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The Dangers of Indoor Air Quality

Have you ever considered the air quality in your home? If you're like most people, the answer is probably no. But did you know that the air inside your home could be up to five times more polluted than the air outside? And if you're a woman in her midlife years, that's something to take very seriously.

Therese Forton-Barnes is an indoor air quality expert and she's joining us today on the Hormone Prescription Podcast to talk about the dangers of indoor air pollution and what we can do to protect ourselves.

Therese is the Household Toxins Health Specialist and the Head Guru at The Green Living Gurus. She spreads the awareness of chemical exposure that could cause many autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and other ailments through her Green Living with Tee weekly podcast, her blog, the Green parent pioneer coaching program for families with children, and Tee’s organics line of household cleaners and products.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The dangers of indoor air pollution

  • The things that contribute to indoor air pollution

  • The toxins and carcinogenic chemicals found in indoor air

  • How to protect yourself from indoor air pollution

  • What you can do to improve the air quality in your home

So if you're concerned about the air you're breathing, make sure to tune in and learn everything you need to know about indoor air quality and take action to protect your health.

(00:00): Plan your life. Like you will live forever and live your life. Like you may die tomorrow. Therese's mom.

(00:08): So the big question is how do women over 40, like us keep weight off, have great energy balance. Our hormones in our moods feel sexy and confident and master midlife. If you're like most of us, you are not getting the answers you need and remain confused and pretty hopeless to ever feel like yourself. Again. As an OB GYN, I had to discover for myself the truth about what creates a rock solid metabolism, lasting weight loss, and supercharged energy. After 40 in order to lose a hundred pounds and fix my fatigue. Now I'm on a mission. This podcast is designed to share the natural tools you need for impactful results. And to give you clarity on the answers to your midlife metabolism challenges, join me for tangible natural strategies to crush the hormone imbalances you are facing and help you get unstuck from the sidelines of life. My name is Dr. Kyrin Dunston welcome to the hormone prescription podcast.

(01:04): Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the hormone prescription with Dr. Kyrin. I'm so glad that you've joined me today. My guest today is Therese Forton Barnes and she is a toxin guru, or we're gonna be talking about the dangers of indoor air quality will be detailing the potential hazards to your indoor air quality and talking about what you can do about it. Her mom is the one who shared that quote that I offered in the teaser plan. Your life like you will live forever and live your life. Like you may die tomorrow. And I absolutely love that. I think it really speaks to addressing toxins in your life. They are long acting, and their effects temporarily are very delayed. So you wanna plan like you're gonna live forever, but you wanna live like you may die tomorrow. So we're gonna tell you the things you need to go in and get rid of to improve your indoor air quality and your health. I'll tell you a little bit about her and then we'll get started. Therese is a household toxins health specialist, and she's the head guru at the Green Living Gurus. She spreads awareness of chemical exposure that could cause many autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and other elements through her green living with tea weekly podcast, her blog, the green parent pioneer coaching program for families with children and teas organics line of household cleaners and products. Welcome Tee. Thank you for having me today. Looking forward to our chat.

(02:42): I love talking about toxins because there's so many of them and I think that it can be overwhelming when people hear about this topic to think, oh my God, how do I even begin to detoxify my life? My home, my car, my work, all the things that they need to detoxify. And I love that we've decided to focus on indoor air quality. I don't think that a lot of people realize how vital this is. Why is this so important Therese?

(03:14): So our indoor air is potentially two to 100 times more polluted than the outdoor air. And these are reports that have been put out by the environmental protection agency. And the reason why our indoor air in our homes, our offices, you name it is because our homes are now built to be airtight. Everybody wants to keep the air in to conserve energy. And the problem is you're not getting enough circulation throughout the home and enough clean air coming through your home. But the worst part about it is the amount of products that are being used in your home. Whether it's cleaning supplies, laundry, detergent, dry cleaning, coming in furniture. That's been sprayed with anti fire retardants and it goes on and on and on. And you're breathing these chemicals in all day long in your home. And so the indoor air in your home is just as important as your outdoor air or as important as a food you're eating too. So these are just things I love to focus on because it's something that people don't realize it, that they need to really look at their indoor air.

(04:29): I think that's so true. And you, you highlighted a couple points. I wanna just emphasize that most people focus on aspects of the environment. They have no control over, which is outdoor air quality mm-hmm <affirmative> can you move? Sure. I had a patient a few years ago who lived in the middle of Iowa in the middle of farm country, and there were pesticides in her air and she knew it was a problem. And there was really nothing she could do about it other than move from where she lived while she wasn't paying as much attention to the air quality inside. And oh, when we did, she found out she had moldy things in her house that were affecting her health. So I think this is really where you have a large degree of control to change the outcome. And I also wanted to highlight when you were talking, I was thinking about a lot of people are very familiar with the discomfort that comes from rereading air inside a mask over and over again, since we've had to do it for the past few years.

(05:33): And so think about that, your house is really like a mask, a big mask that you live in. And so if you have bad breath and you're breathing it in and out through a mask, you're getting that bad breath over and over again. It's the same in your house. If you have poor quality air, all the windows and doors are shut and they builders pride themselves on a well sealed home. That's energy efficient that really can have detrimental effects for us in terms of if we have poor air quality, we're rebreathing it over and over and over again. So let's start tea with the biggest offender. What is the number one offender you would say in the indoor air quality space that could potentially harm people?

(06:21): Well, in my mind, it is the cleaning products people are using because the cleaning products, people are using them every day, potentially spraying some cleaning products on counters almost every day to clean up your kitchen, whether it's to floor. And then if you have children or dogs, so they're even cleaning more. And many of the chemicals in these commercial cleaning supplies have extremely toxic ingredients in them and many have cancer-causing ingredients in them. So those are getting into your lungs. They're getting into the dust, that's on the floor in your house, that's regenerating throughout your home, and you're not getting rid of those chemicals in your house because you're using them. It's not like you're washing with water right afterwards, too. That, and goes along with that is also cleaning supplies in a SA in a different category, but it's your laundry detergent. So that's a, another cleaning supply, right?

(07:27): But that is now in addition to the chemicals that you're potentially using to clean your clothes, you're also breathing in potentially chemicals coming from your clothes, from your sheets. They could be out guessing all day long in your home. You could be breathing them in when you even leave the house. And they're venting. They're also venting into your house at some point, at some level, I know they vent outside, but you still can get those fumes inside your house. So those products, those chemicals, and if you think about walking down a laundry, I mean, a supermarket aisle where all your cleaning supplies are and you smell that smell. Those are all chemicals out guessing from all of those cleaning products that literally that's, what's happening in your home, too. Those chemicals just about gas.

(08:21): So let's dive into specifically, what are the toxins and carcinogenic agents in cleaning products? Let's start there. And I will add that, you know, I read that that years ago, Madison avenue was trying to figure out how to increase sales or promote their product above others in terms of cleaning products and particularly laundry. And they discovered that the first thing that people did when their laundry came out of the dryer to see if it was clean, was they smelled it. And that's how this whole perfusion of yeah. Smells. And so when you walk down the aisle, you can smell it. But I think most people smell that and they go, oh, that's the smell of clean <laugh>. Yeah, right. So can you break down? What are the toxins and carcinogenic agents and cleaning products and laundry detergents?

(09:14): Well, one category is VOCs VOCs of volatile, organic compounds. Now there are hundreds, if not thousands of different chemicals that make those volatile organic compounds up, and those are ones that are just dangerous to get into your system. And you're breathing them every day. Now, the list of chemicals that potentially are made up of those VOCs and also all the other com is endless. I mean, there's been ammonia. Everybody knows ammonias in some cleaning products. There's, I mean, I can't, I'd have to pull up my, I have a list of all the chemicals that I could tell you that are in there. And I actually have that those chemicals that you can avoid in my free guide on my website, that I know you're offering your listeners. And it's a great guide because it lists what ingredients you should look for. The top ingredients you should look for in these cleaning supplies that are potentially getting into your house.

(10:15): So, and benzene is another one that has been known to be in some products. The biggest thing, if anybody wants to make a change to look for in cleaning products and in laundry detergent, and you hit the nail on the head is when they smell something, they think that that's a fresh smell. Unfortunately, that's the word fragrance. And that's a fragrance that is in those products. That is, they think that that's a lemon fresh smell or a lavender fresh smell. But unfortunately there is most likely no lavender and no lemon in there. And if there is, and they say that it's ascended with lavender oil, they only have to have 2% lavender in there. Unfortunately, many of the cleaning products, many of the laundry detergents have so many chemicals in them. They have to put fragrance in them to kill the smell of the chemicals that you're cleaning with.

(11:12): So you're getting twice as many chemicals as you really need to be cleaning with and putting in your laundry, but the word fragrance and people don't understand this when they buy products. And even it's in shampoo, it's in deodorant, fragrance is a trade secret. And it goes back that in 1940s, when the perfume industry and specifically Chanel number five was one of the companies that got our government to create this trade secret, because they did not want anybody knowing what was in their perfume. And so they said, okay, well, if you put the word fragrance on there, you do know how to detect, say what is in your product. This holds true today, still that law, that anybody can make a product, put the ingredients in there. But if you put the word fragrance on there, you do not have to tell them what's in there.

(12:00): Well, fragrance is made up of a laundry list of different chemicals in it. And lately three different studies were done that they found benzene in fragrance. And benzene is a common ingredient in fragrance and benzene is a known carcinogen. So some of them potentially cause cancer, but that causes cancer and they found it in a sunscreen recently. So the list goes on and on and on. But if you can get away from the fragrance, you're making a great step in the right direction to reduce your toxic load inside your home. And that goes with candles too. I mean, everybody wants something that smells fresh. We all associate with that freshness with probably growing up and our mothers and whatever they cleaned with. But unfortunately in the past 40, 50 years, clean is not what clean should be. And the chemical company has really created this mess in my mind to make us think that that is the way a house should smell. And it's, unfortunately that's not clean. That's unfortunately making your house more toxic and dirty for your body.

(13:18): So true. And everybody loves a new car smell, new house smell. And I say, run from the new car and the new house. So yes, the VOCs ammonia, benzene fragrance, which are mostly made from petroleum byproducts. So you wouldn't sit there sniffing gasoline at the gas station, nor do you wanna spray it on your fabrics at home or clean with it. And a question that I don't think a lot of people get is. And my kids used to say this to me all the time when they were growing up, when I kind of got on the bandwagon. Finally, when I saw the light about my own health at midlife, and I became trained in anti-aging metabolic and functional medicine and realized that toxicity was a problem. Cuz as a regular MD, we are taught, these are not issues. And that's how most of America and most industrialized countries are operating that this isn't a problem. But can you talk about cuz the next question my kids used to say, well, they wouldn't allow it. They wouldn't allow it. If it was toxic, they wouldn't allow it. If it caused cancer and I'd say, well, who's they to my kids first off. But I find this is the case with a lot of adults. They really think that there's some regulatory body that would not allow dangerous chemicals to be in our cleaning products. Can you address that?

(14:40): Yeah. And this is a very common, I hear it all the time and what I try to get people to understand is a little bit of history. Cuz sometimes history helps people understand why things are the way they are today. You know the fragrance thing. Oh. And people start understanding, wow, I can see where that happened, but why did that happen? Well, in the United States, we have a law here that your product is safe until it is proven guilty in the European union. It's opposite. They have to prove a product is safe before it can even go on the market. So you take these products, let's just take the sunscreen. I mentioned that many sunscreens actually for that matter, they got pulled off the market last fall. They were all on the market with benzene in the product. Now that would've never passed in the European union because they would've never been able to prove that that was safe.

(15:38): But unfortunately these companies here local in us, they now their back paling like, oh, we didn't know benzene was in our product and denying it. Of course they're gonna deny it. But so that is the biggest problem I see with products that is not food. Food has to be proven, safe and pharmaceuticals in that matter before it goes onto the market. So we have to be our own watchdogs here in the United States. We have to look at our labels. We have to read our ingredients. We have to know, unfortunately, no EPA is not protecting us when it comes to that. They are not. The FDA is when it comes to the food because as best they can, you know, I battles, I pick with that too. But with the EPA and all these products that are on all the shelves that we are buying in the grocery store, in the pharmacy, we have to look and see what we are using because either you are going to trust the company or you have to trust yourself because this, these have not been approved for human consumption or for cleaning. They might be say that they get rid of bacteria, but they are not going through all the ingredients and all those products and making sure that they are safe and the companies are not either.