, mattresses and upholstery. PDBEs are also found in treated plastics and fabrics and are released in dust particles and gases. Their levels are increasing at alarming levels in people and affect animals all over the globe. Research demonstrates that in mice, PDBEs negatively affect behavior, learning and memory. Perfluorinated acids (PFAs) are chemicals that comprise non-stick and stain-resistant coatings in many products such as cookware. Some human studies have revealed that PFAs can decrease fertility in women, raise cholesterol levels, affect the growth of children, cause hormone imbalances, and may even raise cancer risk. 

Our Sixth Blog Entry

November 24th, 2019

The Indoor Air Pollution Epidemic & Possible Solution

Do you ever think about the quality of your indoor air? Indoor air quality is an often forgotten aspect of our lives that can seriously impact our health. Indoor air pollutants can cause a wide range of health problems including eye, nose, and throat irritation or as serious as respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer. According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment and on average Americans are spending about 90 percent of their lives indoors!  I’m about to share some scary yet very helpful indoor air quality facts plus natural ways to start improving the the air inside your home and office today!

Examples of sources include gases from cooking and heating, chemicals from candles and household cleansers, mold and mildew and a host of toxins from building materials. 

Here are some of the top indoor air pollutants:

2) Household Products

It’s estimated that the average home contains about 63 synthetic chemicals for a total of about 10 gallons of hazardous material inside of just one home! 

Indoor use of pesticides, cleansers, paints and varnishes and air fresheners (including candles and incense) distribute toxins throughout the home. Many cleansers contain ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes. These are toxic ingredients that can be found in indoor air that are linked with allergies and asthma. 

3) Cooking and Heating

Poorly ventilated or maladjusted coal, gas, kerosene, oil or wood sources of cooking and heating give off carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and many other chemicals and gases. Carbon monoxide disrupts oxygen levels and cause many symptoms. Research has shown that it causes direct damage to the heart and high levels lead to death.  Nitrogen dioxide can be a source of indoor air pollution that originates from unvented combustion appliances (like a gas stove), appliances that are vented but had a defective installation, keronsene heaters, and tobacco smoke. Nitrogen dioxide can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract.

4) Mold

Mold (including black mold), mildew and viruses thrive indoors and absolutely must be treated. In the event of mold in your home, call in professionals who use green methods to take care of the problem. This is a serious problem and may even require you to move.

5) Radon

Radon is a noxious gas that arises from the soil and bedrock beneath homes and may be in building materials. It may contain radium or uranium. Radon exposure is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of the development of lung cancer overall. Overall, radon causes around 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to the EPA. 

6) Building Materials

Asbestos is a scary substance that still lingers in the insulation, paints and floor tiles of many homes. It has been known to cause many serious health issues including lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disease and mesotheliomaFormaldehyde is found in pressed wood that is used for shelving and furniture. The largest source of formaldehyde in the home is the resinous glue that holds these wood particles together.

7) Tobacco smoke

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals and at least 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. It’s pretty well-known these days that smoking tobacco is a deadly habit, but some people still underestimate how bad secondhand smoke can be.

Possible Solution:

Eliminate the sources, ventiliate regulary, purify air naturally, maybe buying an air purifer, you can also buy certains air cleaning plant that help you indoor air quality. Check your household products and furnish thoughfully, wood, organic mattress, etc.

HOW TO REMOVE (AND PREVENT) MOLD IN TILE GROUT WITHOUT BLEACH:

Now that you understand the importance of keeping mold under control without the use of bleach, here’s what to do instead:

Use some Vinegar, baking soda, and make a paste, covering all the areas that have MOLD. If you have any tea tree, clove or oregano essential oil is also good. As this oil have antifugal properties. Do your own research and look for what's best for you and your home. Next scrub the the area, rinse and dry with a cloth. Use the paste on grout lines as well. Let sit 10-15 minutes (the longer the better). Scrub with toothbrush or scrub brush to remove mold. Rinse or wipe off with a microfiber cloth. Finish by spraying straight 3% hydrogen peroxide on the grout lines (you can add a spray bottle cap directly to your hydrogen peroxide bottle to make this easy), and let dry. Since hydrogen peroxide has that wonderful “fizzing” quality, this method will also penetrate and kill mold at its source within porous surfaces.  Controlling soap scum and humidity/moisture is your best defense against bathroom mold. Thus, use bathroom solution regularly to remove soap scum, use a towel to dry off excess water after showers and baths, ventilate your bathroom by using your fan, opening a window, or running a dehumidifier and you will have far less mold issues(if any). If not of the above work, call a mold remidiation company, that treat all type of mold. Because your family health and yours matter.

Our Fifth Blog Entry

November 8th, 2019

 LET'S TALK ABOUT MOLD!!

Nearly everyone has experienced the plight of mold and mildew build-up on tile and grout. It’s particularly common in showers and tubs where the combination of soap scum and moist warm air create the perfect breeding ground. And nearly everyone follows the “standard procedure” for removal: spray the area with a harsh bleach-based solution, wait several minutes, scrub clean, and repeat if necessary. Today, we’d like to propose a radically different way to clean mold from the grout in bathrooms: DITCH THE BLEACH. Yes, it is possible to get rid of mold without polluting your indoor air with chlorine bleach fumes, or other harshs chemicals. However, it make take some work on your side. Oftentimes, mold and mildew in tile grout, tubs and shower gets overlooked because it’s just so darn common. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s healthy or safe. Mold in showers, or anywhere else in your home, can create a cascade of health issues including: 
  • Respiratory illness                                 
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Lowered immunity  

  • Headaches
  • Eye irritation
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rashes
  • Asthma
  • Memory loss
  • And even mood swings.

The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medice says there are painful symptoms of mold toxicity that mimic other diseases such as fibromyalgia, migraines and even rheumatoid arthritis. Because pain from mold poisoning closely resembles pain from other conditions incluiding Celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome, it's often overlooked as the culprit, adds sources. Conventional treatments will not be as effective if mold is the cause of pain and there's no plan for DETOXIFICATION, it says.

Our Fourth Blog Entry

October  18th, 2019

Non-Toxic Concentrated Cleaner "THIEVES"

There are a plethora of non-toxic cleaners to choose from now-days.

But there are also many bottles that say “green” or “toxin-free” that truly are not safe for your home or indoor air. It’s difficult to know exactly what is safe and what is not in a world where green-washing is the norm. A concentrated cleaner will be your main-stay. Many of these cleaners are multipurpose, meaning they can be used for many different cleaning jobs. I personally use my Thieves Household Cleaner for the kitchen, bathroom, mirror, as well as a floor cleaner. To the left is my ABSOLUTE favorite concentrated cleaner that I feel completely safe using around my kids, and indoor environment. If you want to know where to find this product, I will post website below. If you want your home to be clean with THIEVES HOUSEHOLD CLEANER, don't forget to ask us.?

Our Third Blog Entry

October 5th, 2019

WHAT'S A BIOHAZARD?

Biological hazards, also known as bio-hazards, refer to biological substances that  pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This can include medical waste or samples of a microorganism, viruses, or toxins (from a  biological source) that can affect human health. There are four types of hazards that it have to consider:

  • Microbiological hazards, that include bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungi, blood and body fluids, sewage, airborne pathogens such as common cold,  stinging insects, animal and bird droppings.
  • Chemicals hazards Gases, dusts, fumes, vapours and liquids.
  • Physical hazards - Slippery floors, objects in walkways, unsafe or misused machinery, excessive noise, poor lighting, fire.
  • Allergens - Is any substance (antigen), most often eaten or inhaled, that is recognized by the immune system and causes an allergic reaction. Dust, pollen and pet dander are all common allergens, but it is possible to be allergic to anything.

Our Second Blog Entry

September 1 7th, 2019

Microfiber cloths have SO many uses. Jillee at One Good Thing by Jillee has a  blog  post about all the ways you can use microfiber cloths. It’s a good reminder   of just HOW much you can use these little gems! Silver is a natural disinfecting agent and is a great option when it comes to disinfecting counter tops and surfaces that are germ magnets. Combine these rags with a concentrated cleaner and you’ve got a powerful tool to disinfect and clean your home. The best part is, these can be used pretty much ANYWHERE. Not to mention they are 100% safe and non-toxic for babies, pets and don’t add any toxins to the indoor air.

Microfiber is key to sanitary cleaning. Microfiber is the backbone of our cross-contamination procedures.  Microfiber products attracts and holds up to 99% of bacteria and other pathogens, but they need to be high-quality microfiber towels and microfiber floor mops. Cleaning with cotton involves moving the pathogens off the surface by pushing and wiping, and that process results in only 33% of the bacteria being removed therefore increasing the chance of cross-contamination.

Do you want even better microfiber cloth for your home. Then, check out NORWEX. This products are amazing. You don't even need chemicals, JUST WATER, will do. Really is that simple. I'll post information below. As always I recommend do you own research. 

johannaarias.norwex.biz

Our First Blog Entry

September 1st, 2019

HOUSE HUNTING

House hunting can be stressful enough without the worry that there may be a pest infestation present. Is the roof leaky? Are there any electrical problems? How is the insulation? These are all common questions that can run through a potential buyer or renter’s mind. Whether or not there might be a pest problem in a home you are interested in may be the last thing on your mind; or maybe you just don’t know what to look for. The truth is, pests are very good at hiding, but there are many signs you can look for that could signify a larger problem or infestation. 

Here is a list of 8 red flags to look for when renting or buying a home:

1) Active pests: Do some research, and learn to identify different pests in order to understand what type of infestation might be present. Pests are very good at hiding, so be sure to look in places like the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, or outdoors under leaves and rocks.

2) Dead bugs indoors: Check window ledges, basements and garage for dead bugs. If there are many bugs of the same species, they probably live on the property.

3) Pest droppings: This is classic evidence that a pest infestation may be present. As gross as it may sound, it can benefit you to research what different pest droppings look like, so you can identify what type of pest you may be dealing with. Be sure to also search for roach egg cases and signs of bed bugs.

4) Evidence of nesting: Rats and mice will make nests out of whatever they have available to them. Using a flashlight, search all the nooks and crannies, including behind appliances in the kitchen and inside cabinets, for red flags such as shredded paper that might be used for nesting.

5) Pest control products: Check under sinks and in the garage for large quantities of pesticides. If you find numerous partially-used bottles, there is a chance that the previous homeowner or renter was attempting to deal with a pest infestation.

6) Odd smells and sounds: There are certain recognizable smells that pests give off. Experts claim that bed bugs have a sweet, musty odor. Mice tend to give off a musty, urine smell, and rats smell like ammonia. Roaches have been said to have an “oily” odor comparable to “fecal soy sauce”. The smell of garbage is also a bad sign. Rats and mice love to hide under floorboards or behind walls. You might often hear scratching on the walls, gnawing, squeaking, or scurrying. Larger bugs might also be heard if you listen closely.

7) Signs of termites: This is an important thing to be aware of, because termites are extremely destructive pests that dine on wood, causing structural damage to a building. These pests can eat your wooden furniture as well, and create unsafe conditions for you to live in. Check the wood in the potential home or rental unit for signs of termite damage. This includes visible holes or sagging floors, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Shed wings of termites, or fecal pellets that are tan and resemble sawdust may be signs of an infestation.  

8) Bed bugs: Are blood-drinking insects known for inhabiting beds, furniture, and other crevices in homes and businesses. The pests can be introduced into any environment, most often through used bed materials, second-hand furniture, or luggage after traveling. They can also travel between units in hotels and apartment buildings. Bed bugs are usually found harboring in small crevices, such as along mattress piping or tags, inside bed frames or headboards, behind wallpaper, in picture frames or light fixtures, or in floors.The oval-shaped bugs are relatively flat, so they can easily crawl into a variety of crevices in close proximity to humans. Bed bugs are typically less than a ¼” long and are brown or reddish-brown in appearance. The bugs’ unusual coloring comes from their consumption of blood, and the brown-black or reddish-brown stains they leave behind on objects is from this same digested and excreted blood.

Disclaimer the content of this blog is for reference purpose and is not substitute for advise from a lincensed profesional. You should not rely solely on this content, and The Cleaning Mom assume no liability for inaccuracies.  All the information provided in here it's for informational purpose only.