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Are You Inadvertently Poisoning Yourself and Your Family?

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By: Dr. Gwen Smith

At times we find ourselves and our children with allergies, rashes, headaches, respiratory problems and other ailments. Many of these are long term issues we struggle with year after year without being fully aware of some of the possible unsuspecting causes around our home. Due to the multiplicity of chemicals in our food and our homes, it sometimes can be daunting to address root causes, and we often give up in frustration, continuing to suffer.

It’s bad enough when we suffer, but when our children and pets also do, it can be sometimes unbearable. This blog is heightening your awareness of some of the poisons around your home and with tips to minimize or eliminate the risk to your household.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/) “chemicals in and around the home can poison people or pets and can cause long-term health effects. Every 13 seconds, a poison control center in the United States answers a call about a possible poisoning. More than 90% of these exposures occur in the home (http://www.cdc.gov/, CDC, 2015).”


We may be quite aware of some of the obvious sources of poisons in our homes such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, pesticides, household cleaning products, carbon monoxide, lead, etc.  

However, many of us are quite unaware of the ones we use to keep ourselves and our clothing and bedsheets clean. These products include personal care products such as soaps, nail polish/remover, cosmetics,perfumes/colognes, hair care products dishwashing detergents, laundry detergents(http://www.poison.org/articles/2012-feb/laundry-products), bleaches, stain removers, spray starch, just to name a few.

In fact, according to studies, the most common causes of poisoning among young children are cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, and pain relievers (CDC). Who would have thought that the things we are applying to our bodies to make us clean and beautiful have poisons in them that can harm us, and not just to us alone, but also to our innocent children?


We trust these commodities believing that they can bring us no personal harm. Yet in fact they have even resulted in death. Over two decades ago I read about a family who was being poisoned (unwittingly) by the dishwashing detergent that was not being properly removed during the washing cycle in their dishwasher. It took them many visits to the doctor and finally an unconventional discovery to realize what the culprit was. They had fully recovered when they were able to correct the problem and was able to tell their story. That story scared me enough that I literally started to hand wash every kitchen utensil to avoid having the same fate and the dishwasher sat for years. I may have over-reacted to some, however, I would rather have been safe than sorry, especially considering the health of my precious little children who were so young at the time.

These days, with our dishwashers being more and more water conserving, we have to wonder if all of the chemicals are being sufficiently removed.

Quite ironically, with increasing personal aides and technology, we certainly don’t have time these days to make our own soaps, mix all of our own potions and make from scratch everything our ancestors used to make.

So what should we do?  Well to start, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the monstrosity of these concerns and their pervasiveness, we can begin to ‘slay the dragon’ bit-by-bit.

We can be very discerning about the items we choose to use in our homes and on our clothes and bodies. And while we may not be able to eliminate it all in one go, it’s a great start to begin somewhere.

Living clean is a safer way to do this. This means finding products that are not only effective but that are also free of all the toxins and safe with everyone in our households.

The beauty is we don’t have to sacrifice our last dollar to do this, and we can find a way to get our products for free with a company I just discovered. I have been doing the happy dance since I found them a week ago!! And, I L O V E the products!!

First and foremost before we address this, let’s provide a few reminders about how to handle household chemicals:

  • Put chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Do not place chemicals in food containers or other bottles you intend to use again for food
  • Clearly label all containers with the name of the chemical
  • Avoid mixing household chemicals and NEVER MIX bleach with ammonia
  • Open windows to ventilate when using chemicals
  • Wear gloves and protective clothing as household cleaners
  • Program the poison help number in your cell phone, particularly if you have children: 1-800-222-1222. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Now before addressing some alternatives to the chemicals, the ‘complaint’ or reason that I hear from people about not buying clean products is that they are expensive. I can appreciate that, especially if you are just barely making ends meet. I have some great news for you, however, but first, I have to share my initial reaction to the people who complain about cost, yet find themselves investing in other expensive items that don’t benefit their health over time. If you complain about the cost of the item and opt to get products that are less safe, you may be saving up front, but you most certainly will pay on the back end in medical expenses for any damages caused to you, your pets or children, from using bad products; not to mention the time you will save because you did not have to run back and forth with resulting medical issues. So keep this in mind when you have an option to choose.

Now, I will share with you a place that I have been able to shop for clean, quality products, that are quite cost-effective.

I found this company called M O D E R E that I have recently partnered with to get the word out about clean living and safe effective products. I’m inviting you to partner with me in spreading this mission in helping households live clean. There are many great products on the website that you are welcome to check out for yourself.

I love everything I have used so far. But one of my favorites is the mouth rinse. That product can be used not just to gargle leaving freshness I never felt before, but also for odor elimination and disinfecting around the home.  It’s safe for pets and babies’ bottles too!!  Download a list of the uses for this mouth rinse.  

Now here is the best part about this company, with your first shopping experience, you get $10 off and each time you share the product with a friend, they get $10 off and you also get up to $50. This means you can shop for your necessary products for free each month, depending on how many you refer. What an amazing way to shop for products that you are going to use anyway and that are clean and effective.

In summary then, take control of the safety of your household, not just for you, but also for your family. And, let’s spread the word on clean living and cause it to go viral.

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