A healthy room for little girl with Leukemia

Nine-year-old Stella was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on February 1, 2010. When Michelle Bexelius, owner of ecoRemedi, heard of Stella’s plight, she contacted the family and offered them free ecoConsultation and ecoInterior services.

By doing something as simple as repainting Stella’s bedroom using high-quality non-VOC paints and primers (Dick’s Color Center and Pratt & Lambert), Bexelius is proving that ecoHealthy can also be ecoBeautiful. “There is always an alternative [to unhealthy products]; you just have to pick your priorities and know what to look for,” she explains.

ecoRemedi checked the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) levels, moved Stella’s bed, and checked for lead in the windowsills. On the advice of ecoRemedi, the family is also getting new, healthy mattresses, pillows and bedding thanks to (Eclectic Home), sustainable cork floors (Eco Haus) and custom designed textiles (cool cotton). The bedroom was cleared of clutter, the stuffed animals were minimized and the space was organized to create a harmonious haven.

We also want her room to resonate with her style making it fun for an almost 9 year old and her 4 year old sister to call their own. Michelle designed curtains and a duvet cover and pillow to brighten the room.  Melamine furniture and plastic storage containers were replaced with solid wood pieces to improve the indoor air quality.

It will be a bright moment when Stella sees her room for the first time. We will be there smiling too knowing we helped improve the health of her room so a little girl can heal and grow up and fulfill her dreams.

Air Testing Results

ecoRemedi has suggested to check with the NW Natural Gas to come and see if there could be a leak or the have their HVAC system inspected to help clean the indoor air.  There were also higher levels of carbon dioxide which can result in a blocked air duct. Every room should have clean air flowing. We recommend a filter and UV light to cut down on bacteria and allergens. The room was retested and the air results were much improved.

We will test again after the room is complete and post the results on www.ecoremedi.com.

EMF results:

Readings were higher than normal at the original site of the bed. Looking beneath the room, in the basement we discovered there were many wires that were concentrated there resulting in a higher voltage reading. When the body is exposed to high amounts of voltage it reduces the immune system. Solution: We moved the bed across the room and placed a dresser there.

You are Welcome Stella! Enjoy your healthy room by Eco Remedi.

Healthy Room for child with Leukemia helps her heal.

Michelle Bexelius consults and writes about ecoHealthy living, and is currently writing a book on the subject. Her ecoInterior work has been featured on an HGTV special where she designed an ecoNursery for a celebrity mom. Bexelius’ goal is to promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles.

For more information on ecoRemedi’s ecoConsulting and ecoInterior services, please contact owner Michelle Bexelius at michelle@ecoremedi.com.

How to reduce chemical exposures for children in everyday products.

Simple, Smart and Safe ways to reduce chemical exposures in everyday products for children.
By Michelle Bexelius – Founder of Eco Remedi

Healthy, Green Ideas for Families

Find out where the top toxins are lurking in your home that could be affecting your child’s health. Learn what products to avoid and what healthy, safe ones to replace them with. Michelle recommends testing your indoor air quality for chemical VOC’s, radon, and EMR (electromagnetic radiation)- the new pollution that contributes to childhood illnesses. She provides simple solutions that give you and your family peace of mind.

Environmental toxins are everywhere and we show you how be your own advocate so you can take control of your space, so it doesn’t take control of you.  There are still 80,000 chemicals in products today that aren’t approved by the FDA, only 200 are. Until the Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) is changed, people need to be more in control of their environment.

Here are Eco Remedi’s Top toxins to avoid for you and your kids:

  1. EMR – Electromagnetic Radiation – test all sitting and sleeping areas. Health effects: lowers immune system, cancers.
  2. Indoor Air Qualilty – test your air, use a good filter, avoid chemicals in products. Health effects: asthma, allergies, lowers immune system, multiple chemical sensitivity, fatigue.
  3. PBDE’s – (fire retardants) found in mattresses, pillows, car seats, pjs, furniture.  Health effects: neurotoxic chemical. Continue reading How to reduce chemical exposures for children in everyday products.

Americans at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals - Safer Chemicals Act

Now more than ever, people have to be their own advocate on health and safety until the Toxic’s Act is reviewed and updated. They should anyway no matter what. There are still 80,000 chemicals on the market today with only 200 regulated. This has to change. Thank you Senator Lautenberg for taking the helm in this matter. Read your labels on everything to ensure your body and home is healthy.  Contact Eco Remedi for expert advice on healthy spaces. www.ecoremedi.com or info@ecoremedi.com.

Press Release of Senator Lautenberg

Lautenberg Introduces “Safe Chemicals Act” to Protect Americans from Toxic Chemicals

Measure Will Require Safety Testing for Chemicals

Contact: Lautenberg Press Office (202) 224-3224
Thursday, April 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced legislation to overhaul the “Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976” (TSCA), an antiquated law that in its current state, leaves Americans at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. Lautenberg, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010” to protect the health of families and the environment. Continue reading Americans at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals – Safe Chemicals Act reviewed in Congress

BPA found in receipts

BPA found in Receipts

BPA found in Receipts

My accountant always has told me, “keep your receipts”, it’s the responsible thing to do to log data and report to the IRS for “write-off’s.” After reading the recent findings that the thermal paper you receive when you purchase something has BPA in it. I am telling everyone I meet about this to encourage retailers to purchase the alternative to keep their employees and customers BPA – FREE.

I found this resource from Laughing Planet Cafe in Portland who made the switch. Food Front also make the switch. Buy thermal paper without BPA. http://www.pospaper.com/19015dt.html

Thermal paper is widely used for point-of-sale receipts, prescription labels, airline tickets and lottery tickets. Thermal printers use paper that is coated with a dye and developer (BPA or an alternative chemical). Heat from the thermal printing head triggers a reaction between the dye and developer, allowing the black print to appear. In an effort to quantify how much BPA would transfer to a person’s hand, the laboratory performed wipe tests on four BPA-laden receipts. In all four cases, BPA transferred from the receipts to the wipes. An average of 2.4 percent of the receipts’ total BPA content wiped off, suggesting that a person who handled receipts would be exposed to some BPA in the thermal paper.
http://www.fastcompany.com/1674881/environmental-working-group-finds-bpa-covered-receipts-from-safeway-whole-foods-walmart

Bisphenol A (BPA)
Definition: A synthetic substance widely used to make polycarbonated plastics for the past 50 years to make them durable. Type of plastic: polycarbonate #7.
Products: Found in food and drink containers, the lining of tin cans, toys, baby bottles, dental sealants, flame-retardants,plastic wraps and now recently discovered in thermal receipt paper from the register. This chemical easily leaches out into food and water. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics. Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans. Bisphenol A is also a precursor to the flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A, and was formerly used as a fungicide.

Health problems: Endocrine Disruptor. Increase of obesity, diabetes, cancer (breast and prostrate). Reduced fertility. Alternatives: stainless steel water bottles, glass and stainless food containers, mother’s milk, bpa free compost fillings. From www.ewg.org In January, the Food and Drug Administration, which previously called BPA safe, announced it has “some concerns” about the chemical’s potential effects on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. It did not say BPA is unsafe.

The Environmental Working Group recommends these tips for reducing BPA exposure from receipts:
* Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
* Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
* Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
* After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts). * Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin’s BPA absorption.
* Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records. * Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
* If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.

From EWG: The company that has consumer’s backs.

http://www.ewg.org/bpa-in-store-receipts

Here is a resource on where to buy thermal paper without BPA.
http://www.pospaper.com/19015dt.html

Pass it along to everyone you know! They will thank you.

Chemicals in ice cream

chemicals in ice cream - Eco RemediWe all Scream for Ice Cream!

Why? Articles have shown that traditional ice cream has chemicals in it. Something so good can be so bad. It is true that we as consumers need to look at even the ice cream we eat in order to avoid chemicals. Many ice cream companies don’t have to disclose ALL the ingredients which include chemicals that reside in anti-freeze and paint remover. Yikes.  Trying to eat healthy is one thing, but having a treat once in a while is fine and healthy for the spirit but it would be nice to select a sugary decadence without a garage full of greasy items. While I was reading “Nourishing Traditions,” (pg. 551) – (a fantastic cookbook on nutrient dense foods and cooking) I was dumbfounded to find a host of common chemicals were found inside ice cream!

Here are the list of chemicals you will be surprised to find in traditional ice creams.
Know your brands and try making it yourself (recipes and eco friendly ice cream maker). Treat yourself without harming your body.

Diethylglycol: A cheap chemical used as an emulsifier instead of eggs; is the same chemical used in antifreeze and paint remover.

Piperonal: Used in place of vanilla.  This chemical is used to kill lice.

Aldehyde C-17: Used to flavor cherry ice cream.  It’s an inflammable liquid also used in aniline dyes, plastic and rubber.

Ethyl Acetate: Used to give ice cream a pineapple flavor – and as a cleaner for both leather and textiles; its vapors have been known to cause chronic lung, liver and heart damage.

Butyraldehyde: Used in nut flavored ice cream.  It’s one of the ingredients in rubber cement.

Amylacetate: Used for its banana flavor.  It’s also used as an oil paint solvent.

Benzyl Acetate: Used for its strawberry flavor.  It’s a nitrate solvent.”

Continue reading Chemicals in Ice Cream

Triclosan in consumer products leads to widespread pollution in people and the environment

Spa ResortAccording to a new study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG.ORG), Triclosan, a harmful chemical is in many more everyday products that I thought. I have been telling my clients, children’s school, friends and family about this for many years and now with more scientific research, the proof is in the pudding (hopefully without Triclosan in it).

There is a handy guide from the Environmental Working Group on How to avoid Triclosan, the unsafe ingredient used as an anti-bacterial property.  Pass it on and help inform those you care about and your children’s school. Make the switch to regular, healthy soap, like castile. Cleanwell is a great alternative for anti-bacterial properites using Thyme oil. Seventh Generation is using CleanWell’s formula in their new wipes.

Here is a list of what products that don’t carry Triclosan.

What is Triclosan?
Triclosan, a chemical used for its antibacterial properties, is an ingredient in many detergents, dish-washing liquids, soaps (Anti Bacterial DIAL AND SOFT SOAP), deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, anti-microbial creams, various toothpastes, and an additive in various plastics and textiles. The safety of triclosan has been questioned in regard to environmental and human health. While the companies that manufacture products containing this chemical claim that it is safe, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered it as a pesticide. Triclosan is also known as Irgasan and Microban.

Continue reading Triclosan in consumer products leads to widespread pollution in people and the environment

The Air you Breathe

Indoor Air - Eco RemediHow to clean up your air indoors
With more than 90% of our time spent indoors, indoor pollutants can have a significant impact on our lives. Mold spores, dust mites, pollens, gases, particulates from chemicals and a host of other pollutants can be found in the cleanest of homes. According to the EPA, indoor levels of many pollutants are two to five times higher than outdoor levels. People who spend more time indoors (work out of your home, stay at home mom/dad, retired for example) are more at risk according to the EPA.

Homes aren’t regulated like office buildings. Their heating systems (HVAC) are sometimes neglected to change their filters or to replace if it isn’t functioning properly. Everything that comes in to our homes has the potential to be harmful to our health; this includes things from the building materials and elements that hold our homes together to the furniture we sit on and the paint that goes on the walls. Indoor air pollution can be bad, but it doesn’t have to be.

Things you can do to clear the air

  1. Read labels (make sure chemicals don’t make it in your home)
  2. Dust and vacuum often
  3. Replace carpet with hardwood, cork, marmoleum or wool/jute carpet. (clean with healthy cleaners)
  4. Don’t use perfume or scented items
  5. Buy furniture, rugs, mattresses, drapes without PBDE’s (fire retardants). Contact Eco Remedi for local suggestions)
  6. Leave your shoes at the door (keeps toxins at bay)
  7. Check your HVAC system and make sure the filters are changed.
  8. Purchase an air filter (HEPA) – I like Austin Air, IQ-Air and Blue Air. Continue reading The Air you Breathe – How to clean up your air indoors

Ban BPA - What you can do to help right now

Had it with BPA? Tell Salem to ban it already. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been angry about bisphenol-A (BPA) for years (literally). It’s in our bodies, in food and beverage containers (among other things, like retail receipts), and it ain’t good for us.  Especially babies (and pregnant women).  The U.S. FDA *finally* acknowledged some concern about this toxic chemical a few weeks back, but plans to study it for a few more years before doing anything more than studying it – some more.  Well I for one don’t have time to wait.

Which is why I’m so thrilled about Oregon Senate Bill 1032 <http://www.oeconline.org/our-work/smart-policy/2010-bpa-legislation-fact-sheet> , which would phase the toxic chemical out of all reusable food and beverage containers (think: baby bottles and sippy cups) and formula cans and baby food jars (single use) intended for children under 3.  ’Bout time.

You can help pass this bill – it’s easy!
If we don’t tell our state legislators that we’re tired of BPA and support this bill, how will they know how important it is to us?  Simple: they won’t. So here’s what you can do:

1. Email your state representative and senator NOW <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/587/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1879>  (just need your zip code).

2. Better yet, call ‘em.  All you have to say is, “Hi my name is ________ and I urge the representative/senator to vote YES on SB 1032 to ban BPA.  Thank you.”  It’s that simple. And that quick.  Get the phone numbers here <http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/> .

3. Join us this Thursday in Salem to show our legislators how much we want this.  Activistas will be there from 1 to 3 PM to “pack the hearing room.”  Thanks to the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) for bringing this bill so far and spearheading this grassroots effort.

4. Join OEC’s Healthy Kids Network <http://www.oeconline.org/our-work/kidshealth/healthy-kids-newsletter-signup>  to stay current on action  opportunities  - and their excellent eco-healthy home tips.

From OEC (Oregon Environmental Council), an amazing organization Eco Remedi salutes!

Environmentally Healthy Schools

by Michelle Bexelius – founder of Eco Remedi

Eco Healthy School

Eco Healthy School

How Eco Healthy is your school? From cafeteria meals to energy use to recycling efforts, your school can have a major environmental impact – and provide opportunities to teach students about healthier, more sustainable practices.

Fostering a healthy environment is crucial given that many of the nation’s schoolchildren are vulnerable to pollution: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 percent of U.S. schools have indoor air-quality problems, exposing those inside to lead, asbestos, chemical fumes, pesticides, molds and other toxic substances. And researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that more than 30 percent of U.S. public schools are in “air-pollution danger zones” because of their proximity to major thoroughfares. Despite these problems, parents can work with school officials to implement policies that protect children – and the planet.

On the Road

If you live close to your school, have your child take the bus, carpool, bike or walk as often as she can to cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions from cars.

If you walk or bike with your child, you’ll improve your health while helping the environment. Get other families involved by organizing “Walk-or-Bike-to-School Days” once a month.

If you do drive, don’t idle.

Turn off your engine while waiting for your child. Encourage others to do the same by putting up a “Turn your engine off” or “Don’t idle” sign at your school’s pickup spot. The exhaust pollutes the air near your child’s school and can trigger asthma attacks, so any effort to cut down on fumes will help improve students’ health and you’ll save gas – and money.

Continue reading Environmentally Healthy Schools

Electromagnetic Fields- The new pollution

IMG_0232

EMF - The New Pollution by Eco Remedi

by Michelle Bexelius – founder of Eco Remedi

“EMF Pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible. ” -Andrew Weil, MD

“Ten years ago, one birth in 100,000 was an autistic child. In 2005, one birth in 162 birth was an autistic child. A few years ago, these problems were due to cell phone use, in the last year and a half 80% of the people presenting problems don’t even use cell phones. The problem now has to do with the high levels of background EMR.” -Dr. George Carlo, EMR expert

What you can do inside your home.
By simply checking your EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency) readings you can prevent serious illnesses from occurring. Most of the older homes that are remodeled homes have old faulty wiring and need a professional electrician to re-wire them. Often times when we think of faulty wiring, we think fires, not so in this case. I spoke to a mom at my son’s school and she told me this story.I thought I would share it with you to enlighten you about the importance of checking the electromagnetic fields in your home. Not only can this be a health hazard it can help your home be more energy efficient.  Go to http://www.lessemf.com/gauss.html to purchase your own EMF tester.

True Story – written by Patti- Santa Barbara, CA.
“In 1995 my son, Tyler had an outlet next to his bed that had a power reading of 10.0,normal, or safe readings should be 0.1-0.3. My husband and I did not even know what electrical magnetics were. The same year our five year old son became very ill. Doctors did not know what it was.

Continue reading Electromagnetic Fields- The new pollution