How sterile should we live?

Sterile means 100 % free of microorganisms, and any living objects.

Disinfecting is usually necessary in hospitals to clean surfaces from bacteria, microorganisms, dirt and dust.

With many new diseases like bird flu, SARS and others, The South East Asian region is a most endangered playground for microorganisms, because of the humidity and hot temperature here. Bacterias, mould, mildew easily grow faster then in colder climate (Alaska).

Many people are scared now and over react and the chemical producing industries is very well aware of it . Over 70.000 new chemical products have been introduced the market in the last 20 years. Many or lets say 80 % is pure chemical poison, added with a little chemical perfume.

Shall we disinfect everything and live in a sterile environment, wear gloves and masks like Michael Jackson ? Is that beneficial for our immune system.? The Answer is NO.

However a good and effective cleaning is necessary for a proper health, and vivid environment, and as we see later very effective.

Cleaning: means wiping the surface with water and soap.

Good old soap has biocidal properties and if you are looking for a way to keep your home hygienic and clean, remember that we are trying not to eradicate a deadly virus in our homes.

What can you do?

First, remember what you’re trying to do — to make your home hygienic and safe for your children. This means effectively cleaning up food from counters and getting dirt off of your floors. We’re not trying to eradicate the Ebola virus. So, when choosing a cleaning or disinfecting product, ask yourself, is my child going to be at greater risk from some unknown germ or from a chemical known to harm people?

Indoor Pollution - Bad IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)

The EPA ( US Environmental Protection Agency ) has ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. According to the EPA, indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and sometimes more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. A 1990 EPA study detected 32 different pesticides in air samples taken inside and outside homes. Indoor air had much higher concentrations. They estimated that 85% of the total daily exposure to airborne pesticides come from breathing air inside the home. Most products used in homes contain either organophosphate or carbamate pesticides which are acute nervous system toxins

The recommended time periods that people may return to an area where a pesticide has been used is too short – usually one to two hours after application. A 1998 study found that chlorpyrifos, a pesticide known to be toxic to the brain and nervous system, remained on toys and other surfaces for at least two weeks after application.22 Pesticides persist in household dust, and small children spend a lot of time on the floor, ingesting soil and dust with their hand-to-mouth activity. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, concentrations of the pesticide chlorpyrifos (Dursban-used for treating pets and carpets for fleas) were much higher nearer the floor in the infant breathing zone than in the more ventilated adult zone three to seven hours after application. Residues were also found on the carpet 24 hours after application, and it was estimated that infants would absorb (mostly through their skin) 10-50 times higher than what the EPA considers a safe exposure for adults.23 Another form of exposure is through pets. Insecticides used in flea collars, shampoos, soaps, sprays, dusts, powders, and dips for pets can expose kids that play with the animals.24

Dangerous Products in the Home

People have learned to keep their houses clean in order to ward off disease and infection. To help us do this, we have created a wide variety of cleaning products and disinfectants. The problem is that our zeal to be clean has gone too far. Today, the cleaner is frequently more dangerous than the things we are trying to clean up. Many common household products contain alcohol, ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde, and lye. These substances can cause nausea, vomiting, inflammation and burning of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system, and are linked with neurological, liver and kidney damage, blindness, asthma, and cancer.

Fortunately, we can achieve a level of cleanliness, which is both hygienic for children as well as esthetically pleasing for adults without using hazardous household cleaners and disinfectants. You can either make your own household cleaners and disinfectants from a variety of common, less toxic household ingredients, or you can purchase less toxic commercial brands in stores. In addition to making your child’s environment safer, most of these less toxic alternatives will also save you money. And, if your child likes mixing and making things, you can combine housecleaning with a supervised play activity for your child.

Tips:

Personal Hygiene:

Wash your hands, before and after visiting the restroom.

Wash you hair after exposure outside , but do not go to bed with wet hair. (humidity / fungus / in your pillow)

At home use a organic or natural soap and if you shower, lather your skin, turn the shower off and leave the foam on your skin for 1-2 minute and then rinse off. That is enough for killing yeast and bacteria/ fungus

Take shoes off before entering a home.

Shower after you have been exposed in Nature, and places where you stay indoor all the time, and maybe discos or clubs at night.

Bathroom:

Keep it dry after your shower.

Kitchen:

Do not use so much water, it can crack off the wood and therefore be a good place for hidden bacteria and molds. Dry up the place after wiping.

Use a fresh sponge, change often. Also change the water often during a day when you clean the tables this should be mandatory esp. in food courts.

Use biological cleaning agents:

As mentioned before, they contain a lot of pesticides and chemicals harmful to health. If you want to use, then use warm water and hot water for cleaning and take only a little amount.

Why Hot Water:

It is a physical law that heat speeds up chemical reactions. So use hot water and less detergent instead the other way around. You also safe money.

Washing and laundry:

Use hot water, and try to clean your washing machine from time to time. Especially in the sink where you fill in the powder or fluid detergent.

Flooring :

Prefer an easy to clean surface, which you can wipe every day with a wet brush, add a little soft soap.

Carpets are the main reason for bad air indoor and a good (because a warm and humid !) playground for all kinds of dust and microorganisms - this is related to and can trigger asthma as well.

If you use to clean with a vacuum cleaner you only take away the "big" parts of the dirt, the smaller particles are blown out again and mix even with the rest of the last time you did the vacuuming. This smells strongly, so change more often the vacuum bags.

Prefer solid wood, or stone floor.Be careful: certain laminate is not advisable. ( releases gasses, formaldehyd )

Aircon:

Clean, Clean, Clean... regularly.  The aircon-filters maybe once a week.

Bad air cycles indoor and all the dust and the dirt is stored inside the filter-lamellas, and there is a perfect place for our microorganisms, mildew and mold. So by switching the Aircon on - you make them airborne very fast.

If you can, open the windows and door for 5 -10 minutes and let fresh air in, then turn aircon on again.

Use a natural aromatherapy like tea tree oil -which is disinfecting- or eucalyptus,

Use orange or an orange based cleaner (like Mitex) offers.

Bed and Bedsheets.

 

Not only you rest there 1/3rd of your life, also mites, molds and so on. :

Eliminate unnecessary fabrics from your bedroom.

Keep bedroom at 50% humidity, if not possible, also open windows regularly.

Bring out mattress into sunlight once a week for proper drying.

Change your sheets once a week

Use less detergent, and wash hot,  not with cold water.

Buy a new mattress regularly maybe every 2 years. Or let it be cleaned professional, like MITEX is doing.

Also you can use a water pump sprayer and fill it with distilled water add some tea tree oil or mixed white vinegar spray the mattress and expose outside into sunlight. Also Salt (Sodium Bicarbonate) is a good clean and cheap solution to remove smells and odour.

Do not accept second hand mattress, they are usually full with dustmites, etc….

IN General:

Do not get hysterical or fear, and do not over react in disinfection everything ..... remember just keep everything clean and esthetically hygienic, for you and your children.

Use biodegradable detergents for the well-being of our Mother Earth and our environment.

Sometimes less detergent is better, sometimes water is already enough, and do not spray disinfectant instead of cleaning…..

Some more useful links, search in the net, and create your own detergents and cleaning agents.

:)