Safe Alternatives to Bleach
Hydrogen peroxide is a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to bleach. For multipurpose cleaners you can combine essential oils of oregano, thyme and lavender in an ionized water bottle to form a surface disinfectant. For a lot of cleaning, a damp cloth is sufficient. If you need an abrasive to clean more deeply then use something such as Bon Ami that does not contain mercury.
The chemicals in bleach can disrupt the immune system first, then the hormonal system and finally the neurological system. This can be particularly harmful to individuals with Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or ALS as well as to infants whose mothers were exposed to pesticides before, during or after pregnancy. Endocrine disruptors in household chemicals not only are linked to infertility, but also to autism, other DNA damage diseases and numerous chronic diseases. The World Health Organization recently published a list of endocrine disruptors.
Keeping Food Safe
Our largest source of to environmental toxins is in the food we eat every day. The phthalates in plastics have created an epidemic of autoimmune diseases. BPA in cans and in plastic containers are linked to several cancers including prostate cancer. Individuals should avoid heating foods in plastic containers in the microwave.
In the fall of 2012, Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its household chemical data base of toxic offenders. It is important to use EWG as a resource for checking chemicals and foods to see what is safe. Be wary of companies that tout themselves as green but are not truly green.
Fortunately, there are treatments that can rid our bodies of environmental toxins. Treatment begins with tests for aromatic solvents, organophosphates, parabens, phthalates, BPA, chlorinated pesticides, PCB's or polychlorinated biphenyls and 17 heavy metals. Once identified there are specific medically-supervised protocols for environmental detoxification.
It is important to safely dispose of air fresheners, harmful cleaning products and stain resistant, water resistant and grease proof chemicals. In Rockland County, the household hazardous waste drop-off facility is located at Firemen's Memorial Drive in Pomona. Scheduled drop-off dates are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and some Saturdays and Sundays for Rockland County residents only. They accept spot removers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, photography chemicals, antifreeze, waxes and polishes, wood preservatives and thinners, oil and latex paints just to name a few. In Orange County, there are specified days and locations where such materials can be dropped off. Check the county websites for exact details.
Isadora Guggenheim is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and certified nutrition specialist. She is passionate about reversing acute and chronic disease caused by environmental toxins and is part of an international environmental physician's group that dedicates their practices to environmental medicine. Her offices are located at Total Life Care Center, 152 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut, 8 Rockland Place, Nyack and 105 Shad Row, Suite 1B, Piermont. For more information, call 358-8385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SecondNatureCare.com.