Going outside for a breath of fresh air never meant more than it does today, according to an article in our hometown paper, The Arizona Daily Star. While the article is geared for the Tucson area, the implications are that indoors is a dirtier place to be than outdoors.
Homes, according to the article, are toxic hotspots, up to 100 or 1000 times greater than stepping outdoors into the polluted air we’re trying to clean up. Dangerous chemicals are in the rugs we walk on, toys, clothes, water bottles, walls, cabinets and even the stuff we clean them with and the spray we use to eliminate those pesky bugs.
The Arizona Daily Star investigation claims that household chemicals are linked to cancer and other diseases, but there’s still disagreement on their safety.
Toxic mold is present almost everywhere, and Arizona is considered a hotspot for mold in homes.
Dryclean your clothes? There’s a cancer-causing solvent used by an estimated 85 percent of dry cleaners. It cleans your clothes, but what else does it do?
According to Charles Weschler of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, there are chemicals in our indoor air that didn’t exist 50 years ago. They’re used for killing cockroaches, making cleaning products smell better, reduce the risk of fire and make plastics perform better, to name a few.
Conventional poisons including asbestos, organic chemicals, carbon monoxide, lead, formaldehyde and radon were the big concerns at that time. Indoor levels of most of these have declined since the 1970’s.
Endocrine disruptor’s or environmental estrogens now join the older list of chemicals. You’ll find them in metal food cans, food, toys, cosmetics and plastic bottles to name a few. The risks of long term exposure can lead to a myriad of physical and mental disorders.
The article is worth a serious read, I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. Makes me want to get a tent and live in the yard.