A veritable barrage of chemicals

In my research across the interwebs, it has become clear that most people who have developed a sensitivity to one chemical are probably sensitive to others as well. Here is a report by PBS on how chemicals pervade our lives. (Link found at the Refreshingly Free website.)

It would be impossible to take all the synthetic chemicals out of modern life, so for now we have to live with them, but my suspicion of all things chemical has been piqued by this fragrance sensitivity. We’re exposed to so many chemicals in products that we assume have been tested for safety, but as the PBS report states, “In fact, until they are proven harmful, most chemicals are presumed safe.” That means that we are performing experiments on ourselves on behalf of large corporations every day! Do they have our best interests at heart? I think not.

So I’ve been unable to completely get rid of my symptoms, though they are much improved with the efforts I’ve made to ensure that at least my home is fragrance-free. I’ve noticed that my eyes lose focus when I’ve been on the computer for only a half hour. Closing them while I type doesn’t help, as I would expect in the case of eye strain.

Well, today I found out that outgassing of chemical components used in lots of products, like computers and other electronic circuitry, carpets, office furniture, etc, can give off chemicals which can cause reactions similar to my symptoms. And this corresponds with my situation, as well. I used to sit on the couch in the living room with my laptop, and while my eyes did get tired looking at the screen, a short rest of 10-15 minutes helped immensely. Since my laptop broke I’ve been using the desktop computer, which is in a room filled with electronics: new washer and dryer, electronic piano, wireless router, cable router, printer, monitor, CPU, speakers, cordless phone base. I spend many hours a day in this room, within arm’s reach of all these things.

I’ll be able to put my theory to the test soon. Not only am I ordering the part to fix my laptop, but I’m going back to dial-up Internet, so I won’t be sitting for hours in this back room. I’ll let you know what I find out.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. I’d be interested to hear about how you do. I know a lot of things offgas, and if you can help yourself this way, I wish you all the best! Good luck!

  2. Posted by Mason on October 20, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I have found several sources of information. I’ve been finding similar themes in what I am experiencing and what other people call multiple chemical sensitivity or environmental illness.

    So I started looking for groups focused on those things and I came up with lots of good results.

    planetthrive.com
    communityzero.com/mcsurvivors
    And several groups on yahoo.com

    All of these websites contain lots of valuable information. I would encourage you to read through some of these pages. From what I can tell, my experiences are not nearly as bad as others, and they have some good advice based on experience. For example, I was recommended Alka Seltzer Gold, and so far it seems to relieve some of these symptoms.

    Also,

    http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html

    That will explain some things about toxic off gassing.

    It is a rollercoaster of a ride. Just take it easy, and enjoy the moments of relief when they do come.

  3. Posted by asdf1234 on November 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Hello,

    Flame retardants do outgas from electronic devices and they are toxic in many ways. they are neurotoxic, immunotoxic, hormone disrupting and endocrine disrupting

    You may find this website useful and informative:

    http://www.outgasreport.com

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