Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Ounce Of Prevention blog- Where did it come from?

    This blog, an ounce of prevention, was created after numerous phone calls from stressed clients.  The stress came from damaged done from cleaners or restorative chemicals- damaged that could have totally been prevented with just a smidgen of help.  And so I created this blog.  I wanted to give that smidgen of help to prevent what could be prevented.

   This afternoon, I'm working on an upcoming presentation for Piece County's Cancer Survivor Conference.  My class will be all about prevention.  Preventing stress and unnecessary chemical exposure.  In our world of speed and ease, sometimes our health gets lost in the dust.  If a splash of prevention will alleviate even a speck of stress or damage I will talk until the cows come home.

    As I'm gathering my key points, a lovely lady called me today.  As we were chatting, she shared with me her own frustrations with "normal old" cleaners.  She had used a "household" chemical that ended up causing her to be over exposed to a nasty little chemical - which gave her asthma!  This is not uncommon and actually a pretty high insistence in the cleaning/restoration/building industries.  While on the phone, she also told me about a friend who lost her eye from working with a toilet bowl cleaner!  I would love to say, these are rare incidences but I can't.

   What is true is that we have all gotten so used to using chemicals in our food, on our bodies, to clean with to paint with, to make and to create with that we are not weary any more.  These products that are sold in our grocery stores, just a couple isles down from our food, must be safe...Right???

   Here is what I know:  
      We as a society use way too much chemical to get most jobs done- needlessly
     These chemicals are usually over kill for the job- too aggressive and too dangerous
     We have stopped using systems and physics but now rely only on the strength of chemical to get the
               job done
      Many chemicals:
               especially cleaners, pesticides, paints, disinfectants and fragrances are sprayed into our air
      Chemicals get accidentally mixed together all the time
      We are habitual by nature and become desensitized to what we are around all the time
      The labels, which are not great but still helpful, are rarely read or followed
      Safety measures are rarely implemented
      Change takes effort and so finding safer alternatives gets put on the back burner of our long to do lists
      We forget to ask questions about our chemicals- what, why, how, when, where????
      We apply lots of chemical and then leave them behind....
       We don't know where to start or how to use safer products and so we give up

    I'm not against modern improvements and our business is based on using chemicals to assist our work.  But what I am against is not pausing those few seconds to ponder our next step. It is in those precious seconds of questioning our next move, of listening to the little voice within, of pausing to ask for help that makes all the difference in the world.

   If you can, please come visit my upcoming presentations. 
                  If you cant, then I ask you a favor?...

 Before you use a chemical in your home or on your body...

1.  Pause - learn to pause and ask questions
             What are you using?
              Why are you using it?  How long have you used it? How do you feel when you use it?
              What is it?  What is in it?  What is that?
              Have I read the label- do I understand this product?
              Is there a better, safer, milder product or way to go forward?

2. Practice Doing no harm- always use the mildest and safest way
             Is this product safe for me, the environment, the material I'm working with?
             How am I using it?  Did it get into mouth, get on my skin or into my lungs?
             Is there a safer way?  Can I prevent needing this product?

3.  Leave nothing behind!  
            What is lingering behind?
            Did I remove this product-completely?
            How do I feel?

4.  Go outside and breathe
           Unplug for just a second and go outside.  Breathe in fresh air, look at the sky, the trees the water
           We typically spend 80-90% percent of our time indoors
           Our homes are usually 2-5 times more toxic than the outdoors.
           Sometimes our best solution is to look at life from a new angle.

Hope to see you on Sept 13th!  As always, wishing you a healthy, happy and residue free home!


What is that odor?

    In the great race of life, sometimes things get a bit...well ...ripe.  When you find your house smelling not quite as fresh you would like, pause, just a moment and rethink your next move.  I know there are a lot of commercials nudging you to spray a magical solution that will make your world all roses or lemons or pine fresh again. 

   The commercials advertise:  "Just spray our  ___________  on your  __________  and no matter what stench exists, your life will be happier-fresher-smoother."  hahaha   

    Oh, if life were really that simple.  Of course it isn't and if you take a little pause maybe your good old fashioned common sense will kick in.  

   We as living creatures,  should breathe healthy air- it is kind of essential.   We don't thrive from breathing in chemicals.  

   The 1st 3 steps in odor removal:  
    1.  Pause!  Don't panic!
    2.  Investigate, go CSI on discovering- what is the source of this stench?
    3.  Remove the source of this unpleasant smell. 

   Yesterday, I was in our 2nd bathroom and was a bit horrified by the odor I smelled.  So I yelled for Dallas-my husband- that is kind of like pausing isn't it?  He was busy but did suggest I check the drain in the tub and run a little water.  (This bathroom doesn't see much shower activity- hint hint)  I did run water in that drain and sure enough that is where the stench was coming from.  All it needed was a good flushing. Spraying brad x all over me, my shower and home was not near as effective at removing this odor as was running a little water.

Here are some possible odor locations worth checking next time your nose goes on high alert:

8 Odor Sources to check: 
      Beware this list isn't to be read before dinner...
   1.  Drains- Unused drains can become quite irksome
                        Over used drains call also become quite irksome- hair and soap build up

    2.  Rotting produce- There is nothing as bad as a rotting potato on top of your microwave
                                         I guess rotting garlic isn't that great either
                                         Food that travels, will hide where you would least expect it...

   3.   Trash bins- sometimes things get thrown away with a little too much time before trash day.  A fish wrapper will get mighty flamboyant by about day 3

   4.  Grease filters- when was the last time you cleaned your grease filter over your stove???

   5.  Dirty diapers, litter boxes and pet accidents- these are rarely a good dinner smell.  Babies and kittens are super cute- what comes out the other end... well....

   6.  Moldy socks, moldy towels, moldy anything- dig deep and see what hides under beds, in corners, seals to dishwashers or washing machines.  
    Make sure to check against exterior walls - closets, behind beds or furniture with little air flow - condensation forms here and this is a common area for unexpected mold growth.

    7.  It could be cleaning issue.  Soil, bacteria, soap, mold all come together to for a bio-film on your home- clean it up.  Check pets beds, bathroom's, walls, blinds, under refrigerators etc...

   8.  Sometimes you just have a case of stale air. Make sure your home is getting renewed, fresh air everyday.  And on the flip side make sure the stale/stagnate air is being venting out

   OK my work is done for the day.  But keep this in mind, when a company recommends you should spray their chemical/product everywhere, what they are mainly doing is selling you a lot of chemical!!!

  Happy investigating!  As always, wishing you a healthy, happy and sweet smelling home.
         Denise Frakes