Healing Homes and Healthy Bodies

January 30, 2012
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

d0008358Going beyond green indoors.

Your air tight “green” home with its solar power and energy-efficient windows may be exposing you to indoor toxins you never suspected.  As we have tightened our homes to save energy, we have unwittingly restricted proper air circulation, which in turn has increased prolonged exposure to toxicity. Indoor air can contain chemicals that are nearly 100 times more concentrated indoors than outdoors. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory find commercial air fresheners and cleaning products contain ethylene-based glycol ethers, terpenes, volatile organic compounds and xylene that contaminate indoor air. No wonder these products have been linked to asthma, nerve damage and other health challenges.

And that’s just the tip of the chemical iceberg. Floor and furniture polishes, as well as spot removers, grease cutters and even rug cleaners, contain powerful solvents. Liver and kidney damage have been connected to solvent use.  Aerosol sprays can hasten the introduction of poisons right into the body. The fine mist spray ensures easy inhalation and quick absorption of concentrated toxins to the respiratory system.

One of the most surprising toxic indoor pollution sources is carpeting. Not only is it sprayed with insecticides, it can harbor mold, mites, house dust and noxious odors.  In addition to carpeting, interior furnishings are another possible area of chemical contamination. Much of the wood furniture manufactured today is made of particle board, which creates outgassing from glue and formaldehyde over a long period of time. Also, sofas and upholstered chairs are filled with foam, polyester, and polyurethane, all of which outgas toxic chemicals.

Greener solutions

  • Since air quality should be your number one “green” priority, select an air filter for the most frequented rooms in your home, especially bedrooms and kitchen.  I prefer a high efficiency carbon and HEPA filter (HealthWay Air Filter available from UNI KEY Health, 800-888-4353) which can remove pollen, fumes, odors, particulates and formaldehyde.
  • Keep in mind that NASA has studied the effects of various indoor plants on air quality for decades. These natural air purifiers are especially good at removing toxins. Aloe vera axes formaldehyde, bamboo banishes benzene and trichloroethylene, spider plants eat carbon monoxide, red emerald philodendron helps remove all indoor toxins, dwarf date palms remove zylene (a chemical found in solvents, paints, and adhesives), corn plants (dracaena) help eliminate cigarette smoke, and chrysanthemums ax ammonia.
  • Use eco-friendly household cleansers. White vinegar, baking soda and borax can be used for most all household cleaning needs.
  • If you are building or  remodeling, consider low–to–no VOC (volatile organic compounds)  paints, locally-sourced sustainable harvested wood, no pesticide sprays on the foundation, and toxic-free glues, resins or caulking.
  • Eliminate all carpeting (rugs that can be washed are fine) and finish all natural wood floors with natural finishes made with toxin-free oils. Instead of wallpaper (which outgases), finish the walls with soothing and neutral colors from clay-based paints or plaster. Wipe it down to keep it clean.

In my latest book Zapped, I uncover the surprising health problems linked to EMFs, those low level frequencies that represent yet another form of environmental toxins as potentially harmful as heavy metals and chemicals like asbestos. They are emitted from cell phones, PDAs, cordless phones, wireless routers, laptops, and baby monitors. Produced by the sea of manmade and artificial frequencies courtesy of technology, researchers have determined that even the low level, non-ionizing emissions break down DNA, stimulate heat shock proteins, create leaks in the blood/brain barrier, disrupt sleep patterns and cause brain tumors with chronic and cumulative exposure. EMFs are about 100 million times more pervasive in 2011 than they were ten years ago.

To minimize exposure to electromagnetic fields,  integrate the following lifestyle practices:

  • During the day, keep your cell phone away from your body as much as possible. Text instead of talk whenever you can. Use the speaker mode or an air-tube headset when talking, and don’t carry your cell phone in your bra, back pocket or on your person. Sperm levels are decreased by 30% among men who carry their cell phone in their pocket.
  • Replace your cordless phones with a corded landline phone. Even when not in use, the charger and handset are constantly emitting radiation. A cordless phone is like having a mini-cell phone tower in your own home.
  • Disable your wireless router whenever it is not in use and definitely at night. It radiates nearly six hundred feet so make sure that is kept far away from children and adults who are playing or sleeping.
  • Don’t use your cell phone as an alarm clock at night. The closer to your brain the microwave frequencies, the more potential for brain damage. Consider the old–fashioned battery alarm clock instead.
  • If you live within ¼  mile of a cell phone tower, consider repainting your office or bedroom (wherever you spend the most time) with a black carbon high frequency shielding paint which is effective for blocking cell phone signals, limiting radiation exposure.
  • Keep most electronic equipment out of your bedroom. Remember, you need to have a safe haven to regenerate, especially during sleep, and unnatural frequencies are disharmonious with your own body electric.
  • Unplug electrical appliances when not in use. They are still emitting electricity.
  • Only have CT scans and X-rays when absolutely necessary.  This kind of radiation is cumulative.
  • Keep your babies and children safe by removing all electronic games, equipment, and monitors from their bedrooms. Remember, little human beings due to their size and thinner skulls, are way more vulnerable to EMFs than adults are.

Declare a wireless-free zone like they did in West Virginia!

Do create at least one healing sanctuary – preferably in your bedroom (where you spend 1/3 of all life, after all)  by removing all digital equipment (think routers and cordless phones) and disconnecting any equipment as close as three feet from your head. Sleep grounded with special conductive sheets that maintain the human body at the same voltage as the earth.

When the body is “grounded,”  an infusion of negatively charged free electrons are transferred into the system which neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing pain and stress, inducing general relaxation, and sounder sleep. Since metal acts like a magnifier for electromagnetic frequencies that concentrate and intensify the levels,  a bed without metal springs would be a  much healthier option on the EMF front.

If you make your home as super natural as possible, I predict that you will be blessed with better health, and you will be helping to create a more sustainable Mother Earth!

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. Kathy

    I am trying to redo my kitachen maple floor. Would I use water based or is their something else that I could use. I love the ambience that oil base leaves in a few years. What if I leave the house for 3 or 4 days to get away from the smell? Does it emit always?

  2. administrator

    Water based is considered healthiest but if you do use an oil base and then let it outgass for several days or a week – you should be fine.


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