chemical stress

Chemical Stress and Your Health

Chemical Stress and Health

Stress can be good or bad.  Stressors can have positive or negative impact on cell function.  They may be physical, chemical, and psychological.  Good stress like exercise, or setting challenges builds stress resistance that is beneficial.  Bad stress such as poor nutrition, anxiety and worry can become overwhelming and is considered chronic stress.  Our focus today is on chemical stressors.

Chemical stressors on our body include alcohol, tobacco, drugs, environmental toxins, and food additives and preservatives.  Food can either enhance or suppress the immune system.  Most foods today contain additives and preservatives that tax the immune system.  Excess grains, sugars, trans and hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine, and salt weaken the stress response.  Grains, sugar, and hydrogenated oils cause inflammation.  Caffeine triggers the sympathetic nervous system.  Salt increases blood pressure.  Stress depletes the body’s essential nutrients.

Psychological stress only compounds the problem.  Emotional stress can create poor eating habits like over/under eating, excessive dieting, and over consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, and bad fat.   

To combat chemical stress develop good habits around food:

·      Eat real food, mostly plants.

·      Avoid processed food.

·      Avoid food with additives and preservatives.

·      Don’t binge or eat late at night.

·      Enjoy meals with friends and family.

We also have to consider other toxins in our environment.  Air and water quality are compromised in many environments.  We spend a lot of time indoors breathing recycled air and in traffic breathing exhaust.  We drink and bath in polluted water, and wash our skin and home with harsh cleaning products.  For green cleaning recipes check out http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/recipes/.

 

 

 

 

Do not use another lemon scented candle or cleaning product until you read this!

 

 

Chemical Pollution inside the home

A recent study looked at the air quality of houses using products such as cleaning agents and candles with the lemon scent, limonene.  The levels of VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) found within 6 houses in the U.K were examined.  As expected, in houses where lemon scented products and candles were found, the limonene chemical levels were exponentially higher than other chemicals. 

The problem occurs when limonene hits the air and mixes with other VOCs.  For every two molecules of limonene released into the air, one molecule of formaldehyde is formed.  Gaseous Formaldehyde levels as low as 0.1 ppm (parts per million) can cause some individuals to experience burning eyes, nose or throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.  The international agency for research on cancer has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen.

Besides avoiding lemon scented candles and cleaning products in the home, you can get some plants that help clean the air of all VOCS.  

Some of the best plants to use in the home to clean the air include: spider ferns, lavender, guava, grub ferns, squirrel's foot ferns, Japenese royal ferns, snake plant, spider plant,  money plant/devil's ivy, big leaf hydrangea and sword fern. 

 

References:
Liu Y, My Y, Zhu Y, Ding H, Arens N. Which ornamental plant species effectively removes benzene from indoor air? Atmosphere Environment, Vol 41, Issue 3 2007. 
Papinchak H, Holcomb E, Best T, Decoteau D, Effectiveness of houseplants in reducing the indoor air pollutant ozone. HortTechnology 2009. 
Kruza M, Carslaw N, Lewis A. Investigating surface production reaction indoors using a detailed chemical model. Air pollution XXIII, 2015. WIT Press. 
http://www.cancer.gov
http://www.medicaldaily.com/chemicals-citrus-scented-candles-cleaning-products-cancer-risk-370736?rel=most_shared5