Monday, October 13, 2008

Trash that Non-Stick Cookware??

I've recently learned that there is a another concern in the kitchen aside from toxic plastics. The non-stick, 'Teflon' surface of most frying pans are now being considered unhealthy as they are used to cook at high temperatures. Apparently the labels state that they are to be used at low to medium temperatures however the label doesn't tell you it can actually be a serious health hazard.

In a 2003 press release Dupont (owner of 'Teflon') wrote that "significant decomposition of the coating will occur only when temperatures exceed about 660 degrees F (340 degrees C). These temperatures alone are well above the normal cooking range." Then, tests conducted shortly after had shown that cookware exceeds these temperatures and turns toxic through the common act of preheating a pan, on a burner set on high. So in June 2008, Dupont announced a 'greener' solution. However, the Environmental Working Group conducted research that has proven otherwise.

What exactly is this toxin?
PFC’s (Perfluorochemical) is also called PFOA, PFOS, C8, PTFE, and Teflon. It is a toxic chemical that gets absorbed into the food that it comes in contact with and is linked to many health conditions including cancer.

Why is PFC so Dangerous?

Tests have shown that a Teflon frying pan heated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner
can release six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses - all for the convenience of 'non-stick'.

PFC is present in 98 percent of our blood and 100 percent in newborns!

How can you avoid this toxin?
  • Look for cookware that is void of this family of chemicals known as PFC’s.
  • PFCs are also found in other products that repel including Zonyl, Stainmaster, Staindefender and Scotchgard. It can be found in fast food packaging including pizza boxes and fast food wrappers (to repel grease), waterproof clothing and furniture!

It's insane how these big companies can claim virtually anything and do not have to let us in on a thing they don't want us to know. If you knew the health risks involved with the convenience of 'non-stick' cookware would you take those risks? And even if you were crazy enough to take that chance, isn't it our chance to take? Empower yourself with the knowledge to make your own choices for those who matter the most to you.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Got Asthma?

I do & I hate it. It is the worst feeling in the world to not be able to breathe. Now I don't know anyone who enjoys it. So why aren't we doing more to get rid of it and why is asthma on the rise so dramatically? Well, because we are only shown how to control it. When we go to our doctors for testing they will confirm we have this all too common condition and simply prescribe methods of controlling it when it does flare up, or so that it doesn't flare up as much.

I saw an asthma specialist in a local hospital about a year ago and have never gone back. Why? It wasn't because she wasn't knowledgeable in her field. She was taught to treat this condition with medications. So she told me that I would have to take this specific inhaler twice a day, every day for the rest of my life. Oh, and after inhaling this medication into my lungs, I have to rinse my mouth out so that it doesn't get 'sore'. So this medication was good enough to coat my lungs but should be rinsed out of my mouth. That's crazy. However, my asthma has taken a turn for the worse so I decided that I would only take it when my breathing tightened. So, now I take it only when I feel this happening and continue for 3-4 days. Then stop. If it flares up again, I do the same thing until this cycle is over.

Now I am certainly no doctor. So please don't think I am saying that this is the way everyone should do it. It's just a personal decision I've made for the time being. I am also doing everything I can to make breathing better for myself and my family. I never want my daughter to have any form of asthma and it is my goal to do anything I can to avoid this.

How do you avoid it? Start with getting rid of any and all fragrances (aka 'fakegrances'). I cannot stress enough how important it is to your health to avoid these toxins. Now I touched on this subject in one of my previous posts but what I didn't say is that each scent is composed of dozens if not hundreds of chemicals. Most of the products we use every day are affected including:
~ perfumes (most use phthalates which is a plastic/toxin that makes perfumes stick around longer so it's used everywhere!)
~ laundry soap
~ fabric softener
~ air 'fresheners'
~ microwave popcorn (for that 'buttery' smell)
~ clothes that have been dry cleaned
~ 'unscented' products (which simply means that more chemicals have been used to cover up the smell)
~ most 'naturally scented' products

I found this great article in that references the Environmental Working Group who states that, “Fragrance formulas are considered to be among the top five known allergens and can trigger asthma attacks.”

So, please avoid all fragrances whenever possible. You can't control everything but if you take these steps to rid your home and common environments of these fakegrances, you and your family will breathe a much cleaner air.

I am researching more methods on how I can breathe more clearly and I will pass any information I can find onto you so that you and your family can avoid these toxins (and asthma) in every way you can!