Yes, I know…a lovely name for a blog post. Really makes you want to read it, eh?
So, I’m the kind of person that (even as a child) had issues with paint smells. Paint smells, new carpets, strong perfume on kind (but hard to tolerate) church women sitting next to me; it all drove me crazy in one way or the other. For some, say the over-perfumed church lady, I may get a mild irritation in the nose, followed by a piercing pinpointed headache above the eye. My day would be clouded by a mild fuzzy-feeling, or a queasy stomach.
Even though I knew I was sensitive to these smells, I didn’t fully recognize to the extent. By junior high, I was seriously stunted by having to take math in one of those “portable” classrooms. These classrooms were brand new trailers. Yep, toxic little trailers. Every time I went to the toxic trailer, I would gradually get nauseous and if it was a really fun day, the light-show would begin. I remember envisioning myself taking an axe thru the wall to create a window to breathe out of.
It’s crazy to think that my parents and I didn’t fully correlate the toxic trailer with my health. I know we discussed it, but, in 1989, you just didn’t ask to change classrooms for health reasons. Well, not in Wisconsin. So, I just suffered throughout the year. Never regaining the confidence I once felt in that academic subject.
Fun with lights on a Florida beach! Fortunately, I am now able to avoid the lights of migraines I endured in my early years.
As I got older I started to at least identify my triggers, knowing that if I was exposed to paints or similar chemicals I would react. At least I wasn’t surprised. But, it left me with a saddened loss-of-control. I was apathetic. What could I actually do to change the reaction?
Fast-forward to college and meeting my husband. He grew-up in an alternative healthcare environment. He introduced me to Dr. Irestone and my health (and consequently my life) changed drastically. As not only a chiropractor, applied kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor, Dr. Irestone mapped out solutions and a game-plan to regain control of my health.
Knowing my body and how my liver reacts (liver reflex points) to chemicals; I am now able to tolerate minor exposures (being in a friend’s new home, sitting next to perfumed people). But, would I EVER put myself in a position to be surrounded by these chemicals? Hell, no. Why would I? Why would I expose my children to these? Even though my husband doesn’t react (seemingly) to these chemicals; isn’t it a sign that they are harmful to our bodies? Well, obviously it is. Now we have nontoxic options, NO VOC paints and more of a chemical awareness. Or, at least we have made a huge shift in the past 20 years.
As I am getting quotes from painters (nail biting) I can’t help but wonder why anyone would use the more toxic options? Do people actually STILL use toxic paints? (I ask my painter.) Of course, he says.
WHAT? Please consider NON or at least LOW VOC paints for your house. And, research the companies themselves. The EPA has their hands in the labeling and regulating of NO/LOW VOC, but there are gray areas. Even mainstream sources (think Parents Magazine) encourage you to avoid paints, as we just don’t know what they are doing to us (or our little kids!)
Some quick resources include (but there are TONS!):
Natural Built Home
MAS Certified Green