How much did you poison yourself today?

By / 10th March, 2010 / Air quality / No Comments

I’m  so old that I can remember when the family doctor knew all about you personally. Stethoscope in hand, he or she told you how much weight to lose, to drink less, or the vitamin supplements you need, all based on an intimate, comprehensive knowledge of you as the patient.

Today’s trip to the General Practitioner’s crowded office feels like a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles where you take a ticket and wait to be impersonally processed. The doctor may miss your ailment, but never your co-pay.

Today, GPs do referrals and since the doctor who ultimately treats you hardly knows you, you have to be your own medical advocate. It’s up to you to ask the questions and learn your options.

And this has what to do with being green?

If you are average, you are poisoning yourself. Slowly. A breath at a time. In your own home. You’re loading toxins into the air, and there’s nobody to advocate that you stop. Most of us haven’t the time nor the patience to learn what they’ve put in the popular brand home cleaners we use, not to mention the toxins found in the materials with which they built your home.   

You can’t easily alter the materials in your home’s construction. But you can have a look in the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Naive by nature, I was shocked to learn the poisons in the chemicals I use for cleaning. Daily I was scrubbing or spraying them into the air my family breathes.

Did you know that, if you are average, the downtown air in most major cities is less polluted than the air in your own house?

Staying oblivious – the sweet, dumb and happy copout — has its appeal. But it’s better to suck it up and have a look at what’s in the stuff.

(Have a look at the dictionary of the toxins and discover what you release in the air using non-organic cleaners. Match this list to the labels on cleaners you currently use.)

I assumed these cleaners were regulated by some branch of government? Like the Department that oversees Toyota?

In this context, being your own advocate means seeking out and buying non-toxic, green, organic cleaners. It means reading the labels on cleaning solutions- to find brands that are safe, better for you, and less harmful in the ecosystem.

Of course I have an ax to grind because we sell the My Green Mind brand of cleaning products. But there are lots of good, organic, toxic-free household cleaners out there, and if you read the labels next time you shop, you’ll be an advocate for your families’ health.

(Comment by My Green Mind’s I Michael Grossman. We welcome your comments as well.)

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