By Dr. Cory Couillard
Toxicity and its damaging effects are virtually unknown to the majority of people. It is now estimated that 80 percent of jobs are sedentary and the workplace to be one of the most toxic environments. Constant exposure to common workplace and household toxins has been found to cause an assortment of severe health conditions.
Weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and other lifestyle related conditions can be directly correlated to one’s workplace. Sitting at a desk eight-to-ten hours per day is only the start of the problem. The workplace environment and indoor air is some of the worst air that we can breathe on a daily basis.
Indoor air has been shown to carry 25-100 times more pollutants than outdoor air. While many people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, it is important to make sure indoor air is free of allergens and harmful compounds.
Plants purify air
One of the best and simplest ways to improve the air quality in your workplace is using houseplants. Plants act as filters because they absorb the toxins through their leaves, especially those with the largest leaves. Some of the top air-improving houseplants are African violets, Christmas cactus, the Feston Rose plant, English ivy and aloe.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have studied the effect of houseplants on indoor air quality and reports plants reduce up to 87 percent of air toxins. Plants not only filter the air much better than a machine but they also do it much more quietly and without the use of power. Besides the powerful filtering effects, they also bring life into your workplace.
Cleaning do’s & don’ts
Don’t use conventional cleaners. Many ingredients found in conventional cleaners are linked to cancers, hormone disorders and nervous system problems.
Do use natural cleaning products like white vinegar, baking soda, corn starch, lemon juice, olive oil and club soda. White vinegar mixed with equal parts of water is a must-have for killing mold, bacteria, and germs. Baking soda can be used to remove odors and be used in place of toxic cleaners. Salt can be used for scrubbing and removing mildew and club soda is an effective stain remover for carpets.
Don’t use air fresheners. The perfumes and scents you associate with “fresh air”, a clean body or a germ-free home are often times toxic from chemical use.
Do use a couple drops of your favorite essential oil in your homemade cleaner, or wipe your desk with fresh-squeezed lemon juice. You can also grind fresh-cut orange or lemon peels and place them in the garbage bin to combat the odors lurking there.
Simple ways to detoxify your bedroom
Another location worth considering for toxic effects is the bedroom. Ideal sleep is needed to repair and restore itself from the day’s onslaught of stressors, toxins, chemicals, junk food and other adversaries.
Do you have scented candles, potpourri, perfumes, or other scented “air fresheners” in your bedroom? Many scented candles, potpourri and perfumes may smell nice, but they put off chemicals that are harmful to your body.
Do you have electrical devices with cords including TVs, laptops, clocks, phones and radios in your bedroom? Reduce the number of electrical devices because they generate electric and magnetic fields that could be harmful to your health.
Greening of your home and work environments will not only reduce your exposure to toxins but also improve how your body is able to respond to the onslaught of stress. We all have to work but let’s take a proactive stance to eliminate known toxins that will prevent disease and restore health.
Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.
Facebook: Cory Couillard