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The Truth About Air Fresheners

The Truth About Air Fresheners

By Clifford Woods

Do you buy air fresheners for your home or office? Hard to believe that something so small that smells so nice has ingredients in it that are actually dangerous chemicals. Chemicals that you, your family or your co-workers breath in on a daily basis. And to make it worse, there are no labeling requirements to warn you and even “natural” products can contain toxic chemicals.

the truth about air fresheners

It is virtually impossible for the average consumer to know which products may pose a risk or not.

These chemicals in air fresheners have been found to be toxic to humans and these chemicals have been recently investigated for their safety. Investigations concluded that these substances may cause or increase health problems. Air fresheners that are natural and healthy are now being used as alternatives in order to minimize health hazards and environmental pollution.

Basic Ingredients in air fresheners are:

  1. Phthalates
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Petroleum distillates
  4. DCBs

1. Phthalates are known as “endocrine disruptors” because they mimic the body’s hormones and have, in laboratory animal tests, been shown to cause reproductive and neurological damage.

Toxic phthalates found in some air fresheners:

  • Diethyl Phthalate (DEP): May cause damage to the liver and central nervous system.
  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): May cause damage to the liver and central nervous system.
  • Diisobutyl Phthalate (DIBP): May be harmful if inhaled. May cause respiratory tract irritation.
  • Dimethyl Phthalate (DMP): The substance is toxic to the nervous system.
  • Diisohexyl Phthalate (DIHP): The available studies demonstrate significant effects on the male reproductive organs and developmental effects.2. Formaldehyde (CH2O) Nasal cancer, respiratory tract irritation; reproductive disorders, asthma, dermatitis; multiple organ damage.

2. Formaldehyde (CH2O) Nasal cancer, respiratory tract irritation; reproductive disorders, asthma, dermatitis; multiple organ damage.

3. Petroleum distillates (PDs) – can affect the nervous system causing headache, dizziness, nausea, and loss of balance and coordination. If inhaled – can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. Petroleum Distillates are on the Right to Know Hazardous Substance List because they are cited by OSHA, DOT, NIOSH and IARC. This chemical is on the Special Health Hazard Substance List.

4. Dichlorobenzene (DCBs) – there are three forms of dichlorobenzene. These chemicals are man-made and do not occur in nature.

1,2-Dichlorobenzene, 1,3-Dichlorobenzene, 1,4-Dichlorobenzene

  • 1,2-Dichlorobenzene- This substance is toxic to kidneys, liver, mucous membranes.
  • 1,3-Dichlorobenzene- Very little is known about the human health effects of this substance.
  • 1,4-Dichlorobenzene- This substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated or prolonged inhalation of dust may lead to chronic respiratory irritation.

Some Helpful Tips

1. Read the labels and you may be able to identify phthalates in some products by their chemical names or abbreviations: (DEP)(DBP)(DIBP)(DIHP)

  • DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate) are often found in nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes, cologne, aftershave lotions, shampoos, hair gels and hand lotions.
  • DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) is used in PVC plastics, including some medical devices.
  • BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate) is used in some flooring, car products and personal care products.

Be wary of the term “fragrance,” which is used to with a combination of compounds, possibly including phthatates, which are a subject of recent concern because of studies showing they can mimic certain hormones.

Preventative Measures

Ventilation: Good ventilation systems reduce the need for air fresheners by stopping the need to cover up odors and naturally eliminate unpleasant odors. Air fresheners cannot substitute for adequate ventilation.

Use Natural and Safe Air Freshener: Alternatives: many products are available that offer healthy alternatives to commercial air fresheners.

  • Organic Odor Control
  • organic soy and beeswax candles
  • natural potpourri
  • fresh flowers or herbs
  • natural essential oils
  • baking soda

Businesses that are looking to find non-toxic air fresheners should investigate available products to ensure not only their own health but also the health of their employees.

the truth about air fresheners

References:

United States Environmental Protection Agency
Science Lab
Sigma Aldrich
ECHA – European Chemicals Agency
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Formaldehyde
Refuels Recycling Contaminated Fuels
State of New Jersey


Clifford WoodsClifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services
and Organic Environmental Technology.
We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Natural Organic Solutions

Effective Environmental Services Launch New Websites to Serve Customers

Effective Environmental Services Launch New Websites to Serve Customers

Plants In Ponds

Plants in Ponds

by Clifford Woods

Plants in Ponds

Plants in ponds will reduce the amount of algae that is able to grow, but also use the waste from the fish to give a natural water filtration system.

Plants below the water: These plants are the major contributors to water quality. They will oxygenate during the day and provide oxygen for the fish as well supplying excellent shade. Submerged plants compete with algae for use of nitrogen produced from fish waste and decaying plant material. If you pot these plants it will allow for easy removal for thinning or when winter comes.

A Few Examples

Jungle Val – Hornwort – Cabomba

plants in ponds

Floating and Surface Plants: Pick plant species that grow flowers and leaves on the surface of the water. The difference between floating and surface plants is that floating plants float freely on the water’s surface without attached roots, while surface plants have roots that extend down and anchor into the pond’s soil. Remember to remove plants if coverage exceeds two-thirds of the pond’s surface area.

A Few Examples

Floating Plants: Duckweed – Water Lettuce

plants in ponds

A Few Examples

Surface Plants: Hawthorne – Four Leaf Water Clover- Water Lotus

plants in ponds

Side Plants
Plants that grow well in moist or soggy soil or that grow well in standing water. Plant them along the side or edge of your pond. They will root in the soil and their foliage will spread out over the water.  Careful to not choose plants that grow rapidly or that will spread to much and too far.

A Few Examples
Side Plants: Western blue flag iris – Sweet Flag – Dwarf Bamboo

plants in ponds

Advice: cleaning your pond and using only organic pond cleaners, makes for healthy ponds, happy fish and thriving plants and it also contributes towards a safer environment for any adults, children or pets spending time in the yard.

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Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology
Find out more about our Organic Pond Cleaner – Pond Magician
We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and sell Environmentally Friendly Products.

Fighting Microbes with Microbes | The Scientist Magazine®

Like humans, with their complement of microbes that aid in everything from immune responses to nutrition, plants rely on a vast array of bacteria and fungi for health and defense. Over the last decade, research has revealed many new functional aspects of the crosstalk between human-associated microbes and human cells, but plant biologists are only beginning to scratch the surface of the often surprising ways that soil microbiota impact plants, from underground fungus-wired alarm systems to soil bacteria that can trigger defensive plant behavior or even act as a sort of vaccine. But despite these benefits, microbes are still primarily thought of as harbingers of disease……

Fighting Microbes with Microbes | The Scientist Magazine®.

Organic Office Cleaners

Organic Office Cleaners

By Clifford Woods

Keeping your office clean is just as important as keeping your home clean. You spend a good deal of time at the office, sometimes even more so than at home, so making sure that everything is clean and tidy is one of the things that should be on your mind as you look around it right now.

When was the last time you cleaned your computer parts? When was the last time you cleaned your desk or windows? When was the last time you sanitized the door handles and light switches or even your office chairs? If you cannot recall the last time perhaps, it’s time to get up and start cleaning.

Organic Office Cleaners

If you use organic methods in your home there is no reason why those same methods won’t work in your office.

Having organic office cleaners means that you are cleaning green and you are being mindful to the people who come in and out of the office that you work in day to day.

Keeping a healthy home office or even a public office naturally clean is a good way to start out the work week or end it. This way everything will be fresh and clean when you start working again on Monday.

You can buy your own natural or organic cleaners from grocery stores and warehouse stores. They are going to cost more than the normal cleaners. But, there is another way.

You can make your own organic office cleaners for just pennies on the dollar. This will help you feel better about what you are cleaning with, and make the people you work with feel better as well because most of the things you can make at home will leave no overpowering scent or odor which can bother some people who are sensitive to these things.

You will get the same kind of powerful cleaning but with all-natural flair. Using the best cleaners really means making them up yourself, so that you know what goes into them.

You can mix up vinegar and water to make a very effective window cleaning solution and this will also work to get off rust stains, which can be left behind from planters leaning against a wall or something on your desk.

You can use all natural vegetable oil to get scuff marks off leather furniture as well which is something that everyone can agree happens to office furniture.

You can mix together a bucket of water, lemon juice and a bit of salt and use it to wash down your desk so that you can get it back to its sparkling design.

You can run your office coffee maker through with a pot of vinegar (white vinegar) and then run it through again or twice with clean water and that will get the build-up and even shine up the glass pot so that it doesn’t have a film on it.

Your office should be as naturally clean as your home and with a bit of know-how you will be able to use ingredients that you already have at home or in the office even, or you buy them inexpensively at your local grocery store.

Using organic office cleaners means that you are doing your part for the environment, your loved ones, co-workers, and friends.



Author: Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology.

Find out more about Organic Office Cleaners

We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Environmentally Friendly Products.

Gardening Organically – Your Best Gift to the Environment

Gardening Organically – Your Best Gift to the Environment

By Clifford Woods

Organic gardening, unlike what majority of people perceive, is quite simple. What it means is not introducing chemicals or synthetic products like fertilizers and pesticides into your garden. Yep, that’s it. It is that simple and most people who have pets and kids, perhaps already garden this way, simply to keep their family safe.

If you are ready to have your own organic garden or are new to gardening organically, you will be amazed to see how some really simple techniques can help you raise a bright and colorful garden that will be lively and beautiful all year long. The best way that you can start even before you till the soil in your garden is by generating your own organic compost.

Gardening OrganicallyYou may buy a composting container for that purpose, especially if you live in a place with limited space or if you are worried about the smells that might come from the heap. Organic compost can be considered as one of the prime requisites of organic gardening.

Some of the best things that you can feed your compost with are things like grass clippings straight from your lawn and dried leaves from trees around your neighborhood or in your own yard.

 

You can also use kitchen scraps, but stay away from meat, milk, and yogurt, because they will give off an awful stink and also could attract animals if you live in an area that is known for garbage eating animals.

Once you have your own organic garden thought out and have your compost all ready and waiting, you can get started. You might not realize, but the environment gains a lot with these organic gardens. You can till the soil in your garden and mix your compost into the dirt, which will give you a fantastic base in which to start growing your organic garden. This can be any kind of garden that you want it to be, populated with flowers, bright plants, trees and even food for your family.

Some people might be concerned about how to get rid of pests that come to the garden without using chemicals, but it’s really simple if you know what you are doing.

You can get organic pesticides, but if you really want to keep it even simpler, without any extra sprays, then the first thing is to keep your plants as healthy as you can.

Pests are usually only interested in sick and decaying plants and not the healthy fresh plants. Therefore, if you really want to keep the bugs away then keep your plants as healthy as you can get them. Also, you can introduce things like ladybugs into your organic gardens, as they do minimal damage on their own and they love to eat specific types of pests off your plants.

If you are careful about gardening organically and really pay attention to what is going on in your garden, then you can really stave off the pets and sickness that might plague your garden.

Don’t become discouraged if you do get sick plants or bugs in your garden; there is always help out there. You just need to know where to look; a search on the Internet is a great place to start.

You will be able to keep a wonderful garden that not only appeases your aesthetic sense, but it is your best gift to the environment.


Author: Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology.

Find out more about Organic Garden Products

We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Environmentally Friendly Products.

What You Need to Know About Healthy and Organic Aquariums

What You Need to Know About Healthy and Organic Aquariums

By Clifford Woods

Since an aquarium is an environment that is artificial, it needs intervention from the owner. This intervention is needed especially during the initial period of set-up as it is hard to be certain about the quality of the water. In most of the cases, water that is used is from the local water source might contain chemicals that are harmful to the fish, so it is imperative to pay attention to water quality at the source. Other than toxic chloramines and chlorine, the source water might also contain phosphate, nitrate, calcium, iron, silicate, and other chemicals in different quantities.

This is not the water to use for healthy and organic aquariums.What You Need to Know About Healthy and Organic Aquariums

The clarity of water is not a real indicator of the quality of water. Testing the water at the source is the only way to know what is in local water. Test results will decide the pH adjusters/buffers and water conditioners needed to adjust the water conditions to what is needed in aquariums.

While the majority of aquarium fish are able to regulate water that is less than ideal, some species are so sensitive that they need precise conditions to flourish. So, knowing what is in the source water is very important, as action may be needed.

Phosphate and nitrate are major plant nutrients. Increases in these chemicals not only lower the quality of water, but can also affect aquarium health. The presence of these elements in high amounts often means high levels of organic material that is decaying, which is not suitable for healthy organic aquariums.

Waste materials in excess not only contaminate aquarium water, but also affect the pH of the aquarium. Some inhabitants of an aquarium are really sensitive to low amounts of nitrate. The precipitation of magnesium and calcium ions can lower abilities to buffer and eventually disturb aquarium pH or make it difficult to keep the pH stable.

What You Need to Know About Healthy and Organic Aquariums

Dissolved calcium can also make it hard to reach desired pH levels for freshwater fish that need conditions that are acidic. There is water conditioner that is multi-purpose and can detoxify nitrate as well as ammonia, chlorine, and chloramines in the water, making it an enormously beneficial aquarium accessory to have around. When the concentration of iron is high and dissolves in your tap water, it may tinge the water and give it a reddish and cloudy condition. This condition is more noticeable in aquariums, with oxygen content that is high. Iron that dissolves not only defaces the look of the aquarium, but also lowers the quality of the water.

The best means of eliminating dissolved items from tap water is a purification system can be used on the tap water. A “reverse osmosis” unit is the best filter you can buy. This filter powers water to go through a semi-permeable film that removes 90-99% of impurities from tap water. The result is water that is free of contaminants as well as minerals and makes water suitable for healthy organic aquariums.

One of these filters can be obtained for the aquarium itself. The major purpose for weekly or monthly maintenance is to remove organic matter from the aquarium. Generally, there are 2 types of organic wastes – dissolved and particulate. Particulate organic matter is the stuff that can easily be seen developing on the filter pads and in the gravel. Simply remove the filter pad, rinse it well and also wash the rocks.

These are all simple tips and what you need to know about healthy and organic aquariums.


Author: Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology.

Find out more about Organic Aquarium Cleaners at www.effens.com

We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins in the environment and offer Environmentally Friendly Products.

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