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.
- 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
- 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.