July 9, 2010

Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Fragrance

Filed under: allergy,asthma — Tags: , , , — drwatson @ 9:14 pm

perfume, smellIt’s become a common fact that beauty must come with a price, and with the current fragrances and perfumes on the market today, that’s certainly become a reality. The concept of perfume originated long before the Common Era, and has developed throughout the centuries to become the personalized fragrance that today women associate with not only beauty, but also with class and individuality. As the perfume industry has been commercialized, so too have the industrial practices of manufacturing fragrances. The ingredients of modern perfumes are still held under lock and key and legally kept secret under the protection of old laws. A recent study that was conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed that most of the perfumes and male fragrances on the market today contain approximately fourteen unlisted chemicals, most of which have never been tested for safety.

This study additionally outlined several health risks associated with wearing perfumes:

Allergies – Many of the unlisted chemical ingredients in today’s leading fragrances are associated with allergic reactions including asthma, headaches, wheezing and contact dermatitis. These sensitizing chemicals are known to additionally increase the chance of allergy development in people who are repeatedly exposed to them.

Hormone Disruption – Each of the seventeen perfumes tested in this study were found to contain at least one hormone disrupting chemical. Hormone disrupting chemicals have been proven to increase the risk of cancers, especially prostate cancer and breast cancer, as well as to contribute to thyroid problems. Chemicals containing hormone disruptors have also been linked to birth defects and infertility.

Inhalation and Absorption – The nature of modern day fragrances allow for the chemicals ingredients to be absorbed topically into the skin and inhaled. These unnatural and toxic chemicals have been found by various studies in umbilical cord blood, allowing for newborns to be exposed to toxins even before they are born.

Over the past few years, many health regulations have been put in place to regulate the ingredients used in processed food and in the products we use every day.  Shouldn’t fragrances be held to the same standards?

March 5, 2010

BPA Exposure Links To Asthma in Children

Asthma Attack in ChildrenThe increasing rate of children with asthma may be attributed to exposure to BPA, or Bisphenol A, which is an industrial chemical used in making common household plastics. A recent study that was conducted in mice demonstrated that children are more likely to have had asthma if their mothers experienced exposure to BPA during pregnancy. The study compared the severity of allergic reactions within the mice whose mothers received BPA in their drinking water before, after and during pregnancy to those whose mothers did not.

These findings illustrate the importance of prenatal environments and create concern for those who plan to embark into parenthood as this chemical is primarily used in the manufacturing of CDs, DVDs, automobiles, food cans and reusable drink containers. Although in Canada BPA has been banned from use in baby bottles, you may wish to phase out the BPA products you use daily to a healthier alternative for your future children.

Ways to Reduce BPA exposure:

  • Eat Fresh or Frozen Foods – The BPA chemical is often used in the lining of food cans, and permeates into canned goods. Avoid the BPA involved with canned foods altogether by choosing a healthier choice of fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables and other foods.
  • Stay Away From Canned Pasta – The tomato sauce used in many canned pastas is highly acidic, and more likely to absorb more BPA from can linings. If you must buy canned pasta, choosing a brand that comes in a glass or cardboard container is the safest choice.
  • Don’t Heat Food in Plastic Containers – At high temperatures, certain plastics may break down and release BPA into your food. By simply heating your food in glass, porcelain or ceramic containers, you can avoid any possibilities of exposing yourself to BPA.
  • Water Bottles – In general, staying away from cheap plastic bottles is the way to go, so avoid buying flats of spring mineral water bottles. When choosing a personal water bottle, check to make sure that it doesn’t contain BPA, because BPA may be laced in the inner lining of different metal bottles.

Asthma is a serious condition which can have a large effect on your child’s everyday life, but can be managed through taking asthma medications. Reducing your exposure to BPA will not only improve your future children’s health, it can vastly improve your own quality of life as well.


December 15, 2009

Do I Have Asthma?

Asthma Attack InhalerMany people show some symptoms of asthma but are never diagnosed with asthma. Although it is a exceedingly common disease many people do not know they have it.
The 2 states of asthma are the steady-state of chronic asthma, and the acute state of an acute asthma exacerbation (worsening).

Chronic asthma symptoms:

  • Coughing at night
  • Shortness of breath – For those with chronic asthma, breathlessness occurs even when the person is resting. The person will sometimes not even be able to speak in sentences, but rather use singular words.
  • Chronic ‘throat clearing’ type of a cough
  • Complaints of a tight feeling in the chest – Often people with chronic asthma complain about feeling tight in their chest.
  • Lack of alertness – The person may show severe agitation and be drowsy during chronic asthma.
  • High pulse rate – A patient with chronic asthma may have a pulse greater than 120 beats per minute.
  • Wheezing – Loud wheezing is a common symptom of chronic asthma.

Acute asthma symptoms-

  • Coughing at night – In acute asthma coughing produces clear sputum
  • Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath only occurs during or right after for those who have acute asthma.
  • Asthma attack- A sudden asthma attack may be brought on in acute asthma.
  • Wheezing – Moderate wheezing during exercise or at other times may be a sign of acute asthma.

Symptoms of an asthma attack come in 3 stages:

  1. Coughing – this is a warning for the coming asthma attack. Your body is attempting to rid itself of the mucus built up in the bronchial tubes. Wheezing will begin. The persons palms will begin to sweat and his/her feet may become cold.
  2. Dyspnea – This means having difficulty breathing. The airways narrowed and the lungs have trouble vacating before having to gasp again.
  3. Severe bronchial obstruction – The air passageways have almost closed and are plugged with mucus. Possibly the patient may lose consciousness or turn blue from a lack of oxygen.

Asthma is a serious problem in thousands of people worldwide. There are various medications available for treatment, such as Advair Diskus, Spiriva, Combivent, Flovent,Salbutamol, and Singulair.

September 21, 2009

The Danger of Asthma

In 2006 approximately 22.9 million Americans reported having an asthma attack. The reality is that asthma is very serious and can change the way a person lives. There are many misconceptions of asthma, like if you didn’t get it when you were a child then you’ll never get it. Well you couldn’t be more wrong. Asthma can present itself in almost anyone, at almost any age. In fact, the same study in 2006 showed that out of the 22.9 million Americans that reported having an asthma attack, 2.5 million of them were over the age of 65!

Furthermore, many people don’t realize what asthma really is. Most people that have heard of asthma know that it effects breathing, but what they don’t know is that asthma causes the tubes that allow air to travel in and out to become inflamed. That is why asthma can become so dangerous. Without treatment asthma can be life threatening however, fortunately for us there are many forms of treatment available. Most treatment methods feature an inhaler that is used when an asthma attack occurs.

For those that are wondering if they should be checked for asthma, some common symptoms include:

  • A wheezing sound when you breathe. This may only occur when you are suffering from a cold.
  • Cough. You may cough up mucus. The cough often comes back and it may last more than a week.
  • Shortness of breath. You may have difficulty breathing only now and then, or you may have problems quite often. It feels as if you can’t get enough air into your lungs.
  • Chest tightness. Your chest may feel tight in cold weather or during exercise. Chest tightness may be one of the first signs that your asthma is getting worse.

Although scientists do not know for sure what causes asthma they are aware of some things that can contribute to reoccurring asthma attacks or asthma in adults.

  • Medications
  • Air Pollution
  • Allergies
  • Genetic

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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