In this third part of our Allergy Series we are going to focus on our homes. So far we have dealt with other aspects and possible causes of allergies. In part 1 of the Allergy Series we concentrated more on the background that could help you to navigate better in the huge amount of information and make better lifestyle choices when possible. It also showed the main reasons behind the fact that the number of allergic people is constantly increasing.
In part 2 we spoke more in depth about the “hygiene hypothesis” and the possible risks of vaccination. We focused our attention on autoimmune diseases that also have become increasingly widespread in the high-income countries over the past several decades, and now affect an estimated 5—10% of the population in those countries and on childhood food allergies that have become very common in the last couple of years.
Food allergies really are a regular topic in our everyday life. In most of the cases the food itself has nothing to do with all the appearing health conditions but rather how it is designed and altered, how it is grown with bioengineering and herbicides, and also how it is sourced. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said “let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food”. If he were alive today he would be adding qualifiers to this statement for sure, for the commercial food eaten today requires medicine after eating.
Also genetics play its role in egg, milk, and nut allergies. “A study published in Nature Communications, led by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin, has found five genetic risk loci that point to the importance of skin and mucous membrane barriers and the immune system in the development of food allergies.”
Our food is not the purest anymore but what is the situation with our houses? Apparently, there is a high chance that they are making us sick. What can we do then to avoid sick house syndrome? We are at higher risk for environmental-related conditions and illnesses than ever before but if we pay attention to our homes from the creative processes to the actual day-to-day processes, we can live in a healthy manner. So what are the possible risk factors in our homes that can cause allergies?
Some of them are in the air, some in the water or in the walls themselves, many of them we don’t even know about and have been present for years and some of them are caused by us. As we mentioned before, our water—even if it comes from safe water supplies—is not clean. One of its additives is fluoride—used synthetically in the municipal water supply, toothpaste, mouthwashes and various chemical products—that not only could contribute to allergic reaction but it can also cause problems with bones, teeth, heart and neurological development. Other possible dangers could be nitrates, bacteria, pesticides, organic chemicals, or radon.
Radon is a chapter on its own. There is a high chance that most people have never heard of radon gas let alone know it can be entering their home and could cause allergies or even death. Radon is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that occurs naturally throughout the earth’s crust. It is a by-product of the breakdown of uranium in the soil, rock, and water. It is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that is classified as a class-one carcinogen, which is a proven cancer-causing agent. Radon contributes to thousands of deaths each year, and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States –only cigarette smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Radon detectors are commercially available and a wise investment to know your radon risk within your home.
When it comes to your house, if it was built before 1978, there is a chance that you are exposed to asbestos (it was used as an insulation material) or lead (it could be found in paint)—both can cause serious health problems. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they can get trapped in the lungs. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause breathing difficulties and lead to serious health problems because asbestos—just like radon—has been classified as a known human carcinogen.
Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time (lead builds up in the body, often over months or years), and children are especially vulnerable. The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage can occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults.
The main problems and higher risk of allergies and even more serious illnesses don’t have to be caused by external factors: hygiene products, household chemicals or pesticides could be a reason too. Being a conscious, well-informed person making the right choices is the only way to reduce the negative effects that are putting us at risk.
For the treatment of allergies prevention is the key beginning with understanding the risks factors. Since we are exposed on a daily bases to heavy metal toxins such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic, they slowly accumulate within our tissues causing serious health issues, including allergies, joint pain, cardiovascular blockages and forgetfulness leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. To help clean the pipes from heavy metal toxicity EDTA chelation therapy is recommended. There are two treatment options to accomplish chelation therapy, one is by oral application with a product called CLAW-OCHMB from Life Choice® or by way of intravenous administered by your doctor. Both ways are effective to eliminate accumulated heavy metals residues within the body.
- Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association. 2107. Genetic Causes of Children’s Food Allergies. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171024110707.htm
- Radon Info Sheet. https://www.co.clay.ia.us/offices/environhealth/forms/Radon_Info_Sheet.pdf
- United States Environmental Protection Agency. Health Risk of Radon. https://www.epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon
- United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/Home/The-Inside-Story-A-Guide-to-Indoor-Air-Quality
- 2003. Is Your House Making You Sick? https://www.webmd.com/women/features/reduce-toxins-in-your-home#2
 Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association. 2107.
 Radon Info Sheet.