AirMD's Green Blog
Simon Hahessy Says:
It’s happening again, I see the signs, the medical studies, the scientific findings, the company denials, the company reactions and the lack of personal awareness.
Indoor pollution is America’s number one environmental health concern but many people are not aware of this. I see the same mistakes happening now as I did with the tobacco industry. It took many years for people to realize that smoking was bad for them. The lack of personal awareness and the addiction associated with smoking caused many to smoke without truly understanding the repercussions.
Tobacco companies for years designed advertisements that suggested that smoking had no ill effects but study upon study identified how smoking significantly affected people’s health. One of the tobacco industries responses was to increase advertisements on T.V. to off set the negative publicity. It worked.
Public awareness really only increased when non profit groups were formed and placed advertisements on T.V. to state the facts and challenged everything the tobacco companies were claiming.
Fast forward today and we find ourselves in a similar predicament. There are more and more studies identifying indoor pollution as a serious health concern but public awareness is not well established.
Consider the following as one example of many relating to indoor pollution; we know chemicals are bad for personal health yet people continue to use cleaning products containing harmful chemicals.
There are two primary reasons people do this, the first reason is because the companies producing the products spend millions of dollars in advertisements just like the tobacco industry, describing how the products will kill 99% of germs and leave your house smelling like flowers.The second reason is people think if the product was harmful to them, the companies producing them would not be allowed to sell their products and that the governing agencies would intervene.
Unfortunately this is not the case, the fact remains that there are over 70,000 chemicals used today in the United States, with approximately 2,000 new chemicals synthesized each year. Only a very small percentage (<5%) have been studied relating to their effects on humans and long term studies are even a smaller percentage. For this reason many products have harmful chemicals present that have not been evaluated.
However, hope is on the horizon!! The new line of green products is the way forward!
Again, this is not the case; the advertisements lure us into a false sense of security because the companies manufacturing the products have only slightly modified their formulations. Many still use harmful chemicals as preservatives, fragrances and surfactants.
The simple fact remains that our homes, what we put in them and how we behave can significantly affect our family’s health now and in the future. It is each homeowner’s responsibility to understand the condition of their home environment relating to indoor pollution. Obtaining the right information, determining your personal situation through monitoring and modifying your behavior are the most effective ways of protecting you and your family.
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