The Maids of Portland, Maine

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shower Curtains and Low Birth Weight- The Connection

Have you ever noticed the noxious smell of a new shower curtain? This odor is plastic softener, a potently hazardous chemical compound that may do much more than just soften shower curtains. Many daily household products sold by companies today are sprayed with a host of chemicals designed to keep the plastic soft, sterilized and not flammable.

In a study done by a group of environmental agencies, such as The Center for Health and the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition, it was found that the coating on shower curtains can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals and that some of these chemicals cause developmental damage to the liver  and central nervous system, respiratory and reproductive systems. In addition, 28 days later after the shower curtain had been unwrapped and hung, some chemicals were still found in the air. Another study showed that these chemicals, phthalates, have a devastating effect on the health of new born babies. If a pregnant woman breathes these chemicals during her shower, it may interfere with the development of her fetus. It was found that during the first trimester, the fetus was particularly vulnerable to what the mother was breathing.

So, become informed! Look for labels that say PVC or "vinyl" and avoid them. Shop for a shower curtain that is made from natural fibers such as cotton. The EPA has publicly shown that 7 of the chemicals in shower curtains are hazardous air pollutants, yet companies are still selling them to uninformed consumers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Guess What? Cleaning is Good For Your Health!

A new study by Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that cooking, cleaning and even washing dishes are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. Study author Aron Buchman says that " These results provide support for efforts to encourage physical activity in even very old people who might not be able to participate in formal exercise but can still benefit from a more active lifestyle." There are other health perks related to cleaning and those are:

1.) It Burns Calories- Taking out the vacuum can help you lose those extra pounds and reduce stress. You can burn an average of 250 calories an hour during a cleaning frenzy-even more if you are really moving.

2.) It Reduces Stress- An article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine stated that 20 minutes of activity-including house work- cuts anxiety and stress by as much as 20 percent. A clean and clutter-free home is a great anxiety reducer- especially if you always have unexpected guests.

3.) It Helps Your Allergies- By purging your home of dust, dust mites and dander you can improve or avoid allergies and hay fever. Some of the best ways to control allergies are by vacuuming frequently, washing your sheets and curtains often, cleaning out your fridge and sink as well a thorough dusting throughout the home.

4.) It Improves Concentration- Do not be bogged down with lots of clutter. A clean and organized home helps you to focus on what is most important which means your concentration is improved. You will feel more optimistic and in control.

5.) It Gives You an Outlet For Your Anger- Cleaning is a productive way to vent when you are angry and lets you avoid from saying things or doing things you shouldn't.