Do you have a healthy home?

You may use CFLs and buy organic food, but your family can still be exposed to a dangerous bevy of toxins. In fact, your home may be your family’s worst health enemy. Dr Myron Wentz, expert microbiologist and co-author of The Healthy Home (Vanguard Press, March 2011) encourages us to put our detoxing focus on our home environment — where we spend a great majority of our life. We talked with Dr Wentz about the importance of having a healthy home and easy ways to reduce home hazards.
You may use CFLs and buy organic food, but your family can still be exposed to a dangerous bevy of toxins. In fact, your home may be your family’s worst health enemy. Dr Myron Wentz, expert microbiologist and co-author of The Healthy Home (Vanguard Press, March 2011) encourages us to put our detoxing focus on our home environment — where we spend a great majority of our life. We talked with Dr Wentz about the importance of having a healthy home and easy ways to reduce home hazards.

Q&A with Dr Myron Wentz, co-author of The Healthy Home

Miso Vegan: Why is it important to have a healthy home?

Dr. Wentz: Nearly everyone is concerned about pollution and toxins in the broader environment today, but we often forget to think about our closest and most important environment — our own homes. Depending on your circumstances, you will spend at least a third of your life at home. The air you breathe, the everyday products you use, and the food and water you consume within those walls could be what sustains your family’s lifelong wellness or what spurs a lifetime of illness. The reasoning for writing The Healthy Home was to provide people with simple solutions to these problems and assure them that they can make significant changes in their homes to improve their quality of life.

Miso Vegan: Do most people think they have a healthy home but are actually living in a hazardous environment?

Dr Wentz: In speaking with a wide variety of people over the years about this subject, I’ve found that people are becoming more aware of a few environmental health issues but are completely shocked by the number of hazards that are lurking in their everyday products and habits. Most modern homes today are decidedly unhealthy, from their poor air quality to their nearly constant radiation from wireless technology.

MisoVegan: Your book The Healthy Home points out the hidden dangers in the home, but does it also explain how to maintain a healthy home?

Dr Wentz: Absolutely. For people to make a positive change in their homes, they must first be aware of toxins in their environment. For this reason The Healthy Home concentrated on some of the most common hidden dangers throughout five major rooms of the home. Once people are aware of those health hazards, they can avoid or minimize them. To help our readers do that, we offered a wide range of simple solutions to help them reduce their lifelong toxic burden. Most of those solutions are things someone could implement today with little to no cost. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of toxins in modern society, but everyone needs to remember that small, positive changes can have a dramatic effect over a lifetime.

MisoVegan: Can you share five easy ways readers can reduce the toxins in their home?

Dr Wentz: Here are five safety tips for a healthier home.

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  1. Shoes off. Take your shoes off before entering your home. We walk around unwittingly in car oil, pesticides, animal waste and toxins.
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  3. Cook on cast-iron. Teflon pots and pans release potential hazardous fumes and particles into the air such as toxic gases, carcinogens and global pollutants. Try using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet instead.
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  5. Ditch the dryer sheets. “Wrinkle free” sheets can expose you to the chemical PFC (perfluorochemcials) and is linked to reproductive and development toxicity, as well as cancers of the bladder and liver.  Try using natural alternatives like cotton or linen.
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  7. Change your light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs will make you feel drained. They contain a toxic gas known as mercury vapor. Instead, purchase regular incandescent light bulbs.
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  9. Unplug. Electrical appliances create EMFs (electromagnetic fields) which are similar to those found under power lines that were linked to cancer clusters.  Make sure you unplug your appliances when they are not being used.

The Healthy Home will be available in all major bookstores and online retailers on March 22, 2011, but you can pre-order a copy at Amazon.com.

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