The Saturday before Easter I had the privileged to hear Nancy Brandt DVM speak on Chemical Free pets – Animals and Essential Oils.
Much of her talk focused on how our pets are in essence the “canary in the coal mine” of our home environment and neighborhoods.
Toxic chemicals are being found in our pets at alarming levels according to a study by the Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org/research/polluted-pets such as Teflon chemicals, phthalates, fire retardants and often in levels 23times higher than those found in humans.
Our pets well may be serving as sentinels for our own health, as they breathe in, ingest or absorb the same chemicals that are in our environments.
As we see an increase in disease in animals, we see an increase in disease in people. Our habits and lifestyles are affecting us in negative ways and this is mirrored by our pets.
What can we do?
As our pets spend a significant amount of time in our homes, yards and neighborhoods, we can “Clean house” of sorts with three simple steps.
- Locate chemical products and materials within our environments
- Eliminate or greatly reduce as many as we possibly can
- Replace them with natural alternatives which will do no harm to us and our pets.
The move to natural products is not just trendy – it is vital to the survival of our planet and all the species on it. We need to go back to the definition of clean.
Adjective 1. free from dirt, marks, or stains.
Adverb 1. so as to be free from dirt, marks, or unwanted matter.
Verb 1. make (something or someone) free of dirt, marks, or mess, especially by washing, wiping, or brushing.
Many of our so-called cleaning products today appear to remove the dirt yet they leave behind a toxic chemical coating. Think of your pets, most are naked in your home spending much of the day on your floors and furniture. These chemical coatings are being absorbed by the feet and skin of our pets.
98% of people believe that if it smells good, its clean. The fragrances in cleaning products can actually be harmful.
Common cleaners, such as bleach, contain ingredients which can be harmful to our health especially if inhaled. Many of the fragrances are artificial and these perfumes and scents can cause some people to have allergic reactions and can even trigger asthma. Could your cleaning products be contributing to your sinus, allergy, or asthma problems?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are common in conventional household cleaners. These compounds are incredibly dangerous because they are manufactured to remain in the air for long periods of time- think air fresheners. According to the EPA, VOCs are emitted as gases and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs commonly used in cleaning and fragrance products include propane, butane, ethanol, and phthalates. Propane is a suspected neurotoxin and respiratory toxicant. Butane is a neurotoxicant. Ethanol has been reported to be a carcinogen as well as an endocrine toxicant, liver toxicant, neurotoxicant, and reproductive toxicant.
Although the Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires cautionary labels for hazardous household products, manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients. The ingredients in household cleaners are considered proprietary information, or trade secrets, and as such the government does not require their disclosure. This means you have absolutely no idea what your family is inhaling daily when you break out your favorite air freshener or cleaning product. On top of that the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 grandfathered and estimated 65,000 – 100,000 chemicals on the market. This means that these chemicals have not had any or very limited safety testing, yet are considered existing chemicals therefore are not required to have any safety testing. Of the chemicals on this list which were tested, toxic labeling is required only if 50% or more of the animals tested died.
Clean should truly smell like nothing at all. If you prefer a scent, use quality essential oils or natural plants and flowers.
Let’s look and what we can locate, eliminate and replace throughout our home and neighborhood.
As next week, the first full week in May, is National Pet week – I shall be sharing what we can locate, eliminate and replace in the various locations and activities our pets’ encounter such as:
- neighborhood, parks, walks, hikes
- living room
- emotions, thoughts, belief
Stay tuned here and on my Facebook Page