Washington Times Communities

Beth Greer’s Super Natural Home on The Washington Times Communities

Fragrance Free: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Toxic Scents

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Stinky, sweet smelling air fresheners, cologne, body sprays, and scented shampoo are made with synthetic fragrances, and they’re bad for your health…especially children and pregnant women. These factory-made fragrances contain phthalates, which are chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems.

I tell my clients not to buy artificially scented products for their home or office because they can also trigger migraine headaches, allergies and asthma attacks. A recent Institute of Medicine study sponsored by the EPA put fragrances in the same category as second hand smoke as a trigger for asthma in school-age children. (more…)

Warning: Your Baby Contains Toxic Chemicals!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Safe HandsHundreds of toxic chemicals, including PCBs, DDT, endocrine disrupters, and dioxins — to name just a few — are showing up in mothers’ and their newborn babies’ bodies. These chemicals, found in everyday household products, can get absorbed during a typical morning routine.

Consider this scenario:  the pregnant mom awakens after a night of breathing toxic fumes from a mattress containing chemicals like flame retardants and melamine. She showers with synthetically scented soap, shampoo and conditioner, and uses popular brands of body lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen, cosmetics and perfume that contain hundreds of chemicals which have been linked to cancer, hormone imbalances, and other illnesses. These chemicals may be seriously compromising her health, as well as her unborn baby’s. (more…)

ElectroSmog: 10 ways to avoid frying your brain

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

waveLike smog created by air pollution, electrosmog is created by electromagnetic field radiation from cell phones, wireless computers and networks, and new utility technologies like Smart Grids and Smart Meters. Electrosmog envelopes us 24-7…in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, even hotels, and no one really knows the long-term effects on our health, or on our DNA.

The ever-expanding electrosmog is comprised of several EMF or electromagnetic radiation fields of different intensity…from ELFs (extremely low frequency fields); to “dirty electricity” — a frequency that gets on wiring in our walls from electronics that contain transformers, and from compact fluorescent light bulbs and dimmer switches; to RFs (radio frequencies), and a subset of RF called microwave radiation emitted by cell phones, wireless networks and portable phones. (more…)

Making School Menus Healthy For Body and Mind

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Corn dogs, canned fruit and a bag of chips…that was a typical hot lunch offering at the posh private school my daughter attended in Marin County, California six years ago. It took me, and five other Marin moms, more than a year to initiate organic lunch programs in our local private schools. We had to work hard to convince parents and administrators that it was worth an extra $1 a day to serve organic food to our kids.

There are still many schools in my county where kids are given unhealthy (highly processed, microwaved and packaged) foods and drinks (soda and high fructose corn syrup sweetened juices) on campuses and in cafeterias. Instead of real and nutritious food, they are eating food that doesn’t help their brains or bodies develop optimally. (more…)

Shedding Some Light On Sunscreens

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

It’s time to start putting on sunscreen…or is it? There are lots of other options to protect yourself from getting burned this summer, like wearing protective clothing, finding shade, and avoiding noon sun. Plus, there’s no consensus that sunscreen prevents skin cancer and in some cases it’s been shown to actually increase your risk!  If you do use sunscreen, make sure what you put on your skin is safe and effective. (more…)

Green Romance: A Healthy Approach to Intimacy

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The scene is set for romance…perfume, candles, flowers, chocolate, and champagne. But wait…some of these products might contain toxic chemicals! A new report from the Centers for Disease Control says that almost half of all Americans are now living with physical conditions and diseases that could be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals. (more…)

Are Cell Phones Safe? How to Avoid Risk

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Cell phone use among children is a massive uncontrolled experiment on the brain. So says Devra Davis, Ph.D., award-winning scientist, writer and founder of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit devoted to researching and controlling avoidable environmental health threats. “Children’s skulls are thinner and their brains are less dense so there’s more absorption of radio frequency signals,” she said at a recent event in San Francisco where she spoke about the Campaign for Safer Cell Phones. She added that we don’t know the long term effects of using cell phones, and that the FDA has never tested cell phones for safety. “If cell phones were a pharmaceutical drug,” she said, “they would never have gotten to market.” (more…)

Are We Playing Roulette with Meat and Poultry?

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Have you heard about “pink slime” in ground beef? It’s the term affectionately used by meat industry insiders that refers to a pinkish paste made of meat scraps from the slaughterhouse floor. These scraps were once only used for pet food and cooking oil, but now, a company called Beef Products, Inc. created a process to collect the meat scraps, send them through a series of machines, and inject it with ammonia to kill pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. This “pink slime,” is marketed to hamburger makers and ends up in 70 percent of burgers in the United States. It’s also served in our country’s public school cafeterias! (more…)

Secret Chemicals in Our Everday Products

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

There are as many as 17,000 secret chemicals that are potentially hazardous to our health, and to the environment, that we unwittingly use in our homes every day. Secret chemicals? Yes, according to a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency, the names and physical properties of chemicals in things like flame retardants in furniture and household cleaners are hidden from consumers and virtually all public officials. This is because 33 years ago, a federal policy was designed to protect chemical industry trade secrets. So it’s now impossible for regulators to control dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to. (more…)

Food Labels Need a Makeover

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Food manufacturers are clever. They try to make us think that processed food is just as healthy as unprocessed food, or that a product containing high fructose corn syrup is “All Natural.” A green checkmark label called “Smart Choices” recently appeared on hundreds of food packages, including cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops, and sodium-filled complete meal packages, beverages with artificial sugars, canned fruits and vegetables with additives. The good news is there was a huge public outcry. The FDA is now working on its own nutrition labeling system, and the Smart Choices label has stopped promoting its campaign. (more…)