lungs

  1. Chemical cleaning products can damage your lungs

    Is your cleaning spray as dangerous as a cigarette?

    Now that winter is drawing to a close, it's almost time for a good spring cleaning.

    And if you roll up your sleeves to clean, you know that making things spic-and-span isn't just about getting rid of dirt, grime, and dust bunnies.

    It's also about waging war on those INVISIBLE germs that hide out everywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom.

    So, you may have some "big guns" in your cleaning arsenal -- like chemical sprays that advertise their power against tough germs right on the label.

    But according to a new study, you should think before you spray -- because over time, those cleaning chemicals may literally take your breath away.

    In the study, Norwegian researchers tracked the cleaning habits of over 6,000 people for more than 20 years and measured their lung function.

    Now, over two decades, we'd expect EVERYONE'S lung function to decline somewhat. Unfortunately, it's a part of aging.

    But by the end of the study, it turned out that women who cleaned at home or worked as cleaners had an ACCELERATED decline in their lung function compared to women who didn't clean at all.

    In fact, the damage to their lungs was nearly as severe as if they'd smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years.

    Yikes!

    The theory is that inhaling the small chemical particles found in cleaning products -- everything from fake lemon and pine fragrances to disinfectants like bleach and "quats" (a.k.a. quaternary ammonium compounds) -- causes irritation to the sensitive mucous membranes that line your lung passageways.

    And over time, that inflammation can actually CHANGE the structure of your lungs, leaving you gasping for air.

    Curiously, though, men who cleaned at home or on the job DIDN'T experience greater lung decline than men who didn't clean... and the study didn't determine why.

    But that doesn't mean that we should hand off all of the chemical cleaning products to the guys -- because previous studies have shown that no matter what your gender, toxins in cleaners can up your risk of everything from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to cancer.

    Luckily, it's easy to turn over a new leaf on the cleaning front by swapping stuff like bleach and antibacterial sprays for "green" cleansers.

    Just be sure to read ingredient labels carefully to make sure that the product you choose is truly all-natural and not just packaged to appear that way!

    But you'd be surprised how far plain ol' soap, hot water, and a little elbow grease can go. If you need a germ-busting boost, add in a traditional antibacterial like baking soda, vinegar, or lemon.

    And if you're worried about damage to your lungs from years of cleaning, raid the fruit bowl -- because studies show that diets rich in fruits like apples and tomatoes can repair lung damage.

  2. The dangerous new ingredients hidden in your cosmetics

    How nanotech invaded your makeup

    Ladies, you know those new, improved makeup brands that are easier to apply, less visible, and that makes you look 10 years younger? If these "latest and greatest" in makeup brands seemed too good to be true, that's because THEY ARE.

    The same nanomaterials that have made cosmetics smoother and easier to use could also be damaging skin DNA, killing colon cells, and wrecking your lungs.

    There now, don't you feel more beautiful already?

    For all we know, these side effects are just the tip of the iceberg. Because in their rush to add these microscopic particles, cosmetic companies left something out: Research.

    The U.S. National Research Council is finally calling for studies on nanotechnology. But like everything else, it's likely another case of "too little too late."

    If you're using cosmetics, the little research we do have shows these particles could be inside your body right now. Studies have shown that nanomaterials have the power to pass right through the skin -- and once they get inside, they head right for your organs.

    The micronized zinc oxide used in skin creams, sunscreens, nail polish, powders and more, for example, can damage skin DNA, kill colon cells if ingested, and wreck the lungs if inhaled.

    And that's just ONE of the nanoparticles used in cosmetics today.

    Other studies have found that common nanomaterials can poke holes in brain cells, kill nerve cells, and even mimic the effects of mercury poisoning. (Read more here).

    And the cosmetics companies expect you to rub this junk all over your face? NO WAY!

    Ladies, you don't need dangerous, untested cosmetics to make your skin glow. The reality is, healthy, younger-looking skin comes from the inside out. After all, your skin is an organ, and it needs its nourishment just like the rest of them!

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