Sunday, June 23, 2013

DO OTHERS THINK YOU STINK? Some Safe Alternatives

For millions of people, I'm preaching to the choir---

You already know what it's like to have an immediate reaction to your neighbor's dryer vent as they're doing laundry, or to hotel sheets, or to someone walking past you marinated in alcohol-based perfume or cologne, sitting next to them at a stage performance- or even worse- standing next to them at the gym:
  • gagging
  • breaking out in a sweat
  • immediate onset of headache or migraine
  • heart palpitations
  • sick to stomach
  • feeling disgusted and repulsed by the sickeningly sweet smell

But even if it doesn't make you sick immediately- for those who DON'T have that reaction/sensitivity, do you realize what you are exposing yourself (AND YOUR PETS) to?

Do you realize that your skin and lungs are absorbing these chemicals 24/7 through your clothes, sheets, pillowcases and bath towels? You may not "feel" it today, but one day it might show up as something worse (see below).

Please- read the list below of common fabric softener, dryer sheet, and alcohol-based cologne/perfume ingredients and think about it. These ingredients are often NOT listed on a label- the loophole being that they are protected as "Trade Secret" ingredients. Please consider the easy, safe, inexpensive alternatives:
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar added to wash instead of fabric softener will leave your clothes smelling clean (not like vinegar) and soft
  • lavender flowers tied in an old nylon stocking and added to dryer will cut down static cling
  • wearing a pure essential oil instead of alcohol-based scent will eliminate the absorption of harmful chemicals through your nose and skin and make the world a better place for the millions with chemical sensitivities not to mention children and pets

Alpha-TERPINEOL -- Causes CNS disorders ... "highly irritating to mucous membranes"... "Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact."
BENZYL ACETATE -- Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer). "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperaemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer."
BENZYL ALCOHOL -- Causes CNS disorders. "...irritating to the upper respiratory tract" ... "headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure."
CAMPHOR -- Causes CNS disorders. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Symptoms: "local irritant and CNS stimulant" ..."readily absorbed through body tissues" ..."irritation of eyes, nose and throat" ..."dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions." "Avoid inhalation of vapors."
CHLOROFORM -- Neurotoxic. Anesthetic. Carcinogenic. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "Avoid contact with eyes, skin, clothing. Do not breathe vapors ... Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness." "Inhalation can be fatal." "Chronic effects of overexposure may include kidney and/or liver damage." "Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure: kidney disorders, liver disorders, heart disorders, skin disorders." "Conditions to avoid: HEAT..." Listed on California's Propostion 65.
ETHYL ACETATE -- Narcotic. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "...irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract" ..."may cause headache and narcosis (stupor)" ..."may cause anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys" "Wash thoroughly after handling."
LIMONENE -- Carcinogenic. "Prevent its contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer." "Always wash thoroughly after using this material and before eating, drinking, ...applying cosmetics. Do not inhale limonene vapor."
LINALOOL -- Narcotic. Causes CNS disorders. ..."respiratory disturbances" ... "Attracts bees." "In animal tests: ataxic gait, reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression ... depressed heart activity ... development of respiratory disturbances leading to death."
PENTANE -- "Danger -- Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable. Keep away from heat and Avoid breathing vapor." "Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors may cause central nervous system depression. Contact can cause eye irritation. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis (skin rash)."

Friday, June 21, 2013


By Nadine M. Rosin For The Dog Files
  My greatest wish, is that every pet parent is lucky enough to someday have to face the issue of senior canine care. When my own dog, Buttons, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 8, the vet referred to her as a senior dog. Not only was I unwilling to lose my beloved canine to an insidious disease, but I remembered as a child, dogs commonly living into their late teens. So, 8-years old… middle-aged? Maybe. But senior citizen? Definitely not!

How I implemented an intense holistic cleansing and nutritional regimen to successfully heal the cancer without the vet’s prescribed treatment of chemotherapy, radiation and amputation, is a whole other story. This article is about senior canine care. Since Buttons not only survived the cancer, but thrived for an additional 11 years, until passing peacefully of old age at 19, I am blessed to have some life experience with a canine elder.

Of course, regardless of age, a pure, clean diet and chemical-free environment are essential for a strong immune system. Dogs metabolize everything so much faster than we do-whereas our bodies can endure a certain amount of toxic abuse for 40 or 50 years before retaliating, a dog’s body will start showing disease in 5-7 years. In my experience, it’s wise to take note of what chemical exposure there is in your own home via often overlooked things as cleaning products, laundry products, and air fresheners.

Past a certain age, supplements start taking on an even greater role and I encourage every pet parent to do their own online research of the many available choices. Personally, I had a lot of success with Yucca Extract to ease any joint stiffness or swelling Buttons had. Yucca is a natural steroid with no negative side effects and is easy to mix in food. Also, after much reading on its use in Germany and Italy on human stroke victims, I began using Alpha Lipoic Acid to help with any symptoms of CDS (doggy Alzheimer’s).

The last 3 years of Buttons’ life, I was very careful to keep a steady routine, not move any furniture, and basically keep everything in her world as predictable as possible. When the time came, we experimented with different brands of diapers. For her 18th birthday I bought a cushy, fold-up baby stroller to take with us on hikes for when she got tired. At one point, due to her aging eyesight and cognitive function, I covered the sharp edges of our furniture with foam.

Ok. Now here’s the hard part- the one that isn’t so comfortable to read, but the part that is, in my opinion, essential. Take lots and lots of photos and video- they will help comfort you through the grieving process when the inevitable happens. When Butts was 17, I bought a bunch of disposable cameras. Every time I filled one up with pictures of her, I’d put it in a box in the back of my closet. It wasn’t until months after her passing that I began having them developed, one by one. What a comfort it was to have new photos of her even after she’d gone.

Take a day here and there away from your busy life to shut out the rest of the world and really connect deeply with your animal’s spirit- to consciously and uninterruptedly just BE with this unconditionally loving soul who’s been such a deep and delightful part of your life. Believe me, there will come a time when you will be so glad you did.

Do any research about what your choices are and how you will handle the details of your dog’s body after their passing. It’s so much easier to think clearly and gather facts well before the day you are thrown into that gut-wrenching grief.

Most importantly, as much as you can, treasure each moment for what it is- find the joy in it, rather than missing what was or fearing what’s to come. I mean, our dogs never stop teaching us how to do just that, right? Having a senior canine can be so precious and such a profound learning experience. Your canine may not be bounding along the beach or scampering up the trail any longer, but your relationship will be as priceless as a rare, old cognac, and by then, you’ll undoubtedly be finishing each others sentences, too.