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Healthy Habits: Breathe Clean Air

Ban Smoking
We've already seen the effects of smoke, both to the smoker and to the innocent bystander.

Get Your Place Checked for Radon
For testing information contact your regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or write:

EPA Public Information Center
401 M Street SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 260-2080

Fortunately, if you've got a radon problem, it can be taken care of fairly easily. So don't put it off.

Get a Lead-Testing Kit
For about $25.00 you can test the paint in your home. You can get a kit by writing or calling one of the following companies:

Frandon Enterprises
511 N. 48th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
(800)359-9000
(416)293-4955

Hybrivet Systems
P.O. Box 1210
Framingham, MA 01701
(800)262-LEAD
(508)651-7881

Seventh Generation
49 Hercules Drive
Colchester, VT 05446
(800)456-1177

A couple named Donald and Frances Wallace run Frandon Enterprises. Their story is that a few years back they both nearly died from lead poisoning. Seems they had begun to display a number of troubling symptoms of something gone awry, but exactly what remained a mystery. Their list of health problems steadily mounted: insomnia, anemia, dehydration, severe abdominal cramps, sudden attacks of total body pain, weight loss, personality change, nervous system dysfunction, and flulike symptoms. It appeared to some medical authorities like Alzheimer's disease was setting in. To others, some of the pains Mr. Wallace was experiencing in particular seemed related to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Finally, after several misdiagnoses and unnecessary operations, their self-diagnosis of chronic lead poisoning was confirmed by doctors. Seems they'd purchased some mugs during a vacation in Italy several years earlier, and had been drinking a good eight to ten cups of coffee from them on a daily basis for over three years. Come to find, the cups contained lead in their construction and were giving off four hundred times more than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers within safe limits.14

The moral of the story is that it's not just your paint you need to be concerned about.

Decorate with Lots of Plants
People take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. One species' trash is another's treasure. Plants are a wonderful way to help keep your indoor air clean, besides adding life and color to your decor. An especially crucial area of your home to use plants would be in your bedroom, where a lot of carbon dioxide can accumulate each night.

1. Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, Living Health (New York: Warner Books, 1987), page 59.
2. "Survey Finds 164 Million Americans at Risk from Air Pollution,"
Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, 30 April 1993.
3. Diamond, page 118.
4. Maury M. Breecher and Shirley Linde,
Healthy Homes in a Toxic World (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1992), page 32.
5. Mary Kerney Levenstein,
Everyday Cancer Risks and How to Avoid Them (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1992), pages 117, 118.
6. David Steinman,
Diet for a Poisoned Planet (New York: Harmony Books, 1990), page 245.
7. Levenstein, page 117.
8. Breecher and Linde, page 38.
9. Levenstein, page 187.
10. Breecher and Linde, page 34.
11. Levenstein, page 135.
12. Levenstein, page 117.
13. Levenstein, page 126.
14. Levenstein, pages 136, 137.


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From HEALTHY HABITS: 20 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health by David J. Frahm as used by arrangement with Jeremy P. Tarcher, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2003 by David and Anne Frahm. All rights reserved.

To order this book visit www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.


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