doctor holding a x ray

What Causes Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer: How to be on the lookout for cancer causing chemicals that can be affecting your lungs and breathing even if you are not a smoker.

I hear all the time about people getting lung cancer and often people say “But they did not even smoke”. Everyone knows that smoking can cause Lung Cancer. We also know that cigarettes are made of tobacco leaves. What many people don’t know is that cigarettes also contain many other substances and chemicals that are added to the tobacco, and so many people don’t realize these  chemicals are also found in many products that you use on a daily basis. So, is it the chemicals that are causing cancer not the cigarettes?

According to the American Lung Association “Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. These cancer-causing chemicals are referred to as carcinogens. Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:”

  • Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effects in the brain that people are looking for)
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Ammonia
  • Radioactive elements, such as polonium-210 (see below)
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

In my opinion it is the chemicals in the tobacco causing Cancer, but all you ever hear about is that the cigarettes are causing cancer, and rarely do we hear about the chemicals. So many of these chemicals are also found in many cleaning supplies, shampoo, conditioners, beauty products, new floors and furniture, fabrics, shower curtains, cosmetics, and many more items. Below I depict two of the above listed chemicals; Formaldehyde and Benzene. There are many ways these cancer-causing chemicals can be getting into your lungs.

Formaldehyde:

When formaldehyde is present in the air some people may have health effects, such as watery eyes, breathing issues, burning sensations of the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, skin irritation, respiratory problems, and nausea. Many homes with new products or new construction can have levels higher in new manufactured wood products such as flooring, adhesives, and furniture. Formaldehyde can also be found in some fabrics.  It can also be present in fuel-burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. It is used in cosmetics, nail polish, candles, air fresheners, makeup, hairspray, or styling gel. As these products sit in your cabinets, they may release the chemical in the form of gas into the air. 

I recently found a stash of nail polish in a cabinet in a spare bathroom and when I opened the doors, I could instantly smell the nail polish outgassing. Needless to say, I got rid of them! These days I am not wearing nail polish but I am told this is a good one. Dazzle Dry Nail Polish

An air quality monitor can detect Formaldehyde. We use one all the time in our home.  Here is one that we use: See Indoor Air Quality Monitor

An Air Purifier can also capture this harmful chemical. We sell the Austin Air Purifier that captures formaldehyde, VOC’s, and other chemicals. Please inquire about our discount on these air purifiers. See Austin Air link

Benzene:

People who breathe in benzene may develop the following signs and symptoms: drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene has been tied to the leukemia and other cancers. Benzene is a carcinogenic substance that is present in a number of modern products and industries. Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain it such as glues, adhesives, paints, lacquer, varnish removers, cleaning supplies, furniture wax, tobacco smoke and detergents. 

Other areas of concerns:

Radon is an odorless gas that is emitted from decaying natural uranium in the soil and is very common in the Northeast United States. IAccording to the EPA, research suggests that many lung cancer deaths in the United States each year can be attributed to radon exposure in the home or workplace. There are radon detectors available to evaluate your home and here is one that we have in our home. See Air-things.

TIPS:

  1. The best form of protection from cancer causing chemicals is prevention. The less formaldehyde brought into your home, the better. There are some products available for your home that are made without formaldehyde and looking for low-VOC products is a good idea.
  2. Always use an exhaust fan when cooking—This can help dilute and disperse the formaldehyde released from a gas stove while cooking and open a window in the kitchen when you can.
  3. Always wash new clothing before wearing it— Manufacturers often use chemicals like formaldehyde to reduce them from shrinking and make fabrics more wrinkle-free. One wash can remove residual chemicals before your wear them before they come in contact with your skin.  The same practice should go for any bed sheets, blankets, and towels.
  4. If you buy anything new allow them to outgas outside. When you buy sneakers, leave them outside for a day. If you purchase anything new, take the plastic off and let them outgas outside if possible. When you pick up dry cleaning, leave the clothes outside for a bit if you can and make sure your windows in your car are open driving home.
  5. Candles and air fresheners could be releasing formaldehyde into the air. Many of these types of products could be manufactured with this chemical and others, so look for products that are eco-friendlier and more chemical free.
  6. Read the labels on your Household Cleaners: A number of cleaning products contain ammonia and other chemicals, so always read the labels. Unfortunately, they are not always listed so do you research as well. Ammonia is a common ingredient in household cleaners and it will result in the emission of ammonia and its odor into your home.

No one can completely avoid coming into contact with all chemicals in their home, so please do not be discouraged. Take some steps to prevent them as best you can. Try to just be diligent and read labels and so some research. We offer one-on-one consulting if you are interested in having us guide you through the process of “Detoxing your House”. See link Your health and the health of your family is worth it!


cotton menstrual tampons and delicate flower branch on wooden board

Why Buy Organic Tampons?

By Samantha Trafford, Community Manager for the Green Living Gurus

Organic Tampons: What’s in Them?

Natural and organic…isn’t that what we should be putting inside our bodies? The answer is YES! Organic tampons are 100% certified organic, made of pure cotton free from pesticides, toxin, dyes and fragrance. Also, a fun fact is the applicators have changed as well! The three most common types of applicators for organic tampons are BPA-free plastic, plant-based plastic, non applicator alternatives and 100% biodegradable and compostable cardboard. Remember The Green Living Gurus number one rule of thumb is to always read the labels. 

Benefits on Making the Switch to Organic?

There are many harmful ingredients and chemicals in tampons that get absorbed and go directly into the bloodstream. Conventional tampons can also cause inflammation and irritation. The FDA does not regulate the ingredients in conventional tampons which can lead to issues like endocrine disruptors, developmental issues, cancer and increases risk for diseases. 

Benefits of Organic Tampons:

  • Similar in size
  • Cleaner option
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance free
  • Don’t contribute to your hormones being disrupted
  • Eco friendly 
  • Sustainable 

Conventional Tampon Ingredients: Linked to Health Issues:

Dioxin: Cancer, damage to immune system, reduced fertility, linked to hormone disruptors and increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease 

Formaldehyde: Carcinogen and irritation

Rayon: Increases risk of TSS, cancer, damage to immune system and reduced fertility

Fragrance: Bacterial vaginosis, cancer, yeast infections and allergic reactions

Phthalates: Endocrine disruptors, birth defects, cancer, infertility and autoimmune disorders

Chlorine: Endocrine disruptors 

Non-organic cotton: Increase risk of cancer, hormone disruptor and heightens toxicity 

Organic Tampons Suggestions:

Let me start off by saying all the suggestions below are truly amazing! They are healthy and clean alternatives that get the job done! These tampons list all the ingredients used and are certified organic. Plus they are environmentally friendly – that’s a bonus! Make sure to check out The Green Living Gurus Amazon store for the products below! See link

  • Honest Organic Cotton Tampons: Jessica Alba’s company, filled with tampons and many other organic products. Unscented, GOTS certified organic cotton and enhanced leak protection. Also an added benefit is they are hypoallergenic, breathable and made with a plant-derived compact applicator. This brand is a staple in my cycle – especially for heavier days.
  • CORA Organic: Filled with variety – light, regular and super! Perfect for the menstrual cycle. Cora offers tampons with or without applicators. The applicators are made with BPA-free plastic. The tampons are made out of GOTS certified organic cotton and the string is water-resistant wax coating. Fun fact, CORA organic provides pads to females in developing nations, provides education and gives them a stepping stone to build on. 
  • My Box Shop: Mother nature approved…and created by moms! My Box Shop’s slogan is “Non-toxins, period,” which dives deep into freeing your life from all things toxics. Love this brand! The tampon selection ranges from regular, super and super plus. You can also purchase the tampons with or without applicators (BPA-free plastic). No fragrance, dyes or chlorine bleach and are 100% cotton organic. 
  • Organyc: Comfort! Comfort! This brand was the first organic tampon line that I ever tried! I absolutely loved them. They are super comfortable and very absorbent. No chemicals, no dyes and 100% certified organic cotton. Organyc is also clinically proven to protect sensitive skin. Organyc tampons are also biodegradable – even the packaging!

The companies listed above offer a variety of safe and pure feminine care products. Not just tampons, but much more. They also offer monthly subscriptions! Check the labels, their ingredients are all listed out for you unlike many non-organic ones. Something tells me, they do not want us to know what is in the other ones.


Time to do a “Wellness Check”

As a health and wellness coach I look at the entire BIG picture of someone’s life and not just what they eat or if they exercise.  When I hear “But she was so healthy” or “He didn’t even smoke”  I often think about what harmful chemicals they could be using in their home that could be causing illnesses and compromising their immune system. I help people eliminate toxins and chemicals from their everyday lives so they can substantially improve their health, boost their immune system, with the goal of avoiding cancer and other illnesses related to these harmful ingredients.

Someone may look healthy from the outside but on the inside, they could be ingesting, breathing and smothering harmful chemicals in their skin and body. They may eat organic food but clean with harmful chemicals, sleep in toxins coming from laundry detergent, use dryer sheets that exhaust into the air, and breathing in harmful chemicals all day in their homes and offices. Their organs and immune system can be compromised from taking in all these chemicals every day.

You can eat all the organic food in the world but your body can only handle so much from toxic chemicals entering your system through everyday products including but not limited to: cleaning supplies, candles, water, carpeting, beds, adhesives, building materials, insecticides, paints, stains, air fresheners, dryer sheets etc.  Over 80,000 chemicals are registered in the USA. The list of chemicals entering our homes and offices through products are endless and as a result our indoor air is often polluted which could be causing a slew of health problems including a compromised immune system. Right now, more than ever we need to make sure our immune systems are as healthy as possible to fight off illnesses and all viruses.

The American Lung Association states on their website “Cleaning is essential to protecting our health in our homes, schools and workplaces. However, household and cleaning products—including soaps, polishes, and grooming supplies—often include harmful chemicals. Even products advertised as “green” or “natural” may contain ingredients that can cause health problems. Some cleaning supplies can even be flammable or corrosive. Fortunately, you can limit your exposure to those risks. Read all labels and follow instructions when using cleaning products. It could save your life.”

Asthma and allergies are on the rise along with other ailments caused by polluted air, such as headaches, dizziness, depression, respiratory infections, autoimmune disorders, throat and ear infections, colds and flu. There are many studies performed on indoor air environments due to the concerns over the effects of rising levels of chemicals and pollutants. The National Center for Health Statistics reported an alarming increase of people suffering from severe allergies and asthma due to our poor indoor air quality. Even as far back as 2003, Harvard School of Public Health reported that out of 120 homes tested for toxic gases and compounds. 100% of the homes had levels that exceeded safe standards and that this is a nationwide problem.

According to the EPA, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels, and in some cases these levels can exceed 100 times that of outdoor levels. Your indoor air can be more harmful than the air outside. Making every effort to help purify the air in your home is important to your health and your immune system and wellbeing of your family.

Your immune system is your defense mechanism against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. The immune system helps to provide resistance to infections and toxicity and with a strong immune system your body has the power to cure itself.

You can do your own wellness check or hire us. Start now by reading your ingredients and knowing your labels.

Some of the symptoms of having chemicals in your home and poor air quality:

  • throat irritation
  • breathing difficulties
  • tightness in the chest
  • runny nose
  • allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing
  • burning sensations in the nose
  • dry, itchy skin rashes
  • headaches

Why is the indoor air more polluted?

  1. Household cleaning products and pesticides
  2. Toxic air fresheners including candles
  3. Inadequate ventilation
  4. High temperature and humidity 
  5. Lack of fresh outdoor air
  6. Airtight buildings
  7. Dampness and moisture
  8. Materials used in the building           

What you can do to make your indoor air better?

  • Reduce or stop using chemicals that outgas into your home
  • Clean ceiling fans regularly
  • Invest in a HEPA air purifier
  • Air out dry cleaning before you bring it inside your home
  • Use plants around you home
  • Clean or change filters in window air conditioners and change filters in whole house units
  • Open your windows as much as possible
  • Have your ducts and vents cleaned but ask about the chemicals they use(have them use only water with soap)
  • Get rid of toxic candles
  • Take off your shoes
  • Clean with non toxic products and get rid of dryer sheets
  • Make sure you are using your vents on your stove
  • Vacuum your rugs regularly(Area rugs are better than wall to wall)
  • Avoid Anything with ‘fragrance’ in it. “Unscented” does not always mean fragrance-free!  Fragrance can be made up of hundreds of chemicals. Companies do not have to reveal these ingredients.  

Much Health and Happiness to you all!


Fragrance – and why it is not always a good ingredient

By Therese Forton-Barnes, Head Guru

According to the dictionary it is ‘a pleasant sweet smell’. But when it is in a product you put on your skin, hair, or body it is possibly very toxic to your health. One of the worst component of most things labeled ‘Fragrance’ is phthalates. It is used as a kind of preservative and enhancer in order to make the smell last longer.

It is a known link to cancer, reproductive issues, developmental disabilities , endocrine disruption & respiratory Illnesses. Manufacturers are not required in the US to list these ingredients even though it is proven that they pass from the skin into the bloodstream. They are only required to list the term ‘Fragrance’ which is a general term meaning up to 100 very toxic components can be contained in that one word. 

This has happened because the ‘fragrance’ industry regulates itself. Also, the term “Natural Fragrance” can be equally deceptive & usually is a toxic blend of synthetic smells and preservatives. 

Essential oils is the term to look for but not “with essential oils added” which is another way to trick the consumer. Look for only essential oils used for scent or no synthetic fragrance and only essential oils  are used in this product.

When you start looking in laundry soaps, bath & beauty products, fabric softeners, cosmetics, candles, and air fresheners, you will be dismayed at how many products list fragrance . Unscented is one way to go and the other is to shop sites like health food stores or businesses where the products have been hand picked for their lack of toxicity already.

Even then, practicing reading labels for added ‘Fragrance’ is a good practice. The industry is a slippery slope and can be quite inventive in their word usage.

Also, as you wean off these scents, you may find that your nose becomes much more sensitive and tuned into a chemical scent vs a natural one. We share the same air with others so being sensitive to what’s in perfumes and scented products also can protect those who are neurologically vulnerable and also children who are always more at risk as their systems are still developing . 


Why Switch to Non-Toxic Deodorant and Never Use Anti-Perspirant

By Samantha Trafford, Community Manager for the Green Living Gurus

Everyone has had that feeling. A warm summer day or even a cold winter evening, hanging with friends and family. Then you smell it and feel the sweat. You shudder, cheeks blush in embarrassment as you fold your arms to hide your own body odor and pit stains. You decide to use a stronger deodorant. You sweat less, you smell fresh, but what chemical is in the magic stick you rub under your arms? 

What better time to detoxify your armpits than while you are stuck at home in quarantine?! Yes, that’s right, it’s the best time to make the switch from that harmful chemical filled deodorant to an all natural. It is important to note that everyone’s body is different and won’t always react the same as someone else’s. You will experience a detox period…bring on the sweating. Since your armpits have been clogged from your days of antiperspirants, your body is working to eliminate the chemicals and the aluminum. This detox period typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks. The odor causing bacteria is only temporary, so try to stay with the natural deodorant until your body adjusts.

The harmful chemical in deodorant & antiperspirant: Aluminum, Butane/Isobutane, Diethanolamine, Fragrance, Parabens, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol & Triclosan are common harmful ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants. Deodorant is a staple in an everyday routine. These dangerous ingredients have caused an increasing concern to individual’s overall health and have been linked to many health issues. 

Ingredients linked to health issues below:

  • Aluminum: Causes cells to mutate, which increases the risk of a tumor growth
  • Butane/Isobutane: Cancer and reproductive toxicity
  • Diethanolamine: Cancer
  • Fragrance: They commonly contain phthalates, which are chemicals that help the scents last longer. They can pass from the skin and into the blood system. Manufacturers are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels
  • Parabens: Breast cancer
  • Phthalates: Endocrine disruptor, early onset puberty and breast cancer
  • Propylene glycol: Can cause damage to central nervous system and heart
  • Triclosan: Endocrine disruptor, breast cancer, thyroid issues, skin irritation & allergies

The Difference between Deodorant and Antiperspirant:

Deodorant covers up odor, while an antiperspirant blocks you from producing both odor and sweat. The reason antiperspirant controls sweat is due to aluminum as the active ingredient. Both these options are linked to breast cancer and other health issues. 

Below is a list of recommended natural deodorants used by the Gurus: Click Here for the Store

  1. Erbaviva: This deodorant line is certified USDA organic, cruelty free, sulfate & paraben free. It’s a simple spray, leaving you with a fresh smell of Jasmine and Grapefruit, Lemon and Sage or Lavender and Germaine. There are no artificial fragrances, no silicones, no petrochemicals and no artificial dyes. Erbaviva’s farm to bottle process uses pure organic essential oils in organic grain alcohol to naturally ward off underarm bacteria and reduce scent. Fun fact: This can use as hand sanitizer as well!
  1. Waleda: From roll on to spray deodorant, Waleda offers a variety of chemical free deodorants. Using essential oils and alcohol for ingredients, allows your armpits pores to not clog which in turn lets your body detoxify. Welda prides themselves on no animal testing, free from parabens and phthalates and free from synthetic preservatives and fragrances. Their mission, “offers the best solutions to every beauty and wellness need.”
  1. Native: United States based company using safe, clean and effective products. From a variety of scents, Native offers all natural ingredients made for both men and women. #GONATIVE and avoid both parabens and aluminum. Native also recently came out with plastic free deodorant. Their goal is to go completely plastic free by 2023, stay tuned!
  1. Underarmed: As seen on the Today Show, Underarmed is a 100% all natural and organic aluminum free deodorant. Made in Nashville, TN, they are known for their active botanical luxury deodorant. This company The essential oils listed in the ingredients that keep you smelling fresh all day long are lavender and eucalyptus, (a pinch of raw organic honey added too). This family business wanted to remove toxins, heavy metals and aluminum out of their home…now they are offering it to your home too!
  1. Essential Oils Organic: The deodorants made from EO are certified USDA organic, cruelty free, aluminum free, paraben free and made with only organic ingredients only. They make spray, roll on and wipe deodorant with a wide range in essential oil fragrance (which is all natural). EO prides themselves on plant-based body care as the solution, a healthy and natural way to take care of yourself. With all the ingredients up front and listed, you will know what exactly you are putting into your body. 
  • Tips for when you are smelling while out and about and no deoderant on hand: In a pinch with the heat and humidity? Out and about on the town and you don’t have your natural deodorant on you? A few items found in your purse, in a store nearby or at a restaurant can help solve this issue. Alcohol based hand sanitizer, lemons, limes, saline solution, and coconut oil can help with the smell. Using these tips when you are in a jam will help decrease the odor. The odor is caused by bacteria, not the sweat. 

Green Living Gurus Store : Click here We are an Amazon associate and earn a commission from purchases made through our store. Please note we only recommend products that we truly believe are best for you and not influenced by anyone or a company.


lotions in a beauty salon

Therese’s ‘Top Ten’ List of Ingredients to Avoid in Lotion

1. PARABENS (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)

Not always labeled, used as preservatives, and may contribute to hormone imbalance.

2. PHTHALATES

Sometimes listed as a “fragrance” and  can potentially damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.

3. TRICLOSAN

These are an antibacterial agent that may disrupt thyroid function. They are also been known to be linked to cancer. Also found in soaps, mouthwash, shaving cream, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.

4. MINERAL OIL

A petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging its pores. This is incredibly harmful because it interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, therefore increasing likelihood of acne and other disorders.

Usually found in creams, lotions, ointments, and cosmetics.

5. DMDM  HYDANTOIN

Preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin allergies, headaches, and loss of sleep.

6. ALUMINUM

Toxic metal that can have estrogen-like effects in our systems, disrupting the healthy functioning of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. Usually found in almost every personal care product, especially antiperspirant deodorants.

7. SYNTHETIC “FRAGRANCE”

Anything that is synthetic or artificial should always raise a red flag. These are made up of hundreds to thousands of different ingredients not usually listed on the label, so you are never sure what you are actually being exposed to. Found in cosmetics, skincare products, household products such as candles, cleaning supplies,

air fresheners, scented trash bags, dog poop bags and so many other products.

8.SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE OR LAURETH SULFATE 

These are used in cleansing products and in creams and lotions. They can cause irritation to your eyes, skin, mouth, and lungs. For people with sensitive skin, sulfates may also clog pores and cause acne. 

9. SILOXANES

Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of products to soften, smooth and moisten. They can potentially be an endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant.

10. TRIETHANOLAMINE

These are clear colorless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odors. They are usually found in products that foam like facial cleansers and soaps. They are also found in eye makeup, fragrances, hair products, and sunscreens. When absorbed into the body over a long period of time, it can become toxic. Even short periods of exposure may cause allergic reactions, including eye problems and dry hair and skin.


Pregnancy and Avoiding Chemicals

More and more research is linking chemicals to birth defects, cancer, thyroid disorders, acne, asthma, diabetes, obesity, allergies, infertility, and even ADHD. If I had my way, every OB office and midwife in the U.S. would distribute information to their patients on how chemicals can affect a woman and her fetus. Women should be made aware of sources of exposure to chemicals in order to reduce the risks to the developing fetus.

I have learned a lot from my sisters when it comes to pregnancy and avoiding chemicals. I was never able to have children and had various miscarriages but still knew what I had to do while I was trying to get pregnant. In all the Doctor appointments that I went to, never once was I told to avoid chemicals and other toxins that can affect a developing fetus.

During pregnancy, especially in the early months, the baby is developing its brain. A chemical that is marginally dangerous to the mom may be critically dangerous for a developing fetus. 

The Gurus Top Ten Tips to Avoid Chemicals During Pregnancy:

  1. Pesticides (Eat organic and avoid lawns that have been sprayed)
  2. Do not paint: Avoid any paint & especially any lead based paints. This includes sanding or scraping any old paints where lead will most certainly be released into the air 
  3. Mosquito repellents can be toxic. Make you own(see our DIY section)
  4. Avoid Mercury (this is why eating fish should be limited to once or twice a week). Most fish carries some level of mercury in it 
  5. Stay away from Pressure treated woods . These woods are treated with arsenic  which out gasses long after it is installed.
  6. Do not use nail polish – the fumes are similar to paint thinner which can be dangerous to the fetus 
  7. Avoid harsh cleaning solutions such as oven cleaners, bleach & most conventional cleaning products. Use our recommended ones in the store or make your own – see our DIY section.
  8. Alcohol & cigarettes – do not be even around smoke
  9. Avoid non stick cookware
  10. Body lotion, hair products, deodorant and perfume – Read the ingredients and know your labels. There are so many chemicals used in these products and potential endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and other harmful side effects

Whatever a pregnant woman ingests or puts on her skin, the baby can also be affected. What occurs during fetal development can last a lifetime. Most Doctors will tell you what is positive for the baby, such as vitamins, rest and a healthy diet, but very few will tell woman what chemicals to avoid.

Someday, I hope to have a “brochure” in all OB offices!!


Suntan Lotion and Safer Choices

Sunscreen: A very talked about subject as it should be since the sun is baking these ingredients into your skin. Many of these ingredients are hormone and endocrine disruptors and are especially dangerous to young children whose bodies and brains are still developing. Some sunscreens have active ingredients such as: octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, phthalates, parabens, sodium laureate sulfate and fragrance and you should be on the lookout for these ingredients. Many of them are also known carcinogens.

This is very concerning to us at GLG and we want you healthy and safe and putting the best ingredients on your skin as possible. To help sort through this very complicated sunscreen road map The Environmental Working Group(EWG) puts out a sunscreen guide every year. There is great info here and we wanted to share it with you Check out their guide

The Green Living Gurus has a list of sunscreen that we recommend. Shop here for Sunscreen Have a safe and healthy summer!

** The Green Living Gurus earn a very small percentage from our Amazon store.


Dryer Sheets – Why You Need To Ditch Them!

I get asked all the time, “what would be the first item you tell people they should stop using?” This is hard to answer but I immediately ask if they use Dryer Sheets. Personally, I can develop a headache immediately from the scent coming from the chemicals in dryer sheets. Walking the neighborhood, I am on high alert for toxic fumes coming from laundry vents. The smell has become ubiquitous. I am lucky because my immune system is strong and I can fight off these chemicals. Others with auto immune disorders are not so lucky and they can suffer from burning skin, respiratory irritation, anxiety attacks, nervous system disorders, and irritability.

What if I told you the dryer sheets you use are full of ingredients that you would never want bear your skin? You may see advertisements stating “Super Fresh Smell” or “Spring Burst” or ‘White Lavender & Sandalwood” depicted on the dryer sheet box. You’ll probably see images of flowers, or line-dried laundry and claims of wrinkle-free, static freshness, and fabric softening. What you don’t see is the list of chemicals listed on the box.

As ridiculous as it seems, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission does not require dryer sheet manufacturers to list actual ingredients, including the chemicals used in their ‘fragrance’ blends. Acetaldehyde is a very common ingredient used in fake fragrance blends. It’s “potentially carcinogenic to humans” and adversely can impact the kidneys, nervous and respiratory systems including your lungs. Benzene is another chemical known to be on the lookout for even though it will never be on the label. Both of these chemicals are also pollutants that commonly come out of vehicle tailpipes. Most dryer sheetsare also coated with a chemical lubricant called Quaternary Ammonium Compound (QACS), which is known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and irritate skin, and has been linked to cancer and reproductive issues. 

These chemicals adhere to your clothing, sheets and towels. They also release VOCs which are gases released into the air in your home and outside through the vents. 

Could these chemicals such as acetaldehyde and benzene, which are considered carcinogenic, actually be making you sick? Potential Health related issues could be:

  • Asthma
  • Respiratory illness
  • Runny Nose
  • Skin allergies
  • Migraines
  • Breathing issues

From an Environmental standpoint: Dryer sheets aren’t needed to keep clothes clean or static free. As single-use products, they produce needless amounts of waste and emit potentially harmful chemicals into the air. It may be prudent — as well as environmentally responsible — to switch to an alternative. Most people have no idea they’re introducing such nasty pollutants into their neighborhoods. Some of  these chemicals are also considered toxic to wildlife.

Alternatives: The good news is you can survive without dryer sheets even though t it may be tough to give up that smell at first. I often hear from clients that they are so grateful they stopped using dryer sheets and they can’t even stand the smell anymore. This is music to my ears whenever I hear that!

Static Cling: To help with static and softness for your laundry: Add 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to the Washing machine rinse cycle

Fresh Essential oil smell: Use Dryer Balls with Essential oils. They soften fabric by virtue of their woolen texture that helps fluff up the fibers in your laundry. Click here to view the the recommended dryer balls from our store.

Fresh Air: Try hanging your clothes outside on a clothes line. There is nothing better than fresh air smell! As I write this in May of 2020, everything old is becoming new again so give it a try! You may just see what it truly means to smell like “Spring Burst” or a “Super Fresh Smell” for real.


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Chemical Distancing… and How To Practice Safely!

Chemical distancing is nothing new for us. My sister and I have been practicing this for a long time. We cannot come near anyone that uses dryer sheets and as soon as we detect them on their clothes we have to move away. We both will instantly get a headache. We cannot walk down the cleaning supply aisle of the super market. If we are in a bar or restaurant and someone has perfume or cologne on, we immediately have to move away. If we smell toxic laundry detergent coming out of a house vent or a laundry mat, we immediately cover our faces. We have to specifically ask an Uber/Lyft driver to remove any air freshener insert before we get in their car. When our neighbors do their laundry with fragrance or dryer sheets, we have to close our windows and go indoors. If we see a yellow “pesticides sprayed here” sign on a lawn, we walk a different route. We are so in tune to these toxic chemicals and the affect on our health.

I am lucky because my immune system is strong and I can fight off the chemicals. My sister is not so lucky. She has an autoimmune disorder called Mitocondrial Dysfunction. If she comes in any contact with these horrible toxic ingredients she can have multiple health reactions including a severe migraine for days, a burning sensation in her ears and skin, hives and rashes and potentially so severe that she has ended up in the hospital.

Products we use everyday may contain chemicals linked to health problems, like breast cancer, reproductive issues including infertility and birth defect, asthma, autoimmune disorders and other illnesses. Here are a few ways you can also practice safe Chemical Distancing.

Avoid Fragrance

  • Shop for laundry detergents, cleaning supplies and personal care products labeled “fragrance-free” Warning: “Unscented” does not always mean fragrance-free!
  • Don’t use air fresheners that have chemicals in them
  • Get rid of your perfume/cologne and replace it with a safe alternative
  • Get rid of dryer sheets
  • THE FACTS: Fragrance can be made up of hundreds of chemicals. Companies do not have to reveal these ingredients.  

Give Your Personal Care Products a Makeover

  • Read the labels to avoid chemicals like parabens, phatlates, sodium laureth sulfate, and oxybenzone.
  • THE FACTS: Personal care products contain a wide variety of chemicals. These products are applied directly to your skin and absorbed into your bodies. Some are known to be of concern, and many lack research to prove safety for your health.

Ditch the Air Fresheners

  • Open a window – Ventilate your home with outdoor air, even in the middle of winter
  • Use essential oils
  • Simmer herbs or spices on the stove.
  • Use an Indoor Air purifier that uses a HEPA filter
  • Use Azuna Fresh – a natural tea tree oil product
  • THE FACTS: Air fresheners with chemicals add unnecessary toxins to your home including ones that may disrupt your hormones, harm your children and add unnecessary chemicals to your indoor air.


Indoor Air and HEPA Air Purifiers

Breathing clean air has been in the news quite a bit and the affect it is having on ones health and lungs. As reported by The Atlantic,”The immune system is a function of the communities that brought us up and the environments with which we interact every day. Its foundation is laid by genetics and early-life exposure to the world around us–from the food we eat to the air we breathe”

Running an air purifier at home can be a good idea anytime, to help filter out indoor allergens and pollutants and that’s especially true now, when so many people are stuck indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In theory, if an air purifier removes viruses from the air, it reduces concentrations in the room and thus reduces the potential for exposure,” says Linsey Marr, an environmental engineer and professor at Virginia Tech who specializes in airborne disease transmission, air quality, and nanotechnology. “So there is a mechanistic reason to think that air purifiers could help reduce transmission.”HEPA filters are very effective. They are certified to capture 99.97 percent of particles that are precisely 0.3 micron in diameter. And they are even better at capturing particles that are either larger or smaller than that, Marr says, including viruses.The novel coronavirus itself is 0.125 microns, but Marr says the droplets it travels in—when people cough, talk, or breathe—initially are larger, around 1 micron. That’s a size easily captured by HEPA filters. (Consumer Reports Magazine 4-2020)

HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air purifiers help eliminate free flowing particles in the air that are not visible to the human eye, but can cause great health risks. The percentage of particles removed from an air purifier is also dependent on the design and air flow construction of the air purifier itself.

If you cannot give up your “Clorox wipes” or your “Windex” and any other toxic product, than I highly suggest you have an HEPA air purifier to at least rid the room of these toxic chemicals. Whether you buy from us or not, make sure you do your due diligence. There are many models out there and they are not all created equal.

The air purifiers that we sell are Medical Grade HEPA which captures airborne particles. They are portable so you can target specific areas in your home. The air purifier unit can be placed in your bedroom at night where we spend over one-third of our lives and where most dust mite debris collects.

If you want complete peace of mind to know your home and office air are clean and mostly free of toxins and chemicals, The Austin Air Healthmate Plus® Air Purifier is the right choice for you. With its broad-spectrum adsorption, the HealthMate Plus will remove the widest range of chemicals and VOC’s, as well as allergens, pet dander, dust, mold, viruses and bacteria. There are other models but this one removes a wide range of gases, chemicals, VOC’s and formaldehyde. 

For more information on air purifiers and to learn about our discounts and special packages please contact us at 716-868-8868 or email us at Greenlivinggurus@gmail.com

Here is a link to all of the Austin Air Purifier products that we offer: https://austinair.com/shop/ Green Living Gurus are an ‘Authorized Dealer’ for Austin Air Products®, made in Buffalo, NY, USA.

Too see the specs and certified buyer testimonials: https://austinair.com/shop/healthmate-plus/#

Other ways to make sure you have clean air in your home:

  • Clean Ceiling Fans regularly
  • Air out Dry Cleaning before you bring it inside your home
  • Use plants around you home
  • Clean filters in window air conditioners and change filters in whole house units yearly
  • Open your windows even in mid winter if only for a few minutes
  • Have your ducts and vents cleaned but ask about the chemicals and have them use only water in their cleaning system

Making every effort to help purify the air in your home is important to the health and wellbeing of your family. These are all ways that you can naturally increase the air quality of your home as well as know that you are reducing the amount of chemicals that your family is exposed to on a regular basis. Happy Home Sweet Green Home!


Do You Think You Are Healthy? Do You Think Your Home Is Healthy?

What does the word ‘Healthy’ really mean? I keep hearing of ‘healthy’ people dying from Covid19. If someone gets Covid19 and are considered ‘healthy’ but yet they clean with toxic chemicals, sleep in chemicals from toxic laundry detergent, use dryer sheets, use antiperspirant etc.. and their lungs are compromised from inhaling all these chemicals all day long……then are they really that healthy?

I write a lot about how to get toxic chemicals out of your home. You can eat all the organic food in the world but your body can only handle so much from toxic chemicals entering your system through lotions, deodorants, hair products, plastic containers, makeup, cleaning supplies, candles, water, carpeting, beds, adhesives, building materials, insecticides, paints, stains, air fresheners, dryer sheets. The list goes on. Your lungs are breathing in these scentless chemicals. Could you imagine if they all had a smell to them? Would we then allow them in our homes? Would we still smother them into our skin? Would you still clean your house with them?

Mother Nature is still at work keeping the outdoor air as clean as possible with thunder storms, lightning, and ultraviolet energy from the sun. Our indoor air is often overlooked and not tested. Over 80,000 chemicals are registered in the USA. The list of chemicals entering our homes through products are endless. Dioxane, Galaxolide, Monothanolamine, Ammonia, Formadelhyde, etc and most are not visible to the naked eye or can be detected by smell, which makes it even worse.

Then to compound matters, to conserve energy, we seal up our homes; locking in these pollutants.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that our indoor air environment can be up to 5-100 times worse than the worst outside air. Our body’s immune systems are designed to handle outside air that has been cleansed by natural processes, but they can’t keep up with the levels of indoor air pollution that we create.

The American Lung Association states on their website “Cleaning is essential to protecting our health in our homes, schools and workplaces. However, household and cleaning products—including soaps, polishes and grooming supplies—often include harmful chemicals. Even products advertised as “green” or “natural” may contain ingredients that can cause health problems. Some cleaning supplies can even be flammable or corrosive. Fortunately, you can limit your exposure to those risks. Read all labels and follow instructions when using cleaning products. It could save your life.”

Asthma and allergies are on the rise along with other ailments caused by polluted indoor air; such as headaches, dizziness, depression, respiratory infections, autoimmune disorders, throat and ear infections, colds and flu. There are many studies performed on indoor air environments due to the concerns over the effects of rising levels of chemicals and pollutants. The National Center for Health Statistics reported an alarming increase of people suffering from severe allergies and asthma due to our poor indoor air quality. Even as far back as 2003, Harvard School of Public Health reported that out of 120 homes tested for toxic gases and compounds 100% of homes had levels that exceeded safe standards and that this is a nationwide problem but little has been done to change this so far.

Being in insolation can be a new beginning. Take steps to live in a healthier home and office environment. It can be a reminder that the Earth needs to heal and we also may need to make our homes more healthy.


Risks Of Having Formaldehyde In Your Home

Are you worried about chemical vapors in your home and in your household products? Maybe you have just installed new flooring or furnishings and are concerned about the smell. Formaldehyde is just one of these ingredients that could be lurking

Americans may be inhaling enough formaldehyde vapors every day to cause leukemia and other cancers. Formaldehyde is a respiratory irritant and can increase the risk of allergies and asthma.

Formaldehyde, is a colorless strong smelling gas, and is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the United States. It is often used in household products, building materials, glues and adhesives, some insulation and pressed wood products such as particleboard and plywood. It can also be found in glues and adhesives, certain paint, paper products and some insulation materials. It is also used in personal care products.

Formaldehyde is also used to make other chemicals such as formalin. When the formaldehyde gas is dissolved in water it is known as formalin, a preservative, which can be found in some foods. Formalin is also used in personal care products such as cosmetics and antiseptics.

Formaldehyde is everywhere. According to critics, this is just another example of the EPA working to protect big business, rather than the health of the American people.

The European Union has banned the use of formaldehyde due to its carcinogenic properties. Formaldehyde was declared a toxic substance by Canadians in 1999, and some uses have been banned in Europe. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has called it a known carcinogen.

We will help you to reduce the exposure of formaldehyde through our indoor analysis of your home and or office. Please reach out to us if interested in learning more.


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Juicing Recipe And The Benefits Of Juicing

The Benefits of Juicing

The benefits are amazing. Juice has to be fresh in order to optimize the nutritional value. Optimum Nutrition = Optimum Health. Also, fresh pressed juice is made in a “juicer” not a blender.  When selecting a juicer choose a model that is easy to clean, has a quality motor that extracts juice from fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and wheatgrass. The one I recommend is the Omega J800C. I have had a few other juicers and this one I feel is the best and their customer service is amazing.

The advantage of juicing is you can consume large quantities of nutrient-rich juice without taxing your digestive systems with all of that fiber. Once consumed, the juice is absorbed into your system in about 15 minutes.

Pressed pressed juice is rich in nutrients, phytochemicals (naturally occurring compounds that have disease-fighting and cell-protective properties) and enzymes.

Unless it is freshly made, most store bought juice is likely to have been depleted of many of its nutrients and lacking in enzymes as a result of storage. Even the organic versions may have been pasteurized to preserve their shelf-life, resulting in the destruction of much of their nutritional value.

Although all juices have many benefits, in my opinion the ‘green’ juices are the best as their high chlorophyll content helps to oxygenate the blood. Green leafy vegetables are also high in minerals such as magnesium, iron and calcium, which are great for ones health. Click here to see other juicers and books on juicing recipes in our Guru Store.


My favorite Juicing Ingredients

  1. Kale
  2. English Cucumber
  3. Lemon
  4. Celery
  5. Carrots
  6. Apple
  7. Turmeric
  8. Ginger
  9. Beet and Beet Greens
  10. Romaine lettuce

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How to Boost Your Immune System

Our immune system is our defense mechanism against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. There are effective ways to boost your immune system and with a strong immune system, your body has the power to cure itself.

Boost Your Immune System

We are hearing more and more about the importance of boosting our immune systems. The immune system helps to provide resistance to infections and toxicity. The key players include the thymus, bone marrow, lymph nodes—and leukocytes(white blood cells), along with a complex network of cells and proteins that make up your immune system. Without going into the scientific description, it is very well known that it is important to do some things regularly that help to keep your immune system healthy.

Hand Washing:

Although hand washing is important, I would try to avoid antibacterial soaps or agents of any kind. Antibacterial properties kill not only harmful bacteria but also the good. Your skin microbiome is a line of defense against infections, and keeping it intact is very important to immune resilience. Also, triclosan, which is found in many antibacterial soaps, resembles human hormones and can fool your systems that rely on the thyroid. This can lead to infertility, advanced puberty, obesity or cancer. The human body has a hard time processing triclosan.


6 Immune Boosters we recommend:

  1. Get adequate sleep
  2. Exercise
  3. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables(preferably organic)
  4. Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke
  5. Moderate Alcohol
  6. Avoid chemicals when possible: There is increased awareness and concern within the scientific communities that chemical pollutants can suppress immune processes and thus cause increased development of neoplastic and infections diseases. 

Click here to see recommended immune boosting products from our Guru Store


recommendations for staying healthy:

  1. Drink cold pressed juice
  2. Take a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar every morning
  3. Drink warm lemon first thing in the am
  4. Eat a lot of garlic
  5. Oil pull
  6. Use ginger in juices
  7. Get outside and take in the sunshine
  8. Drink organic wine(just kidding but it does make me happy so maybe that is a booster)

Actions to take when you start to feel sick:

  1. Take elderberry extract(or make your own)
  2. Drink organic orange juice
  3. Take zinc
  4. Drink bone broth
  5. Take echinacea
  6. Drink a shot of fire cider
  7. Gargle with salt water

These are our suggestions for keeping your Immune System Strong and ready to fight anything that comes its way and we hope you are staying healthy and safe during these times of uncertainty in the world.

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The Green Living Gurus

10 Ways To Detox Your Home For Beginners

Food of course is important for good health and your surrounding environment is just as crucial. You already know that eating the wrong foods can make you ill, but did you know that a toxic home can too? Our homes can be filled with hundreds of toxic chemicals.  These  chemicals get trapped in our homes especially in colder weather climates where windows are shut for many months. It has been reported that indoor air is 3-5 times more polluted than outdoor air and there is actually a sickness called “Toxic Home Syndrome” when your home can make you sick. Diseases such as autoimmune disorders, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive conditions, birth defects and others have been linked to environmental toxins.  They can seep into your bloodstream and damage your health.

Be proactive and detox your home!! Below is a list to start in detoxing your home. We have links to all kinds of products that you can buy in our store or go online and search for some yourself. Thankfully, awareness of the chemicals in our environment is growing and the public is demanding changes. The ideas of “nontoxic” and “natural”, are moving to the mainstream. But be VERY careful – these words are also used by companies wanting to fool you so read and know your ingredients!

  1. Get as much fresh air in your house as possible. Open your windows when you can to get the air moving in your home. Even if it is cold, do it for 10 minutes. This is my favorite time to open up windows and doors!!!
  2. Get rid of artificial air fresheners that bring toxic chemicals in your home. We list alternatives in our store or use essential oil diffusers like DoTerra.
  3. Look at your laundry detergent ingredients and think about switching over to a few less toxic laundry detergent. Stop using dryer sheets and purchase wool dryer balls that are a great natural alternative.
  4. Look at the ingredients on your personal care products and slowly replace one item at a time with more nontoxic options. This can be overwhelming so take it slowly. Take baby steps because it can be overwhelming.
  5. Make sure you change or clean the filters in your furnace and in your air conditioner. Also, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fans as well. These get covered in dust and you don’t want to circulate this throughout your room.
  6. Buy organic food as much as possible.
  7. Avoid processed foods which often contain unhealthy fats, refined oil’s, unhealthy levels of added sugar and sodium, which are sometimes very hard for our body to digest.
  8. Assess your pans and make sure any nonstick pans are not scratched, which could be leaking chemicals into your food and air . We prefer stainless steel or cast iron pans.
  9. Avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn’s which could be getting into your house and look for more organic options and alternatives.
  10. Do not store your food in plastic containers and switch over to glass containers that you can find at target Walmart or anywhere else and in our store of course too!
The Green Living Gurus

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Elevating Your Feet: Why 20 Minutes Is Equivalent to 2 Hours Of Sleep!

My Mother always had a ‘slant board’ in her bedroom that we often would lay on. She would tell us that elevating your feet for 20 minutes had so many benefits including being equal to about 2 hours of sleep. Well this came in handy in college when sleep was at a premium! This theory started back in the 1950’s and was known as the Hollywood Slant. Thanks to Kartina Holte of  Edelweiss Patterns for the attached article on the subject.

I have been preaching this for years and have so many friends still doing it. I practice this almost everyday. As you elevate your feet(and hopefully doze off) the blood flows through your body to your brain and up to your head. I consider this a Re-Charge if you are tired and need a boost. Also, think about how your legs get tired and swollen towards the end of the day. Elevating your feet will rejuvenate your organs and body. You can buy a pillow wedge as we have listed in our “sleeping aides” section of our store, or you can use pillows or sometimes I even lay on the floor with my feet on the bed. We hope you enjoy this great Guru tip!

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I wish I still had my Moms slant board that looked like this!!
A trip with friends and elevating our feet for some much needed recharging!
A trip with friends and elevating our feet for some much needed recharging!
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Ithaca College 1981 – my freshman year elevating my feet!

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The Green Living Gurus

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Helping to guide people to a green living, chemical and toxic-free lifestyle is my true passion. I have had a dream of pursuing this for over 40 years. If I can help one person eliminate or reduce toxic chemicals from their life, I will be happy but my dream is to help thousands learn about how chemicals can be causing a multitude of damage including causing cancer. While growing up, my mother always instilled a healthy diet and lifestyle.  While all the fast food chains starting to “pop” up all over, she was always against fast food and processed foods. Everything was made from scratch, and mostly organic. With this as a base, I graduated from Ithaca College in 1985 with a BS in Business and a minor in Health with dreams and plans to start a Health Food supermarket (aka Whole Foods). I had always had plans of owning a health food store, but once out of college, I found another true love of work and have been planning events in Buffalo for over 35 years. Even though event planning is in my blood, creating awareness of home toxins is in my heart. After college and going on to educating myself further on healthy living  for the past thirty years, I am now  trying to help others learn from my knowledge and experience. Shop our store to learn more about items that we recommend.  See the link below.

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