Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Healthy Home Issue Natural Medicine That Gets Results!
September 2008


Happy almost fall! Out here in Colorado it is almost fall. The days are still fairly warm and the weather is nearly perfect yet there is a nip to the air at night, the sun is setting sooner and we intermittently have some rainy days in the 40's. I had to get my son some new "real" shoes as he has been living in sandals all summer long and his feet have grown. The fruit harvests are in full swing and we are loaded with berries, local peaches and can now get decent apples again. Still lots of zukes and tomatoes but they are slowing down as we turn to dark leafy greens from the garden as we watch the pumpkins growing and ripening. A lovely time of year!

The focus of this newsletter is the healthy home. As we get ready to spend a little more time indoors as the weather cools it is important to stem the causes of indoor home pollution, which is a huge contributor to illness. Enjoy the beautiful "almost fall"!

in this issue
Creating the Healthy Environmentally Safe Home Indoor Air Pollution What are VOC's? Mold Health Issues Zucchini Recipes

Indoor Air Pollution

We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sources of indoor pollution include

Biological contaminants like mold and pollen

Tobacco smoke

Household products and pesticides

Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide

Materials used in the building such as asbestos,

formaldehyde and lead From Medline Plus

What are VOC's?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are common petroleum-based chemicals that are found in elevated levels at most houses. There are thousands of possible VOCs, offgassing from all sorts of household and products. Because petroleum comes from decaying organic matter, it is similar in chemical make-up to our bodies. Hence, it is difficult for the body both to recognize and to eliminate petroleum-based chemicals. This is unfortunate, because these chemicals are everywhere - in household products, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, vehicle exhaust, paint, polyurethane, glues, plastics, pressed wood products, etc. Formaldehyde is a common VOC. From Create Your Healthy Home

Mold Health Issues

Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Because of this, mold allergy has become a serious problem for many people. Research in the field of environmental health has yielded tests such as the MELISA assay, which is capable of identifying whether or not a person is allergic to specific molds. If a person is found to be allergic, the remedies listed below are often helpful in reducing allergic reaction. From Wikipedia

Zucchini Recipes

What should you do with all of the zucchini in your garden? Well here is the solution, my friend. Especially for the ones that we don't pick in time so that they become as large as baseball bats! I hope that you can find some new ideas here. Enjoy!

Creating the Healthy Environmentally Safe Home

Creating a healthy home in this day and age needs to be intentional. So many of the products used in building remodeling and cleaning a home contain VOC's that can contribute to "sick building syndrome" right in your own home. These can cause numerous chronic health problems. From a poorly ventilated wood stove to moldy carpets, these need to be addressed. Many of the patients who come in to see me can trace the origin of their illnesses to exposure to toxins in the home and elsewhere. Here are just a few suggestions that may help to stem the tide:

1. Use non toxic compounds for cleaning. seventh Generation and Boulder ecoproducts are some store bought products that are "greener" than many others. Also a vinegar and water solution can be used for cleaning many surfaces.

2. Use hard flooring that has been pre-finished. Hard flooring is easier to keep clean, so does not generally harbor allergens, and be sure to research how the floor was finished. Use natural wood, bamboo, or tile and beware exposure to the floor refinisher and glues as they often contain VOC's.

3. Use environmentally friendly paints or earth clay. These contain no or low VOC's and are available locally from Planetary Solutions.

4. Avoid carpets that are not environmentally friendly. Most standard carpets contain formaldehyde. More environmentally friendly ones can be found also through Planetary Solutions.

5. Have your wood or pellet stove , if you have one, checked and serviced. Smoke particulate exposure can worsen cases of allergies and asthma and cause one to have ore frequent colds and respiratory infections.

6. Avoid toxic air fresheners or incense use. These put toxins in the air that can also have an effect on the immune system and respiratory system.

6. Have your ducts cleaned regularly to get the mold and mites out and have your furnace serviced to check for carbon monoxide emissions. Also be sure to have your house checked for radon. High exposure to radon can increase your risk of certain cancers.

7. Use a good water filtration system at home to filter out chlorine in your showers and baths as well as to filter your drinking water.

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