Rethink WELLNESS Hub


door wreath

Do you know that most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors?  90%!  If we ever doubted the importance of choosing to rethink wellness in light of our home atmosphere, this statistic ought to give us reason.

And while indoors these many hours of our day…  waking and sleeping hours… we are doing the most amazing thing for our bodies!  We are breathing.  Something we don’t often stop and think about.  (well.  haha.  please don’t actually “stop breathing.”  not what i meant.  uh.  just keep reading…)

I don’t want to sound creepy here, but you must know that the quickest way to death is through the lungs.  Toxins enter our bloodstream with every inhale — almost immediately!  (Remember WWII.)

As we are inhaling, we are carrying right into our bodies, via our lungs, all manner of air-borne stuff.  Let’s take a look and see just why we must…


Statistics always dazzle me.  Here are some more to consider regarding the purchases we make and bring right into our spaces.

When accomplishing the house-keeping chores that are required of all of us, we often are allured by simply a SCENT!  And every profitable company knows this weakness in the population!  Forget the effectiveness of the product, it is the “mountain breeze” or the “vanilla honey” or the “jasmine rain” that prompts us to slap down the card and take it home.  Be it a candle, an air freshener, a floor rinse, a laundry detergent, an oven cleaner, a toilet-bowl sanitizer, a carpet freshener, an air-duct fragrance, a window cleaner, etc.  You know what I mean?  We are so gullible when it comes to creating that cozy atmosphere where butterflies flitter over kitty litter.  kittens and butterfliesCovering up the grime, the mold, the smoke, the doggy smell, the diaper fumes, the dust seems to be the most important indicator of sufficient cleaning.  So here we go again — masking the problems rather than rooting them out.  (Uh… folks… sounds like the Tylenol syndrome.)

While there are reasons galore to examine the chemical concoctions marketed to us all, just hovering over the topic of fragrances for a moment might be all we need to begin to rethink the choices we are making as we saunter down aisle 17 of Wally-world!

Did you know that fragrances in every squirting, spraying, or wiping solution are chemical compounds that are virtually unknown to the public protection and advocacy researchers because the ingredients don’t legally have to be itemized on a bottle?  What?  Yes, tis true.  Even the concerned experts aren’t privy to the data necessary to really study what is actually in our pink, yellow, or purple “powerful and effective” cleaning solutions.cleansers

Did you know that synthetic “fragrances” are collectively considered to be in the company of the TOP 5 allergens the world-over?  Triggering untold numbers of asthma attacks every hour of every day!

Did you know that natural scenting agents are about 4000 times as expensive to use in products as most imitation or synthetic versions of the same smell. Therefore, most all cleansers use synthetic solutions for creating that alluring scent. A government report placed these synthetic fragrances in a group with 6 other categories of chemicals that should be given highest priority in testing for neurotoxicity.  Yet, the public carries these home every day, twists them open, sprays them all over the surfaces of our tightly insulated homes… where our puppies roam, where our babies crawl!

baby and cleaningLet’s step away from the “tropical coconut island” and jump right into the bleach.  We are doing it everyday in our sinks and bathtubs and laundry rooms.  Bleach.  The number one reason for over 116,000 calls to the American poison control centers in 2010.  Pulmonary damage and even death results in accidental over-exposure.   I am wondering what amount is over-exposure?  Will an alarm go off or will we just pass out?  And yet, bleach is one of those smells that tells us… “Oh, this place is really clean.”  We are out of touch with logic folks.

Let’s take a look at the indicator of lung damage.  Let’s look at the current asthma statistics for a second:  In 1980, asthma was diagnosed in 3.6% of children and teens (under the age of 18).  In 2008, asthma was diagnosed in 9.3% of the same age group.  Almost 1 in 10 children today is diagnosed with a serious lung condition where breathing is greatly inhibited!  Cleaning products are indicated as major contributing factors in the shifting of these statistics as more and more inadequately tested chemicals flood into the market each month.

There really is so much to say on this topic.  Issues like…

  • the capacity of our cleaning chemicals to breakdown once they have entered our waterways, our soil.  Many aren’t able to breakdown in our lifetime, some won’t break down in millenia, others have given no indication of ever breaking down (ever heard of Teflon?).
  • the known serious effects of chemicals acting as hormone disrupters in the human body!  Baby boys being born with underdeveloped genetalia, for example, is indicated in chemical exposure of the mother from just normal living.  Thyroid health is greatly affected by the chemicals used to concoct cleaning agents.  Acting as estrogenic properties, many chemicals are known to greatly interfere with the body’s ability to send and receive hormonal signals.  Internal imbalance is resulting!
  • Asthma has already been mentioned, but there are other unknown health concerns.  As chemicals are inadequately labeled and studied, nobody really knows the safety of single agents and certainly nobody knows the cumulative effects of combining unstudied agents.  Health indicators are growing each year.  We have a problem Houston!  and New York!  and Knoxville!

A study done by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the quality of our indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside!  Some samples indicate pollution to be as high as 100 times more inside the buildings we inhabit than the outside air!  Do you remember that we are spending 90% of our time indoors these days?  Breathing in and breathing out.  Insulated homes working to keep our utility bills under control are also doing a great job of keeping all our emitted toxins right there with us.

We really don’t have the space in this blog page to probe the minefield of chemical dangers in our own little homes!  The RETHINK LIBRARY mentions one excellent resource for lots of specific data on the research surrounding household chemicals.  Be sure to visit the Library for more information.  A link is added for your convenience at the end of this page.  Another excellent resource for current statistics and awareness is found at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) site.  I highly recommend reading over their work on your behalf in this very important area of wellness.  Also, posted for you is the link to a super informative video produced by the EWG on the toxicity being found in even our youngest citizens.  It is moving and informative.  Take the time to inform yourself and watch by clicking on the link at the end of this page.


 The data and statistics and concerns over chemicals in our homes ought to give us all reason to pause and rethink our options.

We do have those… options, you know!

Again, we need to at least make ourselves familiar with the reasons to stop buying the cheapest product on the market.  And we must stop being gullible just because the fragrance lifts us out of our daily grime and delivers us to some fantasy island.  Folks, its a mirage!  We are being poisoned with every whiff!  Really!

welcome homeExcellent products have been made by thrifty housekeepers for decades.  Good ole lemon and vinegar, for example, can be diluted and used for sterilizing many surfaces.  Essential oils also can be used to add that beautiful scent that seems to be so important to us all.  Some safe favorites are lavender and peppermint, for example.  (But just a word of caution… even essential oils can be too strong when mixed without some know-how.  Many internet resources exist to help explain good combination of these powerful natural oils.)  I will be posting some of my favorite natural cleaning products in the coming weeks.  Please watch for those helps.

AND YOUR SUGGESTIONS for SAFE, EFFECTIVE and NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS are VERY WELCOME HERE!  We are all trying to find inspiration and information to keep us on-track for wellness.  Removing toxins in our cleaning products is absolutely a must!

As my health took a downward turn, I remember taking all bottles from every cabinet and closet and placing them on my kitchen table.  One at a time, I read the labels for sense.  I despised throwing out the money invested and I despised harming the environment with the disposal of these chemical concoctions, but I was absolutely convinced that they were doing me and my family no good.  So what if the oven is grime-free if we are doubled over with congestion and skin rashes and tight lungs!  AGREE?

Bless Your Hut with Gentle and Healthy Solutions!

brighten-up-house-for-spring-6I want to also mention a practice that I learned after living four years in Germany.  They call it “luften.”  It simply means flashing the room with fresh air.  Literally swinging open the door and the window for just 5 or 10 minutes no matter what the temperature is outside.  The goal is air exchange.  Reviving the stale, low-oxygen air of our homes with quick bursts of air.  At first I thought this was one of the goofiest things ever, but I have come to know this daily practice as actually health rejuvenating — refreshing our indoor air.  Costs nothing to do and certainly seems invigorating to a stuffy room!  Even when my 4 year old daughter was in a German hospital with pneumonia (from severe asthma, of all things!), the nurses would come in a couple of times a day and fling open the window in her hospital room for 5 minutes.  Our hospitals here in the States don’t even have windows that open!

Well, certainly, I have not provided answers for you regarding what to use when cleaning your castle; however, my hope was to simply prod each of us to get rid of toxic cleaning products.  All of them!  And to begin to do some searching for more natural and wholesome alternatives.  They exist.  I am trying several out in my home right now.  Again, I will gladly post about these soon, but in the meanwhile, jump on into your bathrooms and kitchen and take inventory.  Read the caution labels, the warning labels, the danger labels and let those really sink in.  Caution, Warning, Danger.  Your wellness matters far more than scrubbing bubble buddies and wafting pine meadows!  Little changes.  Big differences over time!

As promised, here are some great links for you as you rethink the cleansing of your homes.  Hope you find meaningful helps with these clicks!  And thanks for visiting the BLESS THE HOME page here at  Your company is much appreciated!


Environmental Working

10 Americans!   This is a GREAT video clip well worth your time.  It is from the Environmental Working Group and titled, “10 Americans.”  See what you think!


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