Could Your Home Be Polluted?

October 21, 2009
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Indoor Air Pollution and Radiation can Damage Your Health.

11099436-600x800Most of us spend 90% of our time indoors. But even in the safety of our own homes, pollution — colorless, odorless, invisible—is detrimental to health.

For starters, ozone—that toxic form of air pollution that clouds our cities—may be 100 times more dangerous indoors than out, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

This kind of pollution reacts with oil found naturally on human skin, which traps toxins, only to spit them out in chemicals that can irritate skin and lungs. Over time, ozone can increase the risk for heart attack and angina.

Now there’s a new form of pollution—electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and towers, PDAs, WIFI, even electrical appliances—constantly zapping us. Whether we curl up with a laptop computer in the evening or sleep under an electric blanket, we’re increasing our exposure to this insidious kind of radiation.

Emerging evidence links even minimal exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with brain wave changes, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic fatigue, headaches, memory problems, and weakened immunity. The latest cell phone study urges limited exposure to mobile phones and other portable wireless devices.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

I’ve been warning about the cumulative effects of EMFs for over a decade. The proliferation of technology, which has produced great strides in social and economic progress, may have created a “toxic load” that is too great for our bodies to handle, just as the rapid rise of toxic chemicals in air pollution can overwhelm the ability of our bodies to neutralize them.

The human body, which is 75 percent water, conducts electricity. It’s also an effective antenna that picks up energy from the surrounding environment. Your body will pick up whatever electrical field you’re exposed to, even if it’s just the 60 Hertz (Hz) field of your electric hair dryer. The magnetic field that accompanies it is absorbed entirely in your body.

This can disrupt your own internal electrical field as well as interact with magnetic metals like iron and copper and charged particles in your blood to affect your health in still little-known ways. Electrical conduits inside the walls of today’s homes generate EMFs, as do electric computers, cell and cordless phones, radio and TV, and countless electrical appliances from automatic coffeemakers to hair dryers that make life easier.

Like EMFs, the sources of indoor air pollution are almost too numerous to name. Building materials (deteriorating asbestos insulation and pressed wood products), furnishings (offgassing formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals), household cleaners, personal care products, pesticides, and odorless gases like carbon monoxide and radon all contribute to toxic indoor air.

Our skin and lungs absorb everything from toxic chemicals in dry-cleaned clothes and fingernail-polish remover to biological contaminants like animal dander, bacteria, dust mites, mildew, mold, and viruses. Radiation exposure initially shows up as fatigue and skin problems—and the cumulative effects of even low-level EMFs can lead to cancer.

To protect yourself and your family, go room by room through your home to minimize pollution and radiation.

You spend more time here than anywhere else, so shouldn’t this space be as free from pollution as possible? Natural materials—nonallergenic or organic fabrics in bedding and your mattress, wood floors instead of synthetic materials—are best.

Trade in your electric blanket for down or organic wool, and banish electronics (computer, cordless phone, radio, TV) from your bedroom. Don’t sleep next to your clock radio, which emits EMFs; place it across the room or replace it with a battery-operated analog clock. Move your bed so your head is positioned away from any power outlets.

Kitchen and Laundry
If your microwave (which emits radio waves) is positioned above the stove, don’t use it while you’re working below. Cook at arm’s length on an electric stove (using the back burners), and don’t linger at the fridge, which emits “dirty” electricity.

Make sure your dryer and stove are well vented to eliminate lint and pollution from cooking and self-cleaning ovens. Hazardous toxins lurk in detergents, laundry soap, fabric softeners, scouring powder, and window cleaner. Use natural soap and clean with baking soda, borax, and vinegar.

Run a ventilating fan for at least 20 minutes after bathing or showering. Clean drains with vinegar to kill bacteria and other pathogens. Replace commercial air fresheners, which add to indoor air pollution, with healing aromatherapy oils like eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary.

Use a manual razor and toothbrush, as well as safe, natural personal care products from body wash and deodorant to shampoo and toothpaste. Read labels to avoid irritants and toxins like parabens, petrolatum and other petrochemical products, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearalkonium chloride, synthetic colors and fragrances, triethanolamine, and ureas that are harmful to lungs and skin.

The Bottom Line:

Your home deserves a high-quality air filter. I use the Bio-Net Air Purifier, developed through research focused on clean room technology. Lab tested and listed by the FDA as a Class II Medical Device, Bio-Net Air Purifier is more effective than either an Ultraviolet or HEPA air purifier. Bio-Net provides the safest indoor air possible!

To minimize radiation effects, take a therapeutic bath before retiring for the night:

• Dissolve 1 pound of salt and 1 pound of baking soda in a tub of water as hot as you can bear.
• While in the bath, sip a glass of warm water into which ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of baking soda have been dissolved.
• Remain in the bath until the water is cool.
• Don’t shower for at least 4 hours afterwards.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. RUBY


  2. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Great question. They are all noted in How to Stay Young and Healthy in a Toxic World – which is in my office while I am out of town. I do believe various types of fern can be used.

  3. Annie

    Boston fern, rubber tree, and spider plants help clean up the air indoors, but not much.
    I’m so glad to see you talking about Radiation (especially EMF). It’s really getting to be a problem with cell phones, cordless phones, wi-fi, not to mention all the radiation doctors and dentists want to expose us to!

  4. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Friends:
    I would love to answer each and every single one of your queries, as I have done to the best of my ability, in the past. The popularity of this Blog has grown to the extent that I can no longer provide that service but I am in the planning stages of an Internet – TV show where you can call in and get those questions answered by me in person! Please stay tuned for this exciting development. I first must complete a new manuscript and then will make some exciting announcements. In the interim, may I suggest that if you have questions about products, call UNI KEY at 1-800-888-4353. The folks there are helpful and will direct you accordingly. If you are concerned about a particular health condition, then by all means check out the Testing Kits on my site which will help you to determine underlying causes. Please don’t let this dissuade you from posting. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest!

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