Coping with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Allergies

I must preface this article with my belief that everyone is chemically sensitive, just some of us have a more severe reaction than others. I believe that has to do with the health of an individual’s immune system. Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional, but I healed myself from my allergies and chemical sensitivities completely, using food as my medicine. All the information that I will share with you is from my experience. My story is located on my website.

First, I must say that severe multiple chemical sensitivity is a temporary condition. I always thought it was permanent and that my life was going to be this living hell until I realized that I could get better. I thought allergies in general were irreversible, but I am here to tell you they are temporary.

In the meantime, there are ways to cope.

Get a really good air purifier for your home…one with coconut shell carbon. Standard carbon is petroleum based and tends to aggravate chemical sensitivities. You can even get one for your car. Try not to drive in rush hour and stay back from other cars’ tailpipes.

Eliminate toxins from your home. There are those that you can control easily, like household cleaners and laundry detergents. It can be as simple as vinegar, soap or hydrogen peroxide. Don’t forget furniture polish too. Try not to use aerosol sprays that vaporize the solution.

Be mindful of new things that you bring into your house. I had an interesting experience with my new washing machine. I began to get dizzy every time I used it and I could smell engine oil. I realized that the heat of the motor caused an out-gassing of the oils and plastics used in the internal parts. I had to put my air purifier right next to it to soak up the fumes or I would have vertigo by the evening.

Use natural products on your body. Makeup, shampoos, deodorant, lotions, sanitary napkins, soap etc. Get unbleached toilet paper, tissues, paper towels. Conventional santiary napkins and tampons may be loaded with chemicals and pesticide residue. There are substitutes for everything.

Clean out your garage. If your garage is attached to your house, the fumes from all the toxic products stored there, including the fuels, plastics and glues in you car, will infiltrate your house!

If you can, do some remodeling. Carpets and padding must be natural. Conventional carpets and padding out-gas forever. No synthetic rugs with stain treatment…wool and cotton are better. (Get an air purifier, if you can’t remodel & even if you do.)

Put plants in your house. They help filter out indoor air pollution. English Ivy, Peacelilly, Cornplant, Chinese Evergreen etc.

Be careful about buying new furniture with the chemically coated fabrics and formaldehyde in the particle board, not to mention the toxic varnishes and stains. Go for used or pieces that you can finish yourself. Buy non-toxic paints and even then, stay out of the house until it is dry. There are environmental building centers where you can find all the alternative paint/varnish/glue products for your home.

When you insulate your roof or walls, make sure the insulation is formaldehyde-free.

Put filters on your shower to get the chemicals out. You don’t want to breathe in those vaporized in your shower or absorb them through your skin. Filter your drinking water too.

Is your heating system gas or electric? Natural gas can cause allergic reactions.

Stay away from pesticides indoors or outdoors and no more lawn chemicals. I read somewhere about there being higher numbers of women with breast cancer living in homes that use yard chemicals. Why take that chance? There are safer alternatives.

Gas lawn mowers, leaf blowers etc., are more polluting than cars. Use a push mower, and electric weed whackers and your hands. It’s good exercise.

Try to stay out of shopping malls with all the chemical-laden clothes and toxic building materials and cleaners and perfume counters. Perfume is such a huge offender. Don’t wear it and ask all family and friends to leave it off when they are coming to your home. Try not to be in a closed in space it. Wash all new clothes and rinse with vinegar in the water.

Avoid brand new buildings or newly remodeled ones using conventional paints, carpets and glues. They still out-gas in older buildings, just not as much.

Did you know wrinkle free sheets and shirts are treated with chemicals to keep them looking that way? Some of those chemicals actually make it harder to fall asleep. Be aware that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops, try to buy organic.

Now you know that there are a lot of ways you can control chemicals in your environment. It may seem overwhelming, so just change one thing at a time. Before you know it, you will have created a safer home.

Remember, these sensitivities and allergies are just temporary if you rebuild your immune system with nutrition.