In this packet we have assembled information on products that can help you reduce the amount of chemicals you are exposed to in your every day life. However, because technology is changing constantly and new products appear frequently, it is not always possible for us to keep our information updated. For this reason, we also recommend the Internet as an excellent resource.
IMPORTANT: The following are arranged alphabetically only, not in order of importance . Your doctor at The Center can help determine which categories would be best for you to address first.
NOURISHMENT: FOOD AND COOKING
Cookware and Food Storage Containers
Food Sources (Organic) In The Greater Charleston Area
Food Delivery (Organic) in Eastern South Carolina
Food Sources (Organic) In A State By State Directory
Home Gardening Products (for growing vegetables, fruits, etc)
READING RESOURCES (BIBLIOGRAPHY)
Allergy Control and Nontoxic Products
Children’s Special Problems
Diet and Recipes
Environmental Medicine and Environmental Illness
Home Construction, Renovation, & Sick Building
Select 100% cotton sheets (without anti-wrinkle treatment) bedspreads, and mattress covers. Avoid polyester, as it outgases more than any synthetic material, exposing you to chemicals. Use several layers of cotton blankets or old all-cotton quilts placed over the mattress to protect yourself from the chemicals in the mattress such as flame retardants. Wash frequently.
Use all cotton barrier cloth, sold by many of the specialty allergy companies to encase mattress and box springs. Use blankets made of tolerable natural fiber such as wool or cotton.
Avoid acrylic blankets. Avoid electric blankets since the embedded wiring can produce unacceptably strong electromagnetic fields. Warming up an acrylic blanket increases the outgassing of the synthetic chemical odors from the acrylic fibers.
Sources for bedding: Gaiam Inc, www.gaiam.com, 877 989-6321 (toll free), sells organic sheets; The Cotton Place, http://thecottonplace.com, 800 442-2383; L.L.Bean Inc, http://www.llbean.com, 800 441-5713; Land’s End, http://www.landsend.com, 800 800 5800.
Mail order 100% cotton pillows, or make your own by filling a cotton pillow case with cotton towels, diapers, sheets, blankets, or other cotton material. Wash frequently.
BODY CARE (PERSONAL CARE) PRODUCTS
Some products are scented – be careful.
Clinique – Available at department stores. 100% fragrance free.
Almay – 100% fragrance free. Allergy tested.
Aubrey Organics – Available at health food stores and NEEDS.
Trienelle Facial Creams and Mousse (Anti-Aging Skin Care line) available from COEM.
Le Crystal – a natural mineral salts deodorant stone – available at health food stores.
Crystal Deodorants – may be available at Walmart stores.
Alvera Uncented Deodorant – available a COEM and health food stores.
Thursday’s Plantation Tea Tree Deodorant (not antiperspirant) – aluminum free, very effective but has a mild natural fragrance. Available at health food stores.
Baking Soda – dab damp washcloth or cotton ball in baking soda or dip fingertips in baking soda and dust on moistened skin after shower.
Baking Soda in water.
Tom’s of Maine Mouthwash
Tea Tree Oil mixed with water (3 drops to 2 oz of water).
Baking Soda and/or Sea Salt. Ordinary table salt contains sugar.
Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste can be purchased from most health food stores.
Shampoo – look for unscented products that do not contain coloring or formaldehyde.
Magick Botanicals Fragrance Free Shampoo is used in our detox center. 888 760-1900 toll free, http://www.alerg.com/
Nature’s Gate Jojoba Shampoo has a mild scent, but leaves hair soft and fluffy. Available at health food stores.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar – Add ½ cup of lemon juice to 1 cup of water or add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to ½ cup of water. Apply directly to scalp before shampooing.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Seed-A-Sept) – Rinse hair before shampooing and let soak for 1 minute with a grapefruit seed extract solution of 3 drops to 1 cup of water. Available at COEM.
Zephiran – Rinse hair with a solution of Zephiran of 1 tsp to 1 cup water. This over the counter product is available at pharmacies.
Baking Soda or Vinegar will neutralize chemicals.
Gelatin – Dissolve 1 teaspoon of gelatin in 1 cup of water. Use as a liquid or chill and use as a gel.
Trienelle Mousse – Available at COEM.
Not recommended. Organic perms may be purchased from NEEDS and health food stores. Check the Internet.
SOAPS & SHAVING CREAMS
Most bar soaps available at grocery stores contain synthetic antibacterials such as triclosan, so buy your bar soap at a health food store. Basis
Green Mountain Bar Soap, http://www.gmsoap.com/
Pure Castile Soap (Dr. Bronner’s)
Pure Olive Soap (such as Kiss My Face)
Tom’s of Maine Unscented Deodorant Soap – has a mild natural scent with no added fragrance or triclosan.
Or any of the above tolerated bar soaps
Rich N’ Pure Unscented MSM Hudrating Moisturizer by Rich Distributing (Portland, OR)
Naturade Aloe Vera 80 (96% pure aloe vera)
Avoid products containing mineral oil, which is derived from petroleum or coal.
Tolerated cooking oils
TAMPONS FOR WOMEN
Certified organic tampons that are non-chlorine bleached and free of dioxins, synthetics, dyes, plastics, and additives are available at large health food stores. Alternatives to conventional tampons include organic cotton products such as GladRags, 800 799-4523, www.gladrags.com; Organic Essentials, 806 428-3486, www.organicessentials.com; and Natracare, 303 617-3476, www.natracare.com.
TOILET & FACIAL TISSUES
To avoid unstable dyes, use only white.
GENERAL GUIDELINES ABOUT HOUSEHOLD CLEANING
Use of toxic, synthetic cleaning products is a major source of chemical pollution in the home. Toxic chemicals can have long-term harmful effects on the body and may cause cancer and other diseases, especially chronic illness.
Everybody who is chemically sensitive or wants to avoid becoming chemically sensitive should keep contact with synthetic chemicals to a minimum. Exposure to chemicals frequently causes adverse symptoms which can be avoided by limiting exposure. Limiting chemical exposure in the home can increase the ability of the human body to handle the onslaught of chemicals outside the home.
There are safer alternatives for household cleaning products. When choosing any cleaning agent, test it to determine whether it is safe for you. In addition to the information provided below, here are some Internet sites which may be helpful:
Gaiam Inc, www.gaiam.com, 877 989-6321 (toll free), organic sheets, organic clothing, water filters, air purifiers.
Health Goods, http://www.healthgoods.com/, organic sheets, organic towels, organic clothing, water filters, air purifiers, soap, shampoo, cleaners, home test kits, indoor gardening.
National Allergy, 800 522-1448, http://www.natlallergy.com/, bedding and air filtration.
NEEDS, 800 634-1380, http://www.needs.com/, personal care, air purifiers, water purifiers, Seed-A-Sept (grapefruit seed extract) which is also available at COEM, supplements and vitamins.
Shop Natural, 520 884-0745, http://www.shopnatural.com, grocery, health & beauty aids, vitamins and supplements, gluten-free products.
Please note that we do not claim to have tried or specifically recommend all the products listed on these websites.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PRODUCTS
DISHWASHER COMPOUNDS FOR AUTOMATIC DISHWASHERS
Ecover Dishwashing Tablets – 5-15 %: oxygen chlorine free bleach. Other ingredients: salts, silicate, citrate, polypeptides, plant based bleach activator, plant based fragrance.
Neutral Eco Tab Dishwasher – Dishwasher tablets that are free from phosphates, chlorine, and genetic engineering.
Seventh Generation – makes a lbiodegradable but scented product.
DISHWASHING DETERGENTS FOR HAND WASHING DISHES
Green Mountain Liquid Soap, http://www.gmsoap.com/
Seventh Generation makes a biodegradable but scented product.
Borax – 1 ½ cup to 1 gallon of water.
Seed-A-Sept or other forms of grapefruit seed extract. Use 10 drops per gallon of warm water. This product is available at COEM.
NOTE: In the South, oils may attract oil-eating ants.
Cooking oils available at Health Food Stores: Olive Oil, Nut Oils (almond, walnut, pecan, etc.), Mayonnaise
Earth-Rite Furniture Cleaner
HEAVY DUTY CLEANERS (ALL PURPOSE)
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is available at hardware stores.
Laundry Bleach – oxygen (non-chlorine) bleaches:
Clorox II or Snowy Bleach contain hydrogen peroxide, but do have a fragrance.
Oxyclean powder has no odor but requires very hot water. You may have to use this color safe oxygen bleach twice. Do not use Oxyclean liquid (in blue spray bottle) which has a strong fragrance.
Laundry Chemical and Mold Neutralizers
Baking Soda – add ½ – 1 cup to wash load.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Seed-A-Sept) – add 10 – 20 drops of per wash load to kill mold and bacteria. Dilute by adding drops to water in washer prior to adding clothing since this undiluted extract will stain clothing. This product is available at COEM.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Seed-A-Sept) as a spray – 5 drops per pint of water in a spray bottle is effective in killing mold and bacteria when sprayed on socks and shirt underarms. Allow saturated clothing to soak for 1 – 2 hours before starting washer. This product is available at COEM.
Instant Milk – add ½ – 1 cup per wash load.
20 Mule Team Borax – add 1/3 – ½ cup per wash load (be careful with dark fabrics as this is a mild bleach).
White Vinegar – add 1 cup – 1 qt. to wash load.
Arm & Hammer Free with no dyes or perfume.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Liquid We use this detergent and white vinegar in our detox center.
Laundry Fabric Softeners
White Vinegar – add ½ cup to rinse water
Laundry Stain Removers
Any liquid dishwashing detergent applied directly on stain.
Sodium hexametaphosphate – Available from NEEDS.
20 Mule Team Borax
OTHER CLEANING AND DEODORIZING PRODUCTS
ROOM DEODORIZERS Avoid synthetic and/or scented deodorizers because they just mask odors.
Activated charcoal absorbs odors in closets, basements, and refrigerators.
Baking Soda – in open container, or sprinkled around room.
Borax – sprinkle around room. A natural deodorant and anti-mold agent.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – This battery operated device has a fan that blows evaporated grapefruit seed extract into a room’s air. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them. Available at COEM.
Vinegar in shallow containers.
Baking Soda on sponge.
20 Mule Team Borax
Baking Soda in Panty Hose – Take an old pair of panty hose and cut them so that they are as long as crew socks. Put about a cup of baking soda into one ‘sock’ and tie it off at the top. Take this ‘sock’ and put it inside the other ‘sock’ and tie it so that you have two layers of panty hose around the baking soda. This tip is best used for synthetic chemical odors such as outgassing plastics and fungicides from athletic shoes with man-made materials.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – Available at COEM. Designed as a room deodorizer, this battery-operated device has a fan that can blow evaporated grapefruit seed extract inside your shoes. Position the front slots of the Hygenaire next to the opening of the shoe laying on its side on a flat surface. Use paper or aluminum foil to direct the Hygenaire’s air into your shoe. Treat each shoe for 3 days. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them.
White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon to 1 quart of water.
TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE A MOLD PROBLEM:
Mold Plates – The plates and instructions on how to use them are available at COEM. Place mold plates on counter tops or furniture surfaces to determine if you have a mold problem in that room. Mold plates do not eliminate mold, they test for its presence.
TO TREAT MOLD PROBLEMS:
Baking Soda mixed in a ratio of 3 teaspoons per gallon of water, is an effective fungicide on flowers and shrubbery.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Liquid (Seed-A-Sept) – diluted 4-6 drops per gallon of water and mixed thoroughly is an excellent anti-fungal agent. Use this mixture to clean any surface in your home. Available at COEM.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – This battery-operated device has a fan that blows evaporated grapefruit seed extract into a room’s air. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them. Available at COEM.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a highly effective mold killer. Pour into a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the affected areas. Avoid spraying on colored fabric.
Place White Vinegar in shallow containers inside your cabinets to reduce musty odors. Apply to moldy areas with a sponge or sprayer. Let stand a few minutes then rinse off. Also add vinegar (1/2 cup) to your wash load.
Sprinkle Borax Powder in mold-prone areas, like the bottom of the garbage can. Borax is a natural, effective antimold agent. Add to water (1 tbsp to 2 cups warm water) to clean moldy areas. Also add ½ cup to your wash load in addition to your laundry detergent.
TSP (Trisodium Phosphate – a heavy duty cleaner available at paint stores). Mix 1 cup TSP, 1 quart Clorox, and 3 quarts water. Spray for mold control under the house. A professional or somebody who is not chemically sensitive should apply.
Zephiran acts as a fungicide and germicide. Use 1 part Zephiran concentrate to 10 parts water. Available over the counter from pharmacies. Activated Charcoal – use to absorb mycotoxin odors.
TO PREVENT MOLD PROBLEMS, USE THESE SIMPLE MEASURES:
Avoid Wallpaper which is a haven for mold, especially in the bathroom. It also contains insecticides.
Change Cat Litter daily to reduce mold growth.
Check Your Rainspouts. Extend the downspouting to carry the rainwater further away from the house.
Circulate The Air. Use small electric fans or ceiling fans to reduce mold growth.
Clean Refrigerator Rubber Door Gasket.
Do Not Over-water Houseplants. Soil and plants may be sprayed with a solution of 3 teaspoons baking soda, OR 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with one gallon of water. Pau D’Arco tea leaves may be added to soil to retard mold growth.
Get Rid Of Dampness. Use a dehumidifier, keeping the drain pan meticulously clean. The ground under the house should be dry. Use fans or lights under the house to discourage mold, or have the ground under the house lined with plastic.
Keep Things Clean. Never hang clothes in the closet after they have been worn. Mold grows on them. At least allow them to air a few hours before hanging in closet (or wash them). Keep closets, dresser drawer, bathrooms, and refrigerator as clean and dry as possible.
Minimize Mold Growth In Your Bathroom – squeegee the shower walls after showering or wipe down the walls with a towel or sponge. Replace Old Mattresses as they are a source of mold. Regularly air newer mattresses to discourage musty odors.
Spread Out The Shower Curtain. Use a small fan to quickly dry the shower or tub area, drastically reducing mold growth. Leave light on in shower to discourage mold, too.
Take Wet Towels And Washcloths immediately to the laundry area. Hang outside to dry if you have to postpone laundering.
Throw Out All Those Damp Piles Of Odds And Ends you have been hoarding, such as newspapers, books, magazines, old carpets, cast off furniture, dingy pillows, etc.
Turn On The Lights. Light impedes mold growth. Use nightlights, even in the bathroom.
Use Only Light, Washable Throw Rugs instead of heavy carpeting. Carpet is a lush haven for mold growth.
Use of insecticides and pesticides represents a frequent source of chemical pollution in the home and office. Poisonous chemicals CAN have long-term harmful effects on the body and may cause cancer and other diseases, especially chronic illnesses. Thus, it is most IMPORTANT that EVERYBODY keep contact to a MINIMUM. Chemicals get into the body whether swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin – and with the same harmful effects. The following are some safe alternatives for insect control.
ANTS & CRICKETS
Borax Powder or Boric Acid Powder added to attractive bait such as powdered sugar, flour, cocoa. Need 10% to 50% concentrate for toxicity. Keep away from children and pets.
Boric Acid Powder mixed with mashed potato or honey.
Chili Pepper, Paprika, Dried Peppermint, Or Damp Coffee Grounds sprinkled where ants are coming in.
Cleanliness No crumbs. Tightly sealed food containers. Clean sink. Minimize sources of food and water.
Nutrasweet – poke a hole in an anthill with a stick and pour Nutrasweet into hole.
Palmolive Liquid Dishwashing Detergent – smear or dilute and spray.
Tansey, an herb, can be made into a tea and sprayed around the house.
Bathe pets regularly. While fleas are still waterlogged and slow, use tweezers to pick off fleas and mash. Use specialized flea comb. You may want to regularly vacuum your pets using special pet grooming attachments.
Wash pet’s bedding regularly.
Vacuum floor and furniture frequently and throw away vacuum bag to prevent hatching in house.
Brewers Yeast – feed to pets. The vitamin B1 in the yeast produces an odor that repels fleas.
Diatomaceous Earth (non heat-treated) – Spread carefully. Must use face mask when applying (obstructs breathing). Available at swimming pool supply store.
Natural Flea Collars for pets are available at health food stores. These collars use herbs to repel fleas.
Only Natural Pet Store – has products containing some of the natural ingredients recommended above at 888 9376677, http://search.onlynaturalpet.com/search.aspx?searchterms=flea-tick-control
Pennyroyal, Sassafras, Camellia, Or Eucalyptus Oils mixed with water can be used in cracks and crevices where fleas lay eggs.
Pennyroyal Oil Or Eucalyptus Oil soaked rope or nylon collar placed on pet’s neck.
Non-Chemical Fly Ribbons – hang low from tables and door frames.
To Drown Fleas
- Place shallow dish of water containing dishwashing detergent on floor. (Remove pets from room.)
- Put gooseneck lamp next to dish with light 6″ above dish. When you retire for the evening, turn off all other lights. Leave only gooseneck lamp on.
- Fleas will leap toward lamp and fall into water. Due to detergent, fleas sink and drown.
- Use continuously for at least one month.
LICE – We strongly discourage use of Lindane-containing lice killing shampoos.
Coconut Oil Shampoo – Wet hair thoroughly with warm water and apply a coconut based shampoo or shampoo with bar soap (sodium lauryl sulfate is in coconut oil) from your health food store. Work soap into a thick lather. Rinse hair and repeat process. This time leave lather on hair and tie a towel around head – leave it for 30 minutes. Remove towel and comb the soapy hair with a regular comb to remove tangles, then use nit-removing comb to carefully comb through every inch of hair. After removing the lice, wash hair a third time, rinse and dry.
Warm Coconut Oil – Pour slowly over hair, massaging it in. Cover head with cotton knit cap that ties under chin, keep on overnight. In the morning, wash twice with shampoo, then comb to remove eggs. Repeat weekly until infection is gone.
Treat everybody in the house. Vacuum upholstered furniture daily, launder bedding in hot water, and run pillows through clothes dryer.
Most of the above suggestions are from Debra Lynn Dadd’s Nontoxic, Natural and Earthwise.
E-Trap uses ultraviolet light to attract flying insects and dehydrates them for easy disposal. Unlike most bug zappers, the insects are not vaporized, spreading bacteria and viruses into the air. The unit weighs 4.2 pounds making it semiportable. Covers up to 4000 square feet. Costs $110 and is available at http://www.biconet.com/traps/eTrap.html, 615 370-0662.
Mexican Vanilla Extract Repellent – Available at COEM. Regular Vanilla extract available at grocery stores does NOT work. Mix 1:1 or 1:2 proportion of Mexican Vanilla Extract Repellant to water in a spray bottle. Empty spray bottles are available wherever hair care products are sold, or try http://ContainerAndPackaging,com, 800 473-4144. Window Screens – keep in good repair.
Air Clothes In Sun every 2 weeks to 1 month, or you can tumble clothes in clothes dryer about 15 minutes once a month.
Avoid Mothballs, Flakes, Crystals And Other Moth Killing Chemicals. They are among the most toxic items in American homes – producing more injuries than auto accidents.
Brush Clothes Or Shake Vigorously.
Freeze Clothes for 3-7 days.
Natural Moth Cleaning Recipe – Rosemary ½ lb, Mint ½ lb, Thyme ¼ lb, Ginseng ¼ lb. Mix these ingredients. Put in cheesecloth bags or panty hose, as sachets or seal in air tight container with clothes.
Thoroughly Clean Clothing Before Storing. Immediately place in tightly sealed bags or containers.
RATS AND RODENTS
Bait Small Traps with cheese, bacon, or chocolate to make attractive.
Cleanliness is important. Shut off food supplies. No crumbs.
Live Capture Traps available at local hardware stores.
Plaster of Paris Homemade Bait Killer using flour, sugar, and coca mixed with 25% to 50% plaster of Paris. Poses little hazard to children or pets.
Steel Wool – locate points of entry and plug them with steel wool.
Warfarin Homemade Bait Killer – prepare do it yourself bait with 10 to 20 parts fresh cornmeal to 1 part Warfarin which causes internal bleeding in high doses. Keep pets away.
Baking Soda Mixed With Powdered Sugar – (roaches can’t belch, so they die).
Boric Acid Powder – sprinkle or mix with water and spray liberally into crevices, corners, moldings, and especially behind stove and refrigerator. You can use pharmacy-grade boric acid or boric acid powder packaged as pesticide such as Roach Prufe usually available in hardware stores. Wear protective mask when applying to avoid inhalation. Keep away from children and pets.
Boric Acid Powder Mixed With Powdered Sugar, Flour, And/Or Cocoa
Diatomaceous Earth (obstructs insects’ breathing apparatus) – available at swimming pool supply stores. Be sure to wear a mask during application.
Harris Roach Tablets (Boric Acid and Bait to attract roaches to eat the tablets) – Keep away from children or pets, by hiding under sinks, in pantry corners, under furniture, high on counters, etc. Available at many grocery stores (such as Piggly Wiggly) and hardware stores. Only 3 tablets per room are necessary. Tablets generally effective for 3 months before need replacing, so one box of tablets can last years. Meticulous Cleaning – no crumbs on floor or counters. Food stored in tightly sealed containers. No dirty dishes in sink. Empty garbage cans every night. Sinks, tubs, and showers should be dry to deprive roaches of water.
Plaster Of Paris And Flour – mix 1 to 1. Effective. Used during World War I.
Roach Candy – mix 16 ounces powdered boric acid, 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 small chopped onion (optional), ½ cup shortening. Shape into small balls. Place throughout house, but keep away from children and pets. Discard when dry.
TERMITES – We strongly discourage your use of termiticide chemicals which are broadcast, sprayed under and around the house, or injected into the soil. We highly encourage the safer perimeter-placed traps provided by many pesticide companies and also found at Home Depot for doing it yourself.
Correct All Your Home’s Moisture Problems
Copper Chromate or Cryolite or other non-volatile insecticides.
Diatomaceous Earth (obstructs breathing apparatus.) Available at swimming pool supply stores. Carefully spread underneath house without inhaling. Use a mask.
Predatory Nematodes can be injected into the soil around the house by professional exterminators. Nematodes seek out and eat the termites, will not harm pets, plants, earthworms, beneficial insects, or people.
Termite Shields – continuous sections of thin bent aluminum or galvanized steel placed on top of foundation wall around entire perimeter of home. Must be correctly installed as house is being built. Not a deterrent, only an inspection aid.
Tim-bor is wood preservative that works as an insecticide and fungicide. The active ingredient is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, a natural borate compound. Dilute powder with water and spray onto all wood framing. Must be reapplied if washed off by rain. FAQs at http://nisuscorp.com/timborfaq.html along with ordering info.
Tweezers — Use tweezers to gently pull the entire tick straight out of the skin. Do not burn or irritate ticks.
Filter Queen has a HEPA high efficiency filter to catch over 90% of dust and pollens. Available at The Vacuum Center http://www.thevacuumcenter.com, 877 224-9998.
Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner blows vacuumed air onto water which serves as the filter. Consequently the water in the tank becomes very dirty thus showing you exactly what was vacuumed from your carpet. Simply dispose of the dirty water and clean the water tank when finished. Available at The Vacuum Center http://www.thevacuumcenter.com, 877 224-9998.
Central Vacuum Systems (each room has a vacuum base hard-installed into the wall) are also an option
YARD AND HOME GARDENING PRODUCTS
Gardens Alive, http://www.gardensalive.com, 513 354-1482, Mail-order source of a full line of natural, non-toxic products to kill weeds; control insects; fertilize lawns, flowers, home vegetable gardens or orchards; etc.) Also try your local health food store.
HOME FILTRATION OF AIR AND WATER (ALSO AUTO AND PERSONAL AIR FILTRATION)
AIR FILTRATION (AIR PURIFIERS) FOR THE HOME
If you are living in a new house or planning to build one, invest in an electrostatic whole house filter such as the Newtron or Permastat or in a good pleated filter such as those made by the 3M Company. Since not all HVAC systems can accommodate the addition of an electrostatic filter, check with the manufacturer of your particular HVAC system. If you live in an older home with dirty air ducts, an electrostatic whole house filter will not be very beneficial. For older homes, portable air purifiers are the better option.
COEM can not recommend any specific brands or models of air purification systems due to rapidly changing technology. We are unable to determine if the manufacturer’s claims are valid. Therefore, we simply recommend that you look for room purifiers with three stages of filtration: particulate with a hospital grade HEPA, activated charcoal, and ultraviolet light which kills viruses and bacteria and helps to degrade chemical pollutants. Ozone producing purifiers should be avoided since ozone is a major pollutant that irritates lungs.
For room air purifiers that have been independently tested in real homes, check out the Allergy Buyers website http://www.alllergybuyers.com. This website cuts through the inflated claims of manufacturers and sells only those that really work.
Other product sources are: NEEDS http://www.needs.com, 800 634-1380; The Living Source http://www.livingsource.com, 254 776-4878; and E.L. Foust Co Inc http://www.foust.com, 800 353-6878.
AIR FILTERS, PERSONAL
Charcoal Air Masks – Surgical Style
3M Nuisance Level Organic Vapor Relief Mask Model Number 8247 R95. Available at COEM.
NEEDS has a variety of masks for inhalants and chemical odors.
Check the yellow pages for the headings of industrial equipment, industrial hygiene, and industrial safety products. Near COEM in North Charleston, there are Carolina Equipment and Safeco.
Check the Internet for additional products
AIR FILTRATION FOR YOUR AUTOMOBILE (CAR CABIN)
Reprinted from Better Breathing Inside Your Car by Joseph D. Younger, AAA’s Go Magazine July-August 2007.
If you drive a vehicle made after the millennium, chances are it has cabin filtration as part of its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
“About 30 million vehicles in North America currently have cabin air filters,” says Rich White, vice-president of the Automotive Industry Aftermarket Association. “However, most people have never heard of a cabin air filter and don’t know whether their vehicle is equipped with one.” Knowing how the filter works and how to perform maintenance can help eliminate allergens and pollutants, shut out bad smells, and generally help you breathe better while driving.
Where to Find Your Filter
Nearly half of the new cars sold on the U.S. market come with cabin filtration systems. That compares to almost 90 percent in Europe and about 70 percent in Japan. A newer import is more likely to have one than a domestic model.
Check the owner’s manual. Look under “cabin air filter,” “cabin filtration,” or “pollen filter.”
Can’t find a reference?
Ask your dealer’s service department whether your model has a cabin air filter and, if so, where it is. On most cars, you’ll find the filter’s access panel on the passenger’s side, either under the dash, beneath the glove box, or in the glove box. You might need to look under the hood, on the passenger’s side, across the firewall from the glove box.
“Some cars actually have two filters, depending on the capacity of the HVAC system and the available space,” says Dave Lester, general manager of Micron/Air cabin air filtration, which supplies original-equipment cabin filters for two out of every three cars that have them. You’ll most likely find the second filter either right alongside the first or in a comparable location on the driver’s side.
Replacing & Upgrading
Carmakers recommend replacing the cabin air filter every year or every 15,000 miles. Unfortunately, many drivers never replace filters and some normal maintenance checklists don’t include cabin filter replacement.
A persistent bad odor might signal your filter needs replacing.
“One tell-tale sign is reduced airflow when you turn on the air conditioning or heat,” notes Lester. “That’s because the filter has trapped dust and other contaminants restricting airflow into the cabin.”
Some upscale cars include a warning light on the dash as a reminder.
Filters fall into two general categories. Particle filters remove dust, pollen and other microscopic specks suspended in the air. Usually, they have at least one layer to trap coarse particles and an electrostatically charged layer to catch really tiny stuff. So-called combination filters add a layer of activated charcoal to trap odors and noxious gases.
A combination filter makes a noticeable difference, especially in big-city, bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“Studies show that pollutants can collect inside the vehicle at concentrations ten times higher than the air outside,” notes Lester.
With the windows up and the A/C on, your car’s HVAC system sucks in exhaust from vehicles directly ahead and concentrates them inside the cabin.
A combination filter can trap most of those gases, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides and other smogforming pollutants. But even the best activated charcoal won’t filter out carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, two common auto emissions.
If your current system uses only a particle filter, you can probably find an aftermarket combination filter to fit.
“Because combination filters have an extra layer with charcoal and the filtration media are somewhat thicker, you might experience a slight reduction in airflow,” explains Lester.
The automotive industry doesn’t make comparison-shopping easy. Unlike home furnace filters, cabin air filters don’t have MERV ratings (Minimum Efficiency Report Value, a standard measuring the filter’s ability to trap particles as small as 3 microns).
However, Freudenberg Nonwovens, makers of Micron/Air filters, intends to include MERV ratings on its packaging.
In the absence of standards, you have to judge a filter by its material. Avoid inexpensive cellulose (paper) filters.
WATER FILTRATION & CLEANING SYSTEMS
Good quality water is essential to good health. Unfortunately our tap water contains many contaminants including toxic chlorinated chemicals, heavy metals, and microorganisms.
In addition, water treatment plants generally disinfect with chlorine rather than purify the water, adding their contaminants to the water. Chlorine added to drinking water bonds to the naturally occurring organic matter such as tannins and forms toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons. This is why you should avoid drinking tea using chlorinated water.
Contaminants such as lead from solder leach into the water from pipes.
Distilled water is less desirable because all healthful minerals are removed. Distilling removes non-volatile chemicals well, but gives poor removal of volatile chemicals like pesticides, chlorine, and ammonia. Distillers that combine steam distillation plus replaceable post-distillation organic carbon filters are a better choice when distillation is desired. See http://www.waterwise.com for these types of distillers. When mold buildup in other water filtration systems has been an ongoing problem, distillation may be a good option.
Boiled tap water results in removal of chlorine and pesticides, but is time consuming and releases these pollutants into indoor air.
The two options for drinking cleaner water that The Center most often encourages are: when possible, spring water in glass bottles, or filtration. Spring water can be delivered to your home in large, heavy glass bottles.
Remember to insist on glass bottles. Plastic bottles should never be used long term because they contain plasticizers which have estrogen like properties.
Home water filters can treat water throughout your home or you can obtain a small filter that fits under the kitchen sink or on a kitchen countertop. Avoid filters that have inside plastic that will contaminate the water. A favorite water filter for many years has been the stainless steel Multi-Pure filter available for $400 at http://www.water2drink.com/. This filter has a solid carbon block filter which is more dense than charcoal so that it filters out volatile organic chemicals, pesticides, some heavy metals, and bacteria. You can also connect this filter to your refrigerator ice maker. We suggest that you replace the filter, which costs about $40, once every six months. The cost of a water filtering system can be deducted from income tax if prescribed by a doctor.
Other product sources are: NEEDS http://www.needs.com, 800 634-1380; The Living Source http://www.livingsource.com, 254 776-4878; and E.L. Foust Co Inc http://www.foust.com, 800 353-6878; Culligan http://www.culligan.com, 800 culligan.
Carpet is not desirable. New carpet contains many volatile organic compounds, also fungicides, pesticides, formaldehyde, and toxic dyes with heavy metals. Older carpet holds dirt and mold. It can not be satisfactorily cleaned without adding chemicals to the indoor air. If you must have carpet, select cotton or wool fibers. Berber can be better. With some researching, you can buy low odor carpet.
To clean a carpet with a carpet shampooing machine, mix 2 cups of white vinegar with 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of hot water. May also be applied to rug with wet rag, taking care not to saturate backing or padding. Dry thoroughly and air until dry.
Alternatives to carpet are hardwood floors with outgassed varnish or polyurethane and ceramic tile which is odorless and easy to keep clean. Floating, glueless laminate floors (such as Pergo and many other brands) have very little outgassing.
There are many paints available on the market today that are considered “no odor / no VOC” (volatile organic chemicals). Look for a paint that has Green Seal Certification. Usually the odor from these paints may be undetectable after three days of outgassing. We also recommend that indoor painting be done during cooler times of the year so that the windows can remain open for airing. Check out the Safe Paint website at http://www.safepaint.net, 888 714-9422
INDOOR PLANTS Indoor plants reduce formaldehyde, benzene and other pollutants in the air. Put plants near vents in hallways where air circulates. To retard mold, don’t overwater and spray plant with a solution of 3 teaspoons of baking soda or 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract in one gallon water.
Any of the following plants will purify a 100 square foot area: philodendron, spider plant, golden pothos, palm (bamboo palm), corn plant (dracaena), snake plant, English ivy, Gerber daisy, peace lily, and Boston fern.
STOVE, OVEN, HOT WATER HEATER, HEATING SYSTEM
Must be electric to be environmentally safe. DO NOT USE NATURAL GAS. A healthy house is not connected to a gas line. Gas is associated with various health problems, especially respiratory problems. Older gas furnaces develop rust holes in which gas fumes enter the forced hot air and poison the air circulating in the home. Wood burning stoves are also a health hazard indoors and outdoors. Dangerous chemicals are released during burning.
See the books Why Your House Can Endanger Your Health by Alfred V. Zamm and Robert Gannon, 1982, as well as Your Home, Your Health and Well Being by David Rousseau, Jean Enwright, and W.J. Rea, 1988.
Wallpaper is not desirable. Wallpaper is made with several volatile organic compounds and is impregnated with insecticides and fungicides. It can be conducive to mold growth.
WINDOW TREATMENTS Metal blinds are a healthy window treatment choice – they should be cleaned on a regular basis. Select natural fabrics for curtain, shades, swags, etc. which can be washed in the washing machine and/or vacuumed on a regular basis.
OPENING IN THE CHARLESTON AREA DURING NOVEMBER 2007 – DWELLSMART
DwellSmart will sell healthy and environmentally-friendly products for homes and other interior environments (e.g., offices, schools, churches). Their products will include: non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, and organic products for interior cleaning, personal hygiene, air and water filtration, and bed and bath. And also include non-toxic, recycled, and sustainable alternatives for interior remodeling, renovation, and construction.
This new store will open at 615 Johnnie Dodds Blvd in Mount Pleasant. Contact Mary Gatch (843) 882-9007 office, http://www.dwellsmart.com/
Avoid aluminum; instead select stainless steel or glass. Aluminum can be a toxic material, tending to build up in body tissues. Also, cookware that is Teflon-coated or has any non-stick coating should be avoided. Avoid using spray cooking oils, but use butter or liquid cooking oils instead. Use Corning Ware, Visions Ware, Pyrex, and Revere Ware. Only use cookware that has been made in the United States or in Western Europe since other countries lack the necessary regulations to prohibit toxic metals from being allowed in cookware. A yard sale, thrift shop (Goodwill, Salvation Army), or flea market may be a good source for old US made Revere Ware pots and pans.
FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS Avoid plastic containers and plastic bags (plastic can contaminate your food.) Select Pyrex, Corning Ware, or glass jars such as canning jars. Use safer natural cellophane bags may be ordered from NEEDS at http://www.needs.com, 800 634-1380.
ORGANIC FOOD SOURCES IN THE GREATER CHARLESTON AREA
Earth Fare, 74 Folly Road Blvd, Charleston, 843 769-4800
Gary’s Organic, delivers organic produce to your home or business, 843 747-4843
Healthy Home Foods, Inc. delivers organic and natural food to your home or business, 843 277-3663 or toll-free 866 913-3663, http://www.healthyhomefoods.com
Health Nuts, 2110 Greenridge Rd Suite E, North Charleston, 843 764-4956; This small store is the closest one to COEM.
Owl’s Nest Plantation, David Howe, 843 753-1857, http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M7471, Located in Cross, SC. Many of the certified organic items that they sell are grown directly on the farm or are procured from other farmers in the local area. They also sell produce locally at both Charleston’s and Mount Pleasant’s Farmer’s Markets.
Whole Foods, 923 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, 843 971-7240
Healthy Home Foods, Inc. delivers organic and natural food to your home or business, 843 277-3663 or toll-free 866 913-3663, http://www.healthyhomefoods.com Delivery to homes and businesses in Charleston, Columbia, Savannah, Hilton Head, Bluffton, and areas surrounding those cities.
ORGANIC FOOD SOURCES LISTED IN A STATE BY STATE DIRECTORY
Check out Green People at http://www.greenpeople.org
HOME GARDENING PRODUCTS (for growing vegetables and fruits)
Gardens Alive, http://www.gardensalive.com, 513 354-1482, Mail-order source of a full line of natural, non-toxic products to kill weeds; fertilize lawns, flowers, home vegetable gardens and orchards, control insects, etc.) Also try your local health food store.
Clean And Green by Annie Berthold-Bond. The complete guide to nontoxic and environmentally safe housekeeping.
Common Sense Pest Control by Olkowski, Daar, and Olkowski. Least toxic solutions for your home, garden, pets, and community.
The Complete Book Of Allergy Control by Laura J. Stevens. How to track down, treat, and cope with hidden allergies that may be wrecking your health.
Coping With Your Allergies by Natalie Golos and Frances Golos Golbitz. Completely revised and updated. How to set up a safe environment, including diet, special recipes, clothing, household goods, and special unique stress reduction techniques.
The Healthy Household by Lynn Marie Bower. A complete guide for creating a healthy indoor environment.
How To Grow Fresh Air by B.C. Wolverton – This revolutionary guide, based on 25 years of research by NASA, shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home or office of common pollutants. Pub. Date 1997
Least Toxic Control of Pests In The Home And Garden by Beyond Pesticides, 202 543-5450, http://www.beyondpesticides.org
Living Safely In A Polluted World: How To Protect Yourself And Your Children From Chemicals In Your Food And Environment by Richard Mackarness. Hardcover Pub. Date 1991.
Nontoxic And Natural: A Guide For Consumers by Debra Lynn Dadd. This resource book lists entries for over 300 categories and over 1,000 products to help you substitute safe products for hazardous ones. A wonderfully handy and readable source guide. An excellent source for creating healthy environments.
Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call by Doris J. Rapp, M.D. Pub. Date 2004.
The Poisoning Of Our Homes And Work Places by Jack Thrasher, Ph.D. and Alan Broughton, M.D. A very informative book of the serious health hazard of indoor air pollution.
The Whole Way to Allergy Relief And Prevention by Jacqueline Krohn, M.D., Frances A. Taylor, M.A., and Eria Mae Larson, R.N. A complete guide to the comprehensive, holistic treatment of allergies and environmental illness.
CHILDRENS’ SPECIAL PROBLEMS
Allergies And The Hyperactive Child by Doris J. Rapp, M.D. This book will aid you in determining if allergies are the basis for activity, behavior, and learning problems in children who manifest behavioral and learning problems. Pub. Date 1980.
Allergies And Your Family by Doris J. Rapp, M.D. An indispensable reference for the entire family. Discusses the detection and prevention of allergies in every age group (2-week diet included). Pub. Date 1990.
Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD by William Shaw, Ph.D. A comprehensive guide to current research and medical therapies for autism and PDD.
Help For The Hyperactive Child by William G. Crook, M.D. A guide for parents of children with hyperactivity, attention deficit, and other behavior and learning problems.
The Impossible Child in School – At Home: A Guide For Caring Teachers and Parents, Revised by Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Dorothy L. Bamberg, Ed.D, Nancy MacDonald (Illustrator), Lendon Smith (Introduction). Excellent resource for teachers and parents who are perplexed by the growing number of children who manifest behavioral and learning problems. Pub. Date 1995.
Is This Your Child? By Doris J. Rapp, M.D. Discovering and treating unrecognized allergies. Pub. Date 1992.
Is This Your Child’s World?: How You Can Fix The Schools And Homes That Are Making Your Children Sick by Doris J. Rapp, M.D. An excellent reference for teachers and parents to help us recognize the common toxic exposures in our schools and homes. Pub. Date 1997.
The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Majorie Hurt Jones. Natural food recipes – free of wheat, milk, eggs, corn, yeast, sugar, and other common food allergens.
The Betrayal Of Health, The Impact Of Nutrition, Environment And Lifestyle On Illness In America by J.D. Beasley. Describes the impact on health from environmental toxins and lifestyle.
Coping With Candida Cookbook by Sally Rockwell. A simple handbook on how to recognize and control problems caused by yeast overgrowth. Tasty, low carbohydrate recipes and menu plans.
The Cure Is In The Kitchen And You Are What You Ate by Sherry Rogers, M.D. Book is about macrobiotic programs.
Easy Bread Making For Special Diets by Nicolette Dumke. Contains more than 190 recipes for breads, pastries, and deserts for special diets.
Eating Dangerously: The Hazards Of Allergies by Richard Mackarness. Hardcover 1st ed Pub. Date 1976.
Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills by R.L. Blaylock. Neuroexcitor amino acids in MSG, its relatives, and in aspartame.
Higher Choices: Life Enhancing Recipes by Janet Lasky, Toni Chaplin (Illustrator), Robin Schwartz (Photographer). Pub. Date 1999.
In Bad Taste, The MSG Syndrome by G.R. Schwartz. An indictment of monosodium glutamate and its close relatives.
Sally Rockwell’s Allergy Recipes, Revised, by Sally Rockwell. Color-coded 4 day rotation diet. Automatically rotated for you. Each colored section represents a day. Offers recipes free of gluten, grains, soy, peanut, dairy products, egg, yeast, and refined sugar. Pub. Date 1996.
Living Safely In A Polluted World: How To Protect Yourself And Your Children From Chemicals In Your Food And Environment by Richard Mackarness. Hardcover Pub. Date 1991.
The Super Allergy Girl Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Nut-Free Allergy and Celiac Cookbook by Lisa A. Lundy. Contains more than 225 recipes and 100 pages of essential information. Recipes do NOT CONTAIN wheat, gluten, milk, casein, lactose, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or coconuts.
What’s Left To Eat? Custom Diets and Elimination-Rotation Diets by Sally Rockwell. Pub. Date 2003.
The Yeast Connection Cookbook by William G. Crook, M.D. and Majorie H. Jones, R.N. Contains easy to follow instructions for selecting and preparing fast and nourishing foods appropriate for anyone recovering from yeastrelated illness. A companion to The Yeast Connection.
An Alternative Approach to Allergies by Theron G. Randolph, M.D. and Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. Dr. Randolph, founder of Environmental Medicine as practiced by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, offers a different approach to treating many physical and mental illnesses which are caused by our increasingly contaminated environment.
A Canary’s Tale by Jacob B. Berkson. Personal anecdotes about dealing with MCS as well as a discussion of the politics of the environment, including hundreds upon hundreds of resources for every topic pertaining to environmental illness.
The E.I. Syndrome by Sherry Rodgers, M.D. Information about inhalant allergy, chemical allergy, Candida Syndrome, nutritional deficiencies and toxicities.
Environmental Medicine, Beginnings And Bibliographies of Clinical Ecology by Theron G. Randolph, M.D. An comprehensive history of the key concepts of environmental medicine.
Human Ecology and Susceptibility To The Chemical Environment by Theron G. Randolph, M.D. An important and essential source of information for the avoidance of the major chemical excitants in the environment.
Wellness Against All Odds by Sherry Rodgers, M.D. Many self-help tips for getting well, fully supported by referencing studies.
Healthy House Building For The New Millennium: A Design And Construction Guide by John Bower. Pub. Date 2000.
The Healthy House: How To Buy One, How To Build One, How To Cure A Sick One by John Bower. Pub. Date 1997
The Healthy School Handbook edited by Norma Miller. Conquering the Sick Building Syndrome and other environmental hazards in and around your school.
The Household Environment And Chronic Illness by Guy Pfeiffer, M.D. and Casimir Nickel, F.A.C.H.A. Guidelines for constructing and maintaining a less polluted residence.
The Non-Toxic Home And Office by Debra Lynn Dadd. How to protect yourself and family from every day health hazards, eliminated indoor pollution, and guard against sick building syndrome. An excellent source for creating healthy environments.
Why Your House May Endanger Your Health by Alfred V. Zamm, M.D. with Robert Gannon. A guide for the millions of people who suffer illness because their homes have become contaminated with chemicals, poisonous vapors and other contaminants.
Your Health and Your House, A Resource Guide To Health Symptoms And The Indoor Air Pollutants That Aggravate Them by Anderson and Benoist. A compilation of information from experts and authors in the field of indoor air pollution.
Your Home, Your Health, And Well-Being by David Rosseau, William J. Rea, M.D., and Jean Enwright. Ideas on how to design or renovate your home or apartment to be free of outdoor and indoor pollution.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & The Yeast Connection by William G. Crook, M.D. Shows data suggesting an interrelationship between co-existing conditions.
The Yeast Connection Cookbook by William G. Crook, M.D. and Majorie H. Jones, R.N. Contains easy to follow instructions for selecting and preparing fast and nourishing foods. A companion to The Yeast Connection.
The Yeast Connection Handbook by William G. Crook, M.D. Describes relationships which have been observed between the common yeast, Candida albicans, and human illness.
The Yeast Syndrome by John Parks Trowbridge. Describes the Yeast Syndrome and relates case histories. Contains helpful dietary guidelines and state-by-state reference of physicians who treat this syndrome.