Asthma and allergies are on the increase, and here’s 80,000 reasons why

Roughly 100 years ago, only 1% of the Swiss population suffered from asthma or had an allergy. Today, that figure stands at between 25% and 33%. There are numerous theories out there as to why this has happened, but it is no coincidence that, over the last 30 years, 80,000 man-made chemicals have also entered the public domain.

It takes years, if not decades, for our immune system to build up a resistance to a ‘foreign body’ and, in the meantime, our own physiology remains remarkably fragile. Our lungs are remarkably sensitive, as is our skin, so we have little in the way of a natural defence mechanism against modern chemicals. The consequence of this then manifests itself in the form of excessive coughing and sneezing, asthma attacks and skin rashes.

A safe and clean home environment is becoming even more important

We can’t control the environment outside our home, but we can easily control it inside, providing we know what we are dealing with.

One of the biggest problems today is a lack of time for ‘household chores’ and manufacturers of cleaning products have taken advantage of this fact. They claim they are providing cleaning products that are more effective and more efficient, and at the end of the day, they also provide you with products that leave your home smelling clean and fresh for days.

Herein lies the obvious paradox. A clean surface has no smell whatsoever, so if a surface smells clean, there must be something on it.

Don’t swop dirt and dust for chemicals and VOCs

Those cleaning products that smell fresh don’t clean at all. They may help you remove dust and dirt, but in their place, they leave behind a residue of chemicals that are designed to release a fragrance. That fragrance has to become airborne for us to be able to smell it, so often these cleaning products can contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds which are designed to easily become airborne. The problem is, the lungs we use to breathe with are remarkably sensitive and are not designed to cope with harsh chemical irritants, the consequence. To deal with these chemicals, our lungs produce excess mucus to trap the chemicals, which we then expel, either through coughing or sneezing, in varying degrees of severity, to the point where an asthma attack can be brought on.

Similarly, our skin is also sensitive, and our immune system is designed to attack foreign bodies. When harsh chemicals are absorbed by our skin, our immune system will try to attack them to stop them from invading our body, which manifests itself in the form of a rash. This can simply be mildly irritating, to one which breaks the derma, the skin protecting us, leading to a weeping sore, which is normally caused by the white corpuscles in our blood (our personal defence force against foreign objects) seeping out through the break in the skin.

Making your home a place of refuge from 21st-century chemicals 

There is a wealth of green and eco-friendly products available, but if you don’t have the time, or energy, to investigate alternative cleaning materials, perhaps it’s time to think about using the services of green and eco-friendly cleaning company that can take the weight of responsibility for providing your family with a safe home off your shoulders. Here at Smart Life Choices, we specialise in domestic cleaning for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, and we can introduce you to a new way of having a home that is genuinely and healthily clean, rather than having a home that just smells clean.

To learn more about us and how we can help you live a healthier life, give us a call and arrange for Martin, the 

A Clean Home Equals a Healthier Life

Your home is your sanctuary. It is the place you go to feel safe, to relax and to unwind, or to simply enjoy great ‘family time’, something that is in shorter supply these days with ever-increasing demands made on us all from our work.

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Now, before we delve deeper into the differences between superficial cleaning and deep cleaning, we would like to make one thing very clear. While the term ‘deep cleaning’ may imply the need for  powerful, aggressive cleaning materials, we have a surprise for you. At Smart Life Choices, we use eco-friendly cleaning products, and usually ones we have manufactured ourselves in order to minimise the company’s carbon footprint. Not only are we kind to your home, we’re also kind to the planet!

Eco-friendly cleaning products also come with tremendous health benefits

What do most commercial cleaning products that you buy in the local supermarket have in common? Most of them are scented to give the impression that once you have used them, your home won’t just look clean, it will smell clean. There’s a bit of a problem here as, frequently, ‘man-made’ smells are chemical in origin and often contain phthalates, which are known to negatively affect your health. In addition, many of you may use air fresheners to mask other smells lurking in your home and to make it appear all is fresh and clean inside. Once again the fragrances generated from air fresheners are purely chemical, and often these contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. According to “ VOCs can harm health. Breathing VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, can cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs”.

All eco-friendly cleaning products used by Smart Life Choices are made from 100% natural ingredients, so when we clean your home for you, we don’t leave behind a legacy of harmful chemicals that could negatively affect your health.

Vacuuming and dusting is not cleaning

There is one problem with having a home, and that is that it needs to be kept clean, but by clean we don’t just mean superficially. With many of us being so time-poor, giving our home a thorough clean from top to bottom is not high up on our ‘to do’ list whenever we find ourselves with some spare time. No. If we’re lucky, we might just have the inclination to run the vacuum around the place and do a bit of dusting, more for the sake of appearance than for maximising the benefits a truly clean home can bring you or, more to the point, to maximise your health and overall well-being.

What, exactly, is a clean home?

When we talk about your health and cleanliness in the same sentence, it would be easy to think that we were talking about personal cleanliness, but we’re not. We’re talking about the cleanliness of your home. We also want to make it abundantly clear that in no way are we implying that any of you live in a filthy home that may reflect a total disregard for the way you actually live. That most definitely is not the case. However, when we talk about cleaning your home, we’re going way beyond the superficial and talking about a deep clean.

A clean home in our books is one which should be as free as possible not only from dirt and dust, but also bacteria, microbes, mites, allergens such as pollen, and other unwelcome creatures such as bed bugs, etc. In your kitchen for example, not only should all cupboards and work surfaces be cleaned, but also all electrical appliances, from your hob, oven, cooker hood/extractor fan, and microwave through to your refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine and yes, we do mean to include those last two elements, especially when filters can become easily clogged up and residue can build up in hard-to-reach crevices.

A deep clean should also include all floor coverings, all curtains and blinds, and all surfaces that don’t usually get cleaned regularly, such as the tops of doors, storage cupboards, pictures and frames, areas under furniture, etc. All soft furnishings and fabrics should be cleaned including sofa and chair covers, bedding such as duvets and pillows cleaned, and mattresses cleaned to eliminate mites and bed bugs. If you have air conditioning or a ducted warm air heating system, then all filters should be cleaned/replaced and all ducting cleaned.

How often should you deep clean your home? 

Springtime and the arrival of autumn are ideal times to give your home a thorough clean. In the springtime, you will have a house that has been ‘lived in’ during the colder winter months; you may have had a woodburning stove on the go and generally kept the windows closed, encouraging the absorption of unwanted odours into fabrics and soft furnishings. When spring arrives and the air outside is fresh and inviting, you want the same sensation inside your home as well.

In the autumn, your home will likely be full of different ‘pollutants’ such as pollen that has flown in through open windows, and as the windows are going to be closed for much of the next six months, not a great deal of fresh air is going to be entering your home, so you want it to smell fresh and clean for as long as possible.

Beyond the obvious, how is a clean home a healthy home?  

For those of you with allergies or respiratory problems, a truly clean home is essential. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites and bed bugs can play havoc with your health, while pollen lurking in the corners can exacerbate any symptoms of hay fever, and not just in the summer.

Kitchens and bathrooms that are not kept spotlessly clean are breeding grounds for many pathogens, some of which we have previously mentioned. However, there are other major health benefits to having a truly clean home.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the end result of a cleaner home helps to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. As sleep is such an important element of a healthy life, it makes sense to ensure that your mattress, pillows and duvet are free from mites and bedbugs, while a fresh-smelling bedroom is a joy to wake up to in the morning. Just changing your sheets and pillowcases on a regular basis will not achieve the same results. In addition, if the rest of your house is wonderfully clean, nagging thoughts of what needs or ought to be done where housework is concerned will be banished, leaving you to think of other more pleasant things as you drift off to sleep.

A clean home equals a healthier body and mind

If the above hasn’t helped you to understand the importance of a clean home where your health and wellbeing is concerned, we’ll leave you with one final, and not coincidental fact.

The owner of Smart Life Choices, Martin X,  is also a qualified and experienced nutritionist and health coach, and so who better to understand just how important a clean home is for continued good health?Martin is also very much a ‘hands-on’ owner of the business and will always be happy to have an informal chat with you if you would like to know more about how Smart Life Choices operates and all the benefits of the company’s eco-friendly cleaning services. Just give him a call today.