Category Archives: allergies

Non-Scents Rant

I hate this smelly world. I’m not talking about the smell of roses or the cooking smells of a tasty meal. I hate the artificial smells that offend my nose just about everywhere I go.

Years ago, the stores sold a few cans of Lysol, and a handful of Glade solid air fresheners that shrivelled up to an ugly glob when left out too long.

Now stores stock more and more aerosol air fresheners, scented candles, and liquid scents on their shelves. These artificial smells are bent on “improving” the smells of our world. But instead they create a worse stink.

These smells invade other products. I accidentally bought laundry soap that had an intense, cloying scent to it. The clothes stunk when I hung them in the closet, and they kept on smelling when I wore them. I couldn’t stand it anymore so I gave the soap away to someone that used it. I could tell because they always smelled like this stinky product.

I try to buy unscented, less artificial products. Often when I scan the ingredients, perfume is on the list of unscented, dermatologist-approved products. Trying to escape the ingredients that sound like something cooked up in a chemical laboratory is nearly impossible to do.

If anything, exercise should improve my health. I take a class at a place that stocks perfumed lotions and body sprays on their bathroom counter. Notice to the women that spray on Victoria’s Secret Sexy body spray: you don’t smell like “vanilla, orchid, sun-drenched clementine and midnight blackberry” (whatever that is). You smell like a hazardous-chemical spill. I’d rather smell your sweaty selves when you exercise than this concoction. I love real vanilla in my cookies, not the faux vanilla on your body.

While I’m at it, don’t do me a favor by cleaning my exercise mat with a Lysol wipe. It makes my eyes water and burn. I’m rather live with the germs than this anti-bacterial weaponry.

I refuse to cover up cooking smells in my house with the phony smell of a lab-created air freshener made of raspberry/pomegranate/dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. I’ll keep the fish smell over this mixture.

A note to the product development people: you have reached the saturation point of freshening our air with your smelly products. Now you are just adding to the air pollution. 

End of rant. Thank you for listening.

Eat Some Dirt: Being Too Clean Is Dangerous to Your Health

I’m not washing my kitchen floor today. Or maybe not even next week. All because I’m thinking about my health.

Scientists say that too many people live in ultra-hygienic spaces today and it is harmful to our health.

Allergies seem to be increasing because of these overly clean environments. The cells in our bodies that act as a defense mechanism against parasites have less and less parasites to fight so they start fighting something else like pollens that don’t truly cause a threat.

By the 1880’s, America’s wealthy leisure class took pride in their hay fever suffering. They lived in clean places and didn’t need to spend their time outdoors working for a living. The poorer folk spent time outside in the midst of all sorts of pollens and their bodies didn’t suffer from it. Maybe because indoors they had to live with and fight off parasites like fleas and lice.

In my old workplace, a lady brought in one of those battery operated liquid soap dispensers for the sink. So you can wash your hands without touching the pump. I guess you don’t get the last person’s germs on your hands before you wash your hands of germs. Of course buying a battery to work this thing seems to be a fine use of our limited energy resources.

Also I’ve seen advertising for disposable paper towels for home bathrooms. So now you have an ugly institutional paper towel dispenser on your bathroom wall for hand drying. You’ll never need to touch your family’s potential leftover germs on that cloth towel. Do we need to kill even more trees in the name of sterility? How about washing your hand towel every day or two? Will you also stop touching your other family members in your daily life because of germs?

My old boss got downright rude and nasty when someone came into the office and sneezed. If they didn’t sneeze into their sleeves it was a catastrophe. Better yet, she told them to take that sneeze and their germy selves outside.

Pretty soon shaking hands will be a thing of the past. Unless we can start printing up some verifiable I-properly-wash-my-hands certificates complete with video of your last trip to the bathroom hand-washing technique. Although I’m ready to arrest some of those restaurant owners that fail to provide hot or even lukewarm water in their restaurant bathrooms. (I really hate that anyway.)

Now I’m not saying stop cleaning up completely. Back in the 1800’s, women preferred midwives to doctors during childbirth since the death rate for midwives was far lower than for doctors. Doctors used to dissect body parts and rush off to deliver a baby without washing up first. Since midwives didn’t poke around the entrails of too many corpses, they came to the birthing bed with less of the nastiest germs. That connection was eventually made and doctors started scrubbing up.

But life can’t exist in a sterile environment. Without some bacteria in our bodies, we couldn’t live. Just remember single-cell germs supposedly started life on earth. (No religious arguments here please, I’ve got a full-plate topic as it is.) And if we do end up exploding this planet, it may be those germs hurdling through space that find their way to another planet to do their germy multiplication again.

Even with the death and destruction after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, all did not end up being lost. Scientists even found oil-eating bacteria in the water. Nature is more resilient and adaptable than we think.

Just now my husband started coughing and complaining about allergy season. That’s it, I’m not dusting for a few weeks now. I’m only thinking about his well being. And that gives me more time to read. I justify well.

The choice is crystal clear (unlike my windows).

The choice is crystal clear (unlike my windows)