Monday, November 21, 2011

Paint so safe you can EAT IT!

We have found a very very safe paint company made by ECOSPAINTS and this paint is so safe and non-toxic and NO VOC’s at all, that you can literally EAT IT!!! We were able to use the paint for ceiling and walls and had no fumes whatsoever. It was such a pleasant experience to not have to worry about airing the place out, having someone else do the paint etc. I could be in the rooms while they were being painted.......I'm telling you, I was just so amazed! It sure felt so good to not have to worry about our health suffering due to paint. 

My fiance' has asthma and I have MCS, so, it was extremely important that the paint we used be NO VOC, not just low-voc. In the past, I had used Sherwin Williams Harmony paint in one of my bedrooms and at the time, I had no idea that tinting it would add voc's to the paint and they didn't tell me either, even though I was very adamant about needing it to be voc free and no fumes etc.  It did have fumes, not as much as it would've if it was regular paint, but years later, there is still a smell in that room.  :( We no longer live there. 

Please, I urge anyone to go to to look at the products they have and order FREE samples if you like! I DID! Last year, I ordered about 10 different colors and they even ship the samples FREE too! So, there is NO reason not to try them out. They have a full color brochure online to choose from and if you want that sent in your sample order (which I highly recommend since computer screens can alter the true color a bit) include that in your order as well. In the photo above you can see the color brochure, the paint samples I ordered and I included 2 of the cans of paint we decided on so you can see how they are packaged. We ended up ordering quite a bit of paint, actually, because this new place we moved to needed every room painted. So, the whole interior of the house.

Before I had placed my order, I called and spoke with them because I had many questions having MCS and they were extremely friendly and helpful! They are a 20+ year old company from the UK and now have a place here in the USA in SC. They will even custom order colors for you and still NO VOC’s in the paint. I am not kidding ~ you could eat it if you wanted to and it would not hurt you one bit! When people tell me their products are “mcs safe”, one of the first things I ask them is, “can you eat/drink/ingest it” and that shocks them, but it gets the point across that it must not be THAT safe if you can’t do that! To me SAFEST means FOOD GRADE ingredients and ECOSPAINTS IS that company! I know I probably sound like a salesman from the company, but I assure you I am not. I just like to spread the word about great products that are MCS safe when I find them.  God Bless and good luck to all with MCS and finding safe products to use whatever project you are doing. 

Next time you need, stain, paint, varnishes, please turn to and give them a try. You will not be disappointed and you will not be recovering from any toxic fumes.  :)  Thank you ECOSPAINTS!!!

****Just a note of warning that I really feel I must add due to a horrible experience with another company. We were going to move into a friend's house apartment and he needed his hardwood floors redone and we knew that if regular polyurethane was used there would be no chance of us living there. So, I searched and searched for safe products to use and came across AFM Safecoat polyurethane. It was worse than if we had chosen Minwax water based polyurethane. The product never even cured after weeks and it smelled to high heaven. We'd tried everything to get rid of the fumes from PureAyre, zeolite, kitty litter with carbon granules, vinegar, heat, airing the place out, large cans of coffee granules etc. NOTHING worked. I could not even attempt to enter the premises! The tenants upstairs were even complaining to our friend (their landlord) about the fumes in their apartment! We contacted AFM about the horrible fumes and the fact that the product never cured and we never got a response! In the end the floor had to be sanded and redone with a regular product and we didn't move in. So, although I am sure AFM may have SOME products that are safe, our experience was one we wouldn't wish on anyone and I certainly can't recommend them. If you do a search on it, you will find others that had horrible experiences also. One family couldn't move into their home after a professional applied it because the smell was just too toxic! Just because "safe" is in the name, doesn't mean it is.

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Allergic Reactions and Natural Products that help

Over the years, I've come across a few products that really help when I've been exposed to chemicals or have eaten foods that I am allergic to. I want to stress that MCS is NOT an allergic reaction, it isn't an allergy, but many times I do use that term when I am speaking with others because it seems it makes it somewhat easier for them to understand. Most can relate to an allergic reaction, but tell them you have MCS and they have no clue and they become less receptive to what you are trying to explain.

One of the products that I keep with me at all times is Alka Seltzer Gold. It is a Godsend when it comes to reacting to something in the environment or something I ate. I highly recommend anyone with MCS or allergies to give this a try. Just take some in 4 oz of water and within minutes it helps alleviate any symptoms. If in 15-20 minutes, you still aren't feeling very well, take another dose. I honestly can only recall a couple times where I needed more than one dose of it. I've used it for MCS and food allergies and has worked for both for me. If I am exposed to a chemical and start feeling out of sorts, fuzzy in the head, nerve pains in my arms and legs, tight bands of pressure on my shins, numbness.....the list goes on, you name it, I've used it for it and with excellent results. Do a search on Alka Seltzer Gold and allergies or chemical sensitivity and you'll find many praises for this product. It contains 1000mg of anyhydrous citric acid, 344mg of potassium bicarbonate, and 1050mg of sodium bicarbonate. One other great thing about this alka seltzer is that it contains NO ASPIRIN. I believe it may work by helping to alkalanize the body's ph, therefore helping to eliminate the reactions we experience. All I know is it really works! I pray they don't stop making this! Our local CVS carries it and I know when I lived in Ohio, Drug Mart carried it and was alot cheaper there too. I always buy 3 or 4 boxes at a time, but no matter what, I always leave 1 or 2 boxes on the shelf for someone else in case they come in needing it for an emergency. I'd hate to think I took the last one and left someone in serious need without. You can read some reviews on Note that this particular seller is selling it in packs of 4, not individual boxes. So don't let the price throw you off. I know that also carries it and you can read the reviews there also. ***Just know that if you have MCS that they typically send samples with their products and many times they are scented. So, what I do if I just absolutely have to order anything from them is to place the order online and then IMMEDIATELY call and speak with a Customer Service Rep about the order and ask them to make a note on it to not include ANY samples at all. This has worked at random, so beware that even if you do call, it is still very possible to receive something scented in the package. 

Apple Cider Vinegar is also very helpful with helping to alkalize our ph and you can either drink it with some water or use it in a bath.
*To use as a beverage, add 2-3 teaspoons in 8oz of water. Honey is also very nice added to it and I also always add some cayenne as well. I put about equal amounts of honey to vinegar and cayenne to taste.
*For a bath, pour 2 cups to a quart or more in your bath water (as hot as you can stand it) and soak for at least 30-45 minutes. It is actually very helpful in the bath and is a great way to soothe our system.  The health benefits of this product are endless, really. But that's a whole other post.
Make sure you are using ORGANIC ACV with the "mother" in it for the best benefits. Using non-organic vinegar kind of defeats the purpose now doesn't it? Bragg's brand is readily available in most grocery stores now and online.  Depending on what else I am ordering I may buy it from either, or The advantage to iHerb is they offer Free Ground shipping on orders of $40 or more and they will also price match on orders of $60 or more, plus you get to choose up to 2 Free Samples from their Free Products page. :) I love that I can pick which ones I want! :) Swanson charges $4.95 no matter what the order and Vitaminshoppe ships Free with orders of $25 or more. They carry the gallon size which is very nice sometimes to have, but the disadvantage to that, is that it's in plastic, not glass. I prefer to buy glass items whenever possible. Your local VitaminShoppe also may carry the gallon size, but many do not anymore.

Emergen-C can be helpful also if I run out of the alka seltzer gold. Vitamin C is very well known to help halt allergic reactions. Emergen-C only has 1000mg of C in it though, so I take 2 if I am in an emergency situation or if I feel a cold coming on. Vitamin C decreases the histamine levels in the blood, therefore it is a natural antihistamine.  Back in the 90's studies were done that showed that 2g of Vitamin C decreased histamine levels by 40% and the results lasted for 4 hours later. 2g can cause diarrhea in most people though, so know that. It isn't harmful in any way, just a temporary effect.  If you have straight Vitamin C, I'd take that in lieu of the Emergen-C due to the other ingredients Emergen-C has. Straight Vitamin C is what you really want to shoot for here, but it can also deplete magnesium levels if taken in high doses for a length of time, so taking magnesium with it is preferable.

AbsorbMoreToxins is a product I found a couple years ago and wow, what a great product! Last weekend we were out shopping at the grocery store and it seemed like I was being bombarded with perfumes and detergents everywhere throughout the store and coming into close vicinity of customers wearing highly scented products. By the time we got home, I was having all kinds of nerve pains and feeling very toxic. We were out of the alka seltzer gold, so I reached for the AbsorbMoreToxins and it worked within 15-20 minutes. I had forgotten about the product and was glad to have some on hand. It has Bentonite clay, Glucomannan and Activated Charcoal in it. That is a winning combination to help rid our bodies of toxins for sure and it really does work! I only took 2 capsules too and it says to take 4. That's how good it is. Just remember to drink plenty of water because of the ingredients it has. Plus water is always very helpful in flushing out toxins, so drink plenty of it!

Body Pure is a homeopathic product that aids in environmental pollution and helps with nausea, fatigue, headaches, eczema and minor skin rashes, etc.  Take 1 tablet 3x day or as needed. Chew and let dissolve under tongue.  Many people don't realize homeopathic products shouldn't be taken within 15-30 minutes of eating or drinking anything, but water.  Also one should refrain from using mint products, highly fragranced products, and that they should keep the products away from all electrical devices such as tv's, computers, lights, cell phones, microwaves, refrigerators, radios, alarm clocks etc. They are very sensitive to these items and when some complain that the products don't work, I believe it is probably due to them not following these suggestions. Homeopathy works wonders and gets to the root of the problem and enables our bodies to heal themselves when the correct remedy is given.  Body Pure is a product to keep on hand for sure, but I find homeopathic remedies difficult to travel with, especially when they need checked by security at airports, etc. Most are not familiar with them and it is a MUST to keep them away from the x-ray and they usually want to set it down on the belt to check it and I have to be proactive in trying to get them to set it down on a non-electric surface further down the line. I've never been told I couldn't take them with me, but it is more of a hassle. I use homeopathy quite a bit in my life for all sorts of ailments and contribute my not being in a wheelchair and coming as far as I have in my health to homeopathy. 

There are many products out there that have helped me, but these 5 are ones I seem drawn to most.

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Starting a Diatomaceous Earth Journal

Just wanted to share my new page on this blog about food grade, Diatomaceous Earth and my journey while taking it. Anyone is welcome to share their own experiences as well! I look forward to reading about them!

Diatomaceous Earth Journal

~Just trying to live as normal a life as I can, one day at a time

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's in your Perfume?

Did you know that scented products are not regulated or tested for safety by the FDA? They're not! How scary is that?!? They don't believe that chemicals that are used to create fragrances are anything that need to be tested for safety. Shocking! It's true though, google it for yourself and you will find a lot of information that you really need to be aware of. There is a site I came across years ago that you can use to see how safe your personal care products are and will also show you what products are safe to use that can replace your favorite products by looking at the ratings that are safe in those categories. That site is called Skin Deep.
I am going to just put a few links to the site for a couple of popular products so you can see for yourself. Here is the data on Chanel No 5 Eau De Toilette.  It is very detailed in the findings and if you scroll further down the page it breaks it down even more showing each ingredient and what the possible dangers are of each one.

Here I decided to just pick a topic and lipstick is the subject on this page showing the worst offenders first: Lipstick and their safety scores  I was surprised that an Avon lipstick was the number one worst offender on the list. 

Everyone uses soap and this selection is of Soap Products.  As you can see, there are a lot of companies with a 0 safety score, so there are numerous safe choices out there for everyone to use instead of dangerous scores.  When looking at the page, look for the "Score" label at the far right of the table. If you click on the arrow, it will reverse the order to show you the worst scores first. As you will see, Vitabath and Garnier brands are right there at the top! Who'd have thought, with a name like Vitabath, that it would be at the top of the list?  Garnier with the product called Nutripure Detoxifying gel Detoxifying is what you'll need after coming into contact with this product! That was just a random search in a category too! Feel free to enter your own personal care products and see where they fall on the list. You might be pleasantly surprised or you might want to rethink what you are using on your body and how it might be affecting your health and those around you.

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Challenges of Living With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Part II

In part I, I wrote about some of the everyday challenges like grocery shopping and home life.  Today I want to talk about another challenge for those of us with MCS.

It's Sunday and today a lot of people are attending church services with their families and friends and fellowshipping with like-minded people that love God. This is something that I miss very much as I was brought up in Church and attended the same week I was born up until my mid-20's when that was no longer a possibility.  Church is a place where people with chemical sensitivities and even people with asthma and other disorders have a very difficult time participating. Church should be a "safe" place for EVERYONE in the world, but a good majority of the time, it's a chemical haven that is very toxic.  Many get headaches while they are in church or get very tired all of a sudden, or maybe they just notice they don't feel well on Sundays but never paired it together with being in church. It most likely never occurs to them that it could be from any of the surrounding irritants that may be present. Perfumes, colognes, body sprays, hair products, laundry products, febreze, deodorants, aftershave, new carpet or cleaning chemicals etc. all are very common irritants in society in general and church is no exception. In fact, it's more likely to be a place we can't go because so many have been brought up to "look their best" or "put on their best" for Sunday Services because it's part of their way of honoring the Lord. Well, folks, let me tell you.......perfumes were NOT created for such a pleasant sounding reason. Fragrances were first used to cover up the smells of dead bodies when they were preparing them for burial in tombs and the like. They were used by wealthy families in such a time and it became a sign of wealth to own these items. I think that people still believe today that fragrances are a sign of wealth. Especially those that purchase the expensive ones that are well-known and want everyone to know they are an owner of such and such brand. (My personal opinion, of course.)

There are alot of people and church seems to be overwhelmed with them, that are unable to realize how much they put on. One reason for this is that some of the chemicals used to create fragrances are neurotoxins and they literally can damage the nerve endings in our noses. When this happens, it takes more and more of a scent to be able to smell it! Aha! This is why so many people put on more and more of a product until THEY can smell it. I think it should be meant for those you want to be close to you to smell only.....something just for them, not for the whole world. 

By the way, there ARE natural perfumes that are far safer to use and smell clean and romantic.  You can even make your own with organic essential oils. I did come across a site that uses only 3 ingredients: water, distilled and filtered rye and certified organic essential oils. That's it! Plus, you can create your own label, choose your glass bottle from their selection and even add a logo or photo if you like. You can choose up to 5 different oils and create your own organic natural perfume.  How cool is that? It IS costly though, but if you can afford it, it would be pretty neat! I believe it's $49.99 + shipping. Anyway, the site is called Scent Natural. I'd love to try it myself, but money is too tight right now. So, again, I have no experience in dealing with this company so order at your own risk. If you do order I'd love to hear how it all turned out for you! :)

I feel I must add, that ANY fragrance of any kind, be it organic essential oils or some other type of "natural" fragrance can and probably will be, still dangerous or toxic for someone else. Please use it very sparingly if you feel you absolutely must wear it. Natural or not, only a dab is ever needed. The whole world doesn't need to smell you........only you and maybe someone very close to you. Please protect those around you by making a conscious effort to be more natural and wear it ever so lightly.

**Note: At the bottom of the page I have an image of a shirt I created a few years ago. The front of it says: "Please make church safe for Fragrance Free! :)" and the back says "Your body is a temple.......don't pollute it with toxic perfume".  If you click on it, it will take you to the page to see both front and back images of the shirt.

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Challenges of Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Part I

Living with MCS certainly has its challenges........minute by minute if I am speaking realistically.  I used to take for granted that I could go anywhere and do anything whenever I wanted........who knew that one day that would all be taken away.

It's a life of constant worry and anxiety and I feel held hostage in my own body.  Just to step outside my home is a constant threat of what might be waiting for me.  Sitting on our back deck is a luxury that often ends in panic, pain and days of recovery just for mere minutes of being exposed to a neighbor's scented laundry engulfing what should be a "safe" space. Opening windows on a beautiful summer day to enjoy the fresh air God created is so refreshing only to have to rush to close them all before fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides invade our sanctuary that we've created specifically to be safe for us. The nerve pains that causes lasts nearly a week (for me) from those types of exposures.

Shopping is certainly a challenge trying to avoid endcaps filled with scented products and people covered in cigarette smoke, colognes, perfumes, body sprays, deodorants, hair products etc.  It's getting more and more difficult to find a cashier that doesn't wreak of perfume or body lotion and more often than not someone in line does as well. God forbid something spills on the checkout belt, cause out comes the Febreze or Lysol or some other dangerous cleaning product! Many a times I've had to leave a line and move to another due to all of  these circumstances and more, so I try to shop where I can check myself out whenever possible.

As if that isn't enough, they put the toilet paper, paper towels and even bread products directly back to back with the laundry detergents, dryer sheets and other household cleaners. Who wants bread that smells and tastes like detergent or air freshener???  What really doesn't make sense, for more reasons than one, is they put the "fragrance-free" "free and clear" products mixed among the scented ones! First of all, the ones who actually NEED these type of products are unable to get to them because of all the scented ones surrounding it! Second, what was made to be an UNSCENTED product is now contaminated! These items really should be placed either on an end cap or in a seperate part of the store.

Day to day activities that should be pleasant, normal experiences become painful, stressful, life-altering events.  Loved ones try their best to understand what we go through, yet it is impossible to truly grasp unless you are going through it yourself, apparently. Even those we live with have a difficult time and it eventually can lead to resentment, anger and loneliness. Feel free to share your own experiences! : )

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time.