While it may seem like we are separated in many ways from our environment, we are actually fully immersed in it, both inside and out. From the clothes we wear to the air we breathe to the food we eat, environmental factors play a crucial role in our lives.
Quality Air, Food & Water
While it’s difficult to avoid outdoor air pollution entirely, the EPA says that the Americans, on average, spend more than 90% of their time inside. The good news is that there are many actions you may take that contribute to clean indoor air. For example, you can select nontoxic cleaning products and soaps, use organic bedding and sleep on a chemical-free mattress (organic latex is ideal). Use no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, readily available where paint is sold. Choose quality furniture – solid wood pieces with all-cotton washable slipcovers work well – and the least toxic floor coverings
available. Hardwood floors with washable throw rugs are the best choice, but be careful of chemical finishes and glues in new wood flooring. Check online to find the most nontoxic options available. Look for Green Seal and Oeko-Tex certifications, two of a number of quality environmental certifications available for products. And of course, avoid first- and second-hand smoke.
It's also wise to avoid commercial pesticide use. Today, there are many insect control products that are non-toxic to humans as well as companies that strictly utilize "green" pest control methods. In addition to chemical pollution, another household hazard is mold. If you see mold or mildew on your walls and floors, contact a professional immediately. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will become very ill when exposed to mold in the home or workplace, but it contributes negatively to each person’s health. If you have mysterious symptoms that are consistent with mold exposure, there are professionals that can test your air, look for leaks and help identify the cause of the problem. Remember, it’s important that you not try to clean mold resulting from a hidden leak yourself. To protect your health, always bring in a remediation company to safely resolve any mold issues.
Food & Water
Healthy foods and clean water undergird a healthy immune system. (Learn more about food & nutrition here or read Dr. Jones’ blog on Nutrition.) To get the highest-quality water, filtration provides a good option, but beware of drinking too frequently from filtered water in plastic bottles as they can leach a number of different chemicals. Ideally, you should drink about 12-16 eight-ounce cups of clean, fresh water a day depending on your size. Never heat beverages or foods in plastic containers or bags as they have been found to transfer hormone-disrupting chemicals into the substance. It pays to make sure your foods are cooked and stored in safe containers, like stainless steel and glass.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? Many substances have dermal absorption in significant amounts. That’s why it’s important to use high-quality, all-natural personal care products. You can find many lines on the market today. Choose natural essential oils or scents instead of chemical-laden perfumes. Wear natural fabrics and wash clothes before wearing them to minimize exposure to fabric finishes. And read labels thoroughly to avoid falling for greenwashing messages, like 96% naturally derived (you can put a lot of bad things in 4%!). Today, it’s not difficult to make sure that 100% of your personal care products are 100% nontoxic. Here are some product lines that Dr. Jones recommends.
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)
While there is no international consensus in the medical community, evidence suggests that the electromagnetic fields and radiation affect human health. Cell phone radiation, in particular, may cause a variety of symptoms, including dizziness, anxiety and fatigue. At the least, limit cell phone usage and make sure to put your phone at least three feet from your bed while you are sleeping.
Today, Lyme Disease and its co-infections, which include Bartonella, Babesia and other diseases, can be acquired through ticks and cause long-term illnesses. In Texas, the Lone Star Tick can cause intolerance to red meat and other symptoms. If, after discovering a tick on your body or spending time in a wooded area, you begin to have mysterious symptoms, it’s important to get medical care immediately. Mosquitoes can also spread multiple diseases. Make sure to research your symptoms online to determine whether to see a doctor.