Hold Your Breath
Most of us embrace ecology and holism and the need to protect our earth. We go green. We avoid non-biodegradable products; we recycle, we conserve.
But most of us haven’t grasped the complete meaning of ecology and holism. Because if we believe in the holistic “oneness” that exists in everything around us, we would do more than protect the environment. We would protect ourselves.
Consider the chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that release harmful vapors. We worry about VOCs seeping into the air and our groundwater. But we casually bring VOCs, which are concealed inside décor products, into our home and workspace.
Formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen, is often found in the glue used to install wall-to-wall carpets. This dangerous VOC is also found in the glue used to create laminates, particle boards and other wood products.
Many paints, stains, and other finishes that we put on our floors, walls, and furniture also contain high levels of carcinogenic- and neurotoxic-VOCs. Most of us think that we solve this problem if we throw open the windows for a few days. But VOC toxins linger for months.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently studied six American communities and determined that the level of VOCs was 10 times higher indoors than outdoors.
No wonder that cancer and asthma and other respiratory illnesses are on the rise.
We need to keep dangerous chemicals out of our home. Remember that whatever is bad for the environment is bad for us, too.