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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Taking Spring Cleaning to the Next Level

Mar 31, 2021 08:30AM ● By Bernice Butler
Environmental medicine looks at causes for diseases and degenerative conditions with a focus on identifying exposure to pollutants in home and work environments. Many patients heal from illness just by creating a safe, non-toxic home environment.

Good air quality inside the home is vital. Air filtration with HEPA filters is recommended, especially in the bedroom. We spend a third of our life in the bedroom, and when we sleep, our bodies go to work to clear out the chemicals and pollutants from the day’s exposure.

Fragrance-free is healthier because fragranced products actually contain an average of 17 chemicals such as toluene, benzene, ethanol, camphor, acetone, methylene chloride and pinenes. These chemicals can affect the brain and nervous system, and are known to be sinus, respiratory and gastrointestinal irritants.

The use of low out-gassing materials, non-toxic cleaners, formaldehyde-free insulation, organic insect control and organic lawn care are all wise alternatives. Organic bedding without feathers, foam or latex helps lower the total body burden, as non-organic materials are heavily sprayed with herbicides or pesticides that increase the risk of cancers and neurological diseases, and affect the immune system, which can lead to more infections and allergy- related conditions.

Phthalates, volatile organic compounds, pesticides and herbicides also impact hormones. These xenoestrogens often look like hormones to the body, and chronic exposure has been linked to thyroid disorders, increased infertility, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, miscarriages and birth defects.

Good water filtration is important because we need good hydration to detoxify. Reverse osmosis filters remove organic compounds, chlorine, metals and bacteria, but they contain plastic material, so a carbon filter should be installed as well.

Conditions that can lead to mold growth are important because mold and mycotoxin exposure have been linked to immune disorders, chronic sinusitis and asthma, cancers, neurological diseases, and effects on the cardiovascular, endocrine, urogenital and gastrointestinal systems. People often experience chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, short-term memory loss, digestive issues, difficulty concentrating and insomnia. Periodically check for leaks in the home and check humidifiers and air conditioners for musty smells.

Clean these areas and remove any wet materials. Keep relative humidity low between 30 percent and 50 percent. Be aware that indoor plants can breed mold in the potting soil. Make sure the home is getting adequate ventilation, especially closets, bathrooms and crawlspaces. Air quality professionals can measure the home for proper ventilation, humidity and air return flow, including steps for correction.

Radio frequency (RF) radiation from cell phones, computers, internet routers, wireless and gaming devices and smart devices has been linked to insomnia, headaches, ringing of the ears, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, palpitations, weakness, and fatigue. A low electromagnetic field (EMF) sanctuary in the home can be useful, along with a meter to measure, RF, magnetic and electrical fields. Hardwiring the internet router, computers and other devices can eliminate much of this RF exposure.

For more information about the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, call 214-368-4132 or visit

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