Omega-3 Intake Through Mother’s Breast Milk May Lower Type 1 Diabetes Risk

New research suggests that an early intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids through the mother’s breast milk may lower the risk of type 1 diabetes in infants.
Research shows that dietary intake of omega-3 in the mother may prevent type 1 diabetes in the infant receiving her breast milk.

Type 1 diabetes affects more than 20 million people across the globe, and more than a million people in the United States have been diagnosed with the disease.

The condition is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s own immune cells attack the so-called beta cells. Beta cells are responsible for producing insulin, which, in turn, is needed to decrease the levels of sugar in the blood. Therefore, in type 1 diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin, and patients with this condition must have it administered artificially in order to survive.

Type 1 diabetes used to be called “juvenile-onset” diabetes, as the disease tends to be diagnosed when the patient is in their mid-teens. In fact, studies have shown that between 2001 and 2009, the number of cases of type 1 diabetes increased the most between those aged 15 to 19.

A new study suggests that something could be done to prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes. Dr. Sari Niinistö, of the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, and the team set out to investigate whether or not maternal intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can help to prevent type 1 diabetes in infants.

Omega-3 fats are a subtype of polyunsaturated fats – that is, the “good” kind of fat – and are found most commonly in fish and fish oil, although they can also be found in nuts, leafy vegetables, and other vegetable oils.

The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia.

Studying the link between omega-3 serum levels and autoimmunity

Dr. Niinistö and team used data from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study. They examined whether particularly high serum levels of omega-3 during infancy are associated with autoimmunity development in children who already had a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

The researchers examined 7,782 infants between 3 and 24 months old who were at genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes. They monitored their islet cell autoantibodies, taking blood samples regularly. Blood samples were also taken up to the age of 15.

Pancreatic Islets are clusters of cells that contain the insulin-producing beta cells.

The researchers also used food questionnaires and diaries to track the use of breastfed milk and formula – which are the two main sources of fatty acids for infants.

Of these newborns, 240 infants, together with 480 controls, developed islet autoimmunity. The researchers analyzed the samples of serum fatty acids that had been collected at 3 and 6 months old.

The researchers also looked for insulin and glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies in these patients – both markers of type 1 diabetes.

Omega-3 from breast milk lowers risk of type 1 diabetes autoimmunity

The results revealed that high serum levels of omega-3 fatty acids correlated with a lower risk of insulin autoimmunity.

Specifically, high levels of docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid seemed to lower the risk. However, a high ratio of alpha-linolenic acid to docosahexaenoic acid, as well as a large ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, were associated with a higher risk of autoimmunity.

Additionally, the researchers found a correlation between fatty acids and the type of milk feeding.

Infants who had been breastfed had increased serum levels of fatty acids – such as pentadecanoic acid, palmitic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid – and had a lower risk of autoimmunity, compared with infants who were fed cow’s milk-based formula.

By contrast, a higher intake of formula correlated with an increased risk of autoimmunity. Dr. Sari Niinistö and colleagues summarize their findings:

[Our] findings support the view that breastfeeding, or some components of breast milk, including fatty acids, are protective, particularly with early autoimmunity [and] that long-chain omega-3 status during the early months, at a time when the immune system is maturing and being programmed, is critical.”

Guide To Making Gem Elixir’s

One way to benefit from the healing energy of crystals is to make gem elixirs or gemstone waters. This is done by charging pure water with the energy of the crystal or stone of choice.

Water has the ability to hold energy patterns intact for long periods of time. Imprinting the subtle healing energies of crystals onto water needs no special equipment just focused attention, intention, and sunlight.

Most often Gem elixirs are made by placing the cleared stone or stones chosen in a clear glass or crystal container with pure water and placing this in sunlight for several hours.

Two to four hours is common, though on a very bright sunny day at noon full charging can occur in as little as half an hour and on overcast or cloudy days it can take much longer.

Some people keep the gemstones in the water for a minimum of 24 hours and some people take seven or 14 days to make an elixir spending some time each day to mentally reinforce the intention.

Conventionally made elixirs are made outside on bright sunny days. Very cloudy days are not suitable for making most gem elixirs. However, some essences made on overcast or foggy days instead of being less powerful than those made in full sun they bring in some different qualities that also have value and can be wonderful and have a soft and gentle quality. Time of day does not seem to be a critical factor in gem essences and they are often made in the morning or at noon.

It is important to minimize direct physical contact with the stones and water in order to keep the crystal energy from absorbing your own energy and affecting the elixir so you may wish to place and remove your stones with a spoon. You should have a calm and focused emotional state while making elixirs because strong emotions can affect the elixir.

Some people feel strongly that the container should be an undecorated clear glass bowl others prefer cut glass or Waterford type crystal feeling that the prismatic effects from the light on the cut work enhance the energy of the resulting elixir. After the water has been charged by the gemstone it is filtered and usually preserved with alcohol or vinegar.

To preserve an elixir fill a container halfway with your essence and fill the rest of the bottle with brandy, vodka or with vinegar. You can also use half vinegar or alcohol and pure water. The alcohol is used to inhibit bacterial growth and may also help to ” fix” the vibration.

If you intend to expand your elixir as is done with flower essences this would be your ‘mother’ essence and you would make stock bottles by placing from three to twenty drops of ‘mother’ essence in an ounce of distilled, spring or other pure water and an ounce of brandy or vodka or vinegar.

This stock essence is then used to make a dosage bottle by again adding ten to twenty drops of the stock essence to two ounces of the water and brandy mixture. This would then be the elixir or essence, which you would use for treatment.

The amount of water and the proportion of alcohol used as a preservative do vary somewhat among different recipes. Dark glass bottles are preferred for storing elixirs. Label your elixirs with the gem or gems used, the date made and whether it is a mother, stock or dosage bottle.

Gem elixirs are often used undiluted rather than being expanded either by drinking glasses of the charged water or used by placing two to five drops of the elixir in a glass of water or under the tongue two to four times a day. They can also be used topically on the skin or put in bath water. You can add them to sprays that you use for room or aura clearing.

Some stones should not be used to make conventional gem elixirs. Do not make a conventional elixir from any stone containing known toxins. These include but are not limited to Copper, which would include Azurite and Malachite, Orpiment is arsenic and Cinnabar contains Mercury. Proceed with extreme caution. “Love is in the Earth” by Melody does have some mention of whether or not a stone can be used to make conventional elixirs. It might be possible to do some real damage with elixirs made in a conventional way from some types of stones. Soaking the stones in water can cause the leaching of toxic components into the water. The amount of real danger there would be would depend on quite a few factors like specific stone, dose, the amount of leaching of toxins etc.

Alternate methods used to make elixirs that are unsafe or fragile or water soluble or otherwise unsuitable to be immersed in water include placing the stone in a smaller container which is placed in the larger container of water and placing stones around the container being charged. These are often used in combination. Some sources recommend that you have at least six stones of the same type to place around the container, Others use quartz points to amplify and direct the energy of the stone you are making an elixir with into the water.

Another way to make an elixir is to hold a charged stone against the side of a glass of water and intend the crystal charge the water with its energy. This is most effective if you are skilled at focusing your intention. But is not usually as long lasting as using a conventional method and may be more suitable for making a single glass of charged water to be used within a short time.

Many people just like to keep a quartz or amethyst crystal in the water they drink or water plants with even without further charging this seems to improve the taste and energy of the water.

When making gem elixirs most people select the stone or stones that are used for the issue they want to work on but it is advisable to meditate first to receive guidance and permission from the stone spirit as to the uses of a particular elixir or for guidance. These may not always be limited to those uses found in lists of crystal properties.

Most people use gem elixirs undiluted or unexpanded, though flower essences are virtually always expanded. The dosage used is usually ten drops twice a day for a month. If need be to repeat the dosage more frequently, for example, five drops four times a day.

The term Gem Elixir does not just apply to semi-precious or precious gemstones. It also includes materials such as seashells, amber or petrified wood, which could be classified as being of organic origin. Gem elixirs can be used undiluted or diluted. The term Diluting may be somewhat confusing because it is generally held that adding water to the mother or stock does not diminish the quality or effectiveness of the elixir.

Whether the elixirs are used diluted or undiluted depends upon the individual. Some people feel that a person benefits best from the undiluted elixir for the first month and later on, they can be diluted. However, this can be decided for each individual.

The length of a treatment can be several months. You may want to change the elixirs monthly. The person taking them usually makes quite considerable progress in a month. Gem elixirs can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment without interfering with that treatment. Homeopathy practitioners find gem elixirs work well together and complement one another. You can use muscle testing or a pendulum to help with evaluating the potential usefulness of gem elixirs. As well as meditation and intuition.

Flower essences are made basically the same way.

One carries the water into the garden to the flower if possible. Meditate before or while selecting the flower intuitively snipping it/ them quickly and putting it into the water, it does not matter if the flower is upright or floats or not. Flower essences are ideally made in the morning around 8:45 standard time when the dew is still fresh on them and the flowers release a peak flow of energy for 20 to thirty minutes. You may include a clear quartz crystal in the water for any flower essence to enhance its energy.

Some people do make gem/flower essences by combining the gems and flowers together at the same time but probably more people prefer to make each essence separately and combine them later.

The descriptions of the uses for several gem elixirs are included below. These are gathered from several sources and should only be used as a partial guide for the use of gem elixirs. Consult gem properties lists and especially your intuition for other uses. Please note that different sources of information often vary greatly as to the qualities and purpose of the gemstones and elixirs.

The guide below should be used with caution and verified through other sources when making your own gem elixirs.

Abalone shell: treats excessive anxiety and fear for others. Also, helps psychic connection with water element

Amazonite: treats feelings of social inadequacy.

Amber: for despair

Amethyst: for those who strongly resist any interference with the freedom to make own decisions and plans. Raises vibration to more spiritual level.

Aquamarine: over enthusiasm, tenseness, stress and strain. Brings a calm, quiet clarity to an over active mental body; increases one’s ability to achieve a neutral, serene state of mind

Aragonite: overcoming a feeling of helplessness.

Aventurine: mental rigidity, high-mindedness, pride, and aloofness. Strengthens and stabilizes us during growth experiences; helps us move into and through new experiences with grace, stamina, and perseverance good for spiritual trailblazers and pioneers.

Azurite: grounding communication; opens and strengthens the connection between the feminine earth forces helps us communicate with authenticity, gentleness and For those unable to control their own reality.

Beryl: low self-esteem

Black Tourmaline: helps us exchange old unwanted energies for fresh, clean, neutral energy a precision tool for the release of toxic energy from the mind, emotions, and especially the physical body. Protection and grounding and for restlessness.

Bloodstone: strengthens our connection to the earth; brings a stronger flow of earth energies stability after trauma or emotional upset. For those who demand unquestioning affection.

Black Onyxfor those unable to confront their emotions. For frustration with the slow development of events.

Blue Lace Agate: for hatred of others and suspicion.

Calcite: for feelings of emotional confinement. For the fear that there is no point in formulating fresh goals.

Carnelian: increases the etheric body’s ability to access spiritual energy; energizes and clears the energetic interface between the etheric body and the meridians allowing a greater flow of energy to the meridians.

Chrysocolla: opens, softens, and expands the inner dimensions of the heart chakra; helps us release tension and armoring around giving and receiving love; increases flexibility in the mind and body to allow the vibration of love to flow. For those stuck in an over organized life routine.

Chrysoprase: brings the heart chakra into harmonious union with the green energy frequency of the planet; synchronizes the subtle bodies with the heart energy of the earth; helps us accept the earth as our home treats arrogance and egotism.

Citrine: harmonizes the mental body with higher spiritual laws; increases access to divine truth and intelligence; amplifies qualities of concentration, centering, and rational mind.

Diamond: harmonizes divine and personal will; helps us activate personal will in its highest form; strengthens our ability to act in alignment with divine purpose.

Dioptase: for those who deny themselves emotionally.

Dolomite: for lack of resourcefulness. For fear of failure.

Emerald: a universal heart cleanser and balance; energies of the Divine Mother and the Divine Feminine gently coax the heart to open to allow a greater experience of love in the physical body.

Fluorite: works to bring increased energies into the physical body by breaking up blockages in the etheric body.

Gold: enables us to access and bring forth into physical reality the highest aspects of our personal identity; helps us tap into our inner truth, joy, and wisdom as a source of creative power.

Green Jasper: reconnects body rhythms with earthly rhythms when there has been a disruption to the natural flow; helps us connect to the wild feminine; restores earthly sensuality and healthy sexuality.

Green Tourmaline: for those who set themselves idealistic but illusory goals with resulting disappointment.

Hematite: for feelings of defenselessness. Strengthens energetic boundaries in the emotional body; promotes emotional independence rather than codependency; helps us maintain a state of compassionate detachment while witnessing an intense emotional experience in another, and contain our own emotional experiences in a responsible way.

Herkimer Diamond: a highly developed transmitter of white light; promotes clarity of vision; stimulates healing at all levels; facilitates clarity during the dream state. For inability to achieve goals. A receiver of conditional love.

Jade: for those who require help in being realistic about their ideas. For becoming the practical mystic a vibration of peace, balance, and timeless simplicity helps us stay centered in the moment with an awareness and acceptance of our true essence.

Kunzite: opens the heart to an awareness of our own angelic presence; helps us experience the spiritual love of the angelic kingdom and integrate it into the physical body.

Labradorite: for tension arising from frustration. For those whose relationships rarely meet expectations bathes and nourishes the entire energy system with full spectrum light; renews and refreshes our perspective; helps us again see the magnificent in the mundane, and the divine in the ordinary.

Lapis Lazuli: amplifies the ability to hear information from physical and nonphysical sources; clears confusion between hearing and knowing.

Magnetite: for emotional insecurity. For disappointment at the non-fulfillment of hopes.

Mahogany Obsidian: for those seeking an unrealistic perfection in their sex life.

Malachite: for those striving too hard to control their reality. Grounding; helps align and harmonize the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of being; supports the unity of one’s being in all circumstances.

Moldavite: connectedness; an energetic window into universal perspective helps us stay present in the moment while accessing what we need to express our earthly potential.

Moonstone: cleanses and circulates energy in the emotional body; increases feminine energy and intuition in women and men For those who feel threatened by their environment. For the reckless spending of money.

Moss Agate: for repressed sexual feelings.

Nephrite: for those overwhelmed by many details and pulled in many directions at once.

Opal: feeds the etheric and subtle bodies with a full spectrum of luminous colors; rejuvenates spent emotional and mental forces and counteracts the depletion of color frequencies in the aura replenishes our creative energies. For suppressed agitation from attempting to resist and form of stimulation.

Orange Calcite: amplifies the body’s ability to assimilate light at the cellular level; uplifting, energizing and warming; dispels darkness and grief.

Pearl: promotes the release of layers of irritation in the mental and emotional bodies that are seen in the physical body as hardness and inflexibility; helps one turn antagonism for oneself or one’s illness into awareness and acceptance For emotional excitement associated with fear.

Pink Tourmaline: for lack of creativity through a repressed personality.

Peridot: the stone of new beginnings; stabilizes the subtle bodies during the incubation period of new ideas and creative projects; helps us initiate new cycles of learning and experience.

Pyrite: helps one build an energetic foundation in life-based on one’s highest personal truth; strengthens one’s sense of self, especially with regard to group dynamics and peer pressure; helps one solidify and honor one’s values.

Quartz: for protection against adverse environmental influences.

Rose Quartz: for lack of self-discipline. Fear of responsibility. Love and inner peace opens, softens and soothes the heart; helps one connect to and nurture the inner child; harmonizes the heart forces so one is able to maintain intimacy with oneself and others.

Rutilated Quartz: for those who overemphasize sensuous luxury. Promotes precision alignment with higher sources of energy and inspiration helps us physically anchor the ability to access, synthesize, and communicate information from other dimensions.

Smoky Quartz: for fear of emotional interaction with others. Grounding and calming; Synchronizes body energy with earth energy; regulates and stabilizes the detoxification of unwanted energies from the physical, emotional, and mental bodies.

Rhodocrosite: for exhaustion arising from frustration. Increases energy, balance, and stability in the heart chakra and in the physical body; brings a balance of nurturing earth energy to the heart chakra after an experience of healing and transformation.

Rhodolite Garnet: increases our ability to inhabit the physical body; helps us reconnect energetically with parts of the body that have been injured or traumatized; rebuilds the web of etheric energy in areas disrupted by surgery.

Rhodonite: for physical exhaustion. For fear of criticism.

Ruby: supports the ability to ground spiritual energy into the physical body; works with the lower chakras to awaken higher impersonal love.

Sapphire: devotion to the divine purpose; helps synchronize our energy system with our higher purpose; intensifies the qualities of loyalty and responsibility to our true work on the planet.

Star Sapphire: promotes trust in the universe; helps us focus our awareness on what is necessary for the soul’s progression in life; supports the formation of energetic connections that support the realization of our life goals.

Sugilite: brings depth and a physical richness to our spiritual lives; helps us physically manifest a warmer, more feminine quality of spirituality; promotes an easy acceptance of rather than a hard striving for the spiritual realm.

Selenite: for guilt and inability to relinquish the past. For those who are over imaginative and given to fantasy.

Sodalite: for overcoming a desire for inappropriate action. For rage and a need for negative attention.

Tigers Eye: for those who are afraid of success. Self-empowerment; strengthens the energetic boundary between our true natures and our emotional experiences; helps us maintain a strong sense of self-identity when dealing with powerful emotions such as anger, fear, and jealousy.

Topaz: clears energy blockages in the solar plexus; helps us tap into appropriate sources of universal energy; strengthens the ability to act decisively from a clear sense of personal identity. For those avoiding making a decision which would commit one to a course of action. For the loss of willpower through lack of ability to make a decision.

Turquoise: attunes the energy field to the ancient wisdom and sacredness inherent in all of life; cleanses and deepens our connection to the Soul of the earth; helps us live a life of simplicity. For anxiety aggravated by darkness. For those who are seeking a way out of a problem but feel that there is no solution.

Watermelon Tourmaline: for a tendency to believe something is already real which is still only an idea. Balances the universal polarities of yin and yang; helps us establish equality between the magnetic and dynamic (giving and receiving) qualities of love; brings the green, physical, earth frequency into harmony with the pink, spiritual, the angelic frequency of love.

Crystals For Your Home

TURN IT INTO AN HIGH-VIBE CRYSTAL HEAVEN

Dorothy said it best when she clicked her ruby red slippers together, and repeated, “There’s no place like home.” Adventures with new friends to unexplored places are fun, but when you’ve been away for too long, you’re tired, and some crazy lady keeps trying to take your shoes, there really is no paradise quite as appealing as your humble abode. That’s why when we think about home, we think less about the things in it, and more about the feeling it gives us. With such a focus on how a home looks, it’s easy to forget about designing for how a home feels. Many people may not even realize that this is a factor they can change—this is where healing crystals for your home come into play.

The energy of your home can shift over time. If you have ever been in a space that was completely clean and well lit, but somehow just felt heavy, or uncomfortable, then you can understand how a home’s energy is dictated by more than mere cleanliness. It has a lot to do with the energy that has been expelled in a space, and not cleared away. Arguments, breakups, stress, exercise, parties, deaths, grief—all aspects of life that leave behind energy in your home. If you’re not smudging or getting rid of negative vibes with high vibe crystals for your home, your space will start to feel dirty even when it’s clean. Not to mention, by not having the right kinds of crystals in your home, you’re not taking premeditative steps against the kinds of stress and miscommunications that start arguments in the first place.

In matching the crystal to the room, you can amplify the energies you need most in that particular space. When you start assigning your crystals their jobs around the house, the living room becomes full of life, the bedroom beams with love and relaxation, and the whole space takes on a protective aura. So with that in mind, what crystals for the home are the best to not only cleanse bad vibes but lift them up to create a high-vibe crystal heaven?!

7 HIGH-VIBE CRYSTALS FOR YOUR HOME

BLACK TOURMALINE

First things, first. Protection. If you felt triggered by the above reference to the homes with bad energy, don’t fret. We can fix that. After saging, you’re going to want to use black tourmaline to create a shielding grid around your house. Black Tourmaline emits a sort of force field of energy that blocks and eliminates negativity from entering. For this reason, placing a black tourmaline at every entrance is like an energy alarm system—it scares away the bad vibes! To resolve dark energy in a certain room, you can use black tourmaline inside as well, by just placing one piece in each of the four corners of the room.

SELENITE

Living rooms should be exactly what their title implies: rooms of life! To inspire light and vibrancy in this space, place a selenite crystal on the window sill. Infills the room with positivity. Additionally, set a citrine point next to the selenite for amplified frequencies of joy.

BLUE LACE AGATE

To promote open communication in the bedroom, use blue lace agate. With vibes so smooth that they’ll lull you to sleep, blue lace agate is the essential stone for bringing clarity and calming stress relief into your sacred space.

CARNELIAN

Get creative in the kitchen with carnelian. As a stone known for packing an energizing punch, it’ll help keep you from ordering out on days when you’re already tired from a long day at work. The creativity carnelian stirs up will lend some flavor to your next cooking endeavor.

APOPHYLLITE

When you place an Apophyllite crystal in your environment, you feel an immediate shift in your level of stress, anxiety, fear or worry. White light beams from this crystal, spiritually energize your soul to leave you feeling calm, more relaxed and peaceful. It is known for its “high vibes” and its ability to invite angels into your home to uplift you with love and light. The positive flow of energies is like a stream of running water that continually loosens blockages and “washes” away unwanted energy.

CELESTITE

As one of the ultimate crystals for your home, Celestite is like a cosmic lullaby. Let it rock you to sleep with its soothing, calming and peaceful vibes. It connects with the highest of realms to draw serenity from the angelic realm. Place one in your bedroom, especially for babies or children’s rooms, to promote restful sleep and sweet dreams.

SHUNGITE

The mere number of Shungite benefits is enormous, but one of our favorites right now is the EMF protection it offers. Since we are all attached to our cellphones, iPads, laptops and other electronics, placing shungite crystals next to your electronics can soften the blow. It’s intense energy leaves you feeling balanced and in a neutral state.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender | AromaTools® Blog

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil has a wonderful, sweet, floral aroma with herbaceous, balsamic, and woody undertones. The aroma of lavender has been used for many years in sachets, …

Source: Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender | AromaTools® Blog

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Indoor air pollution has become a serious problem. Discussions about indoor air quality emerged in the 1970s as a result of the energy crisis leading to home construction that was more efficient by way of being sealed up tight… and subsequently lacking ventilation.It’s common knowledge that the lack of ventilation is a detriment to air quality in indoor environments. How? Stagnant air inundates the occupants with a concentration of pollution that negatively impacts the respiratory system. Is it any surprise poor indoor air quality is associated with a cough, allergies, and a collective problem called sick building syndrome?

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome describes what happens when a combination of indoor air toxins and lack of ventilation meet the human respiratory system. Because the list of pollutants is so many, and their effects so varied, sick building syndrome has a multitude of symptoms and can rear its head in many ways. In general, however, the most prevalent symptoms include eye irritation and nonspecific upper respiratory symptom. Pollutants such as dust, mold, harmful organisms, bacteria, VOCs, toxic gasses, harmful compounds, and chemical vapors can all produce adverse effects. The combination of one or more of these pollutants can multiply the problem and any compound that can pollute the air can be a factor of sick building syndrome, they need not be inorganic “factory” chemicals. Fungi are “natural” but also an especially major biological pollutant in the indoor environment. As long as moisture and oxygen are available, the mold is able to grow. This leads to it being found on nearly any surface in a building, including carpets, ceiling tiles, insulations, any surfaces, wallpapers, or air conditioning systems. Indoor environments that provide exposure to fungus can cause health problems such as allergy, asthma, pneumonia, airway irritation, and many other different toxic effects.

What Factors Contribute to Sick Building Syndrome?

When air pollutants emanate from building materials and furnishings, they are trapped by the lack of ventilation and are left lingering for you to breathe in. Notable pollutants include VOCs and chemicals from simple and common household cleaners or even furniture. A Japanese study evaluated VOCs emitted from nine pieces of home furniture as potential sources of indoor air pollution. Researchers detected formaldehyde and results revealed that VOC emissions from furniture may significantly impact indoor air quality. Formaldehyde? On a couch?

Indoor Pollution Sources

Sick Building Syndrome
  1. Synthetic Insulation
  2. Poor Air Circulation
  3. Lack of Fresh Air
  4. Smoke
  5. Paint Fumes
  6. Dust mites
  7. Synthetic Carpet Outgassing
  8. Pet Dander
  9. Toxic Household Cleaners
  10. Fabric Outgassing
  11. Natural Gas/CO2
  12. Construction Materials
  13. Bacteria From Toilet Bowl
  14. Mold & Mildew
  15. Lead or Toxic Paint
  16. Carbon Monoxide
  17. Oil & Gas Fumes

How Common is Sick Building Syndrome?

Although it’s mainly limited to developed nations, sick building syndrome has become a global problem and received global attention. An examination of 37 buildings throughout California found that all of the buildings had very ineffective filtering systems. Furthermore, many buildings failed to meet ventilation standards. Is it for lack of codes or lack of enforcement? Well, researchers called for regulators to implement more complete building inspections.

Effects on the Workplace

Part of the reason for sick building syndrome receiving so much attention is because it can have horrible and disastrous consequences for workplace productivity. It makes sense, symptoms of SBS are often direct causes for increased absenteeism and can also progress to situations of a class-action magnitude. Recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was asked to evaluate a water-damaged office building where 1300 employees worked and reported respiratory problems, specifically airway irritation. Of course, symptoms were thought to be building related.  Other research has also found that dampness and mold in workplace buildings lead to increased incidence of SBS and reports of bronchial redness.

The Office of Workforce and Career Development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta examined data collected from employees who were working in a water-damaged building during ongoing repairs and observed no improvement in their respiratory health. They concluded that when a work environment is polluted, it’s not enough to fix the problem as you go along. Relocating everyone to better conditions, while repairs are made, is necessary to create a situation where respiratory health may improve.

Some might expect hospitals to be exempt from indoor air quality problems, right? Well, surprisingly, a survey by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that hospital staff experiences indoor air-related symptoms more even often than office workers! Because of the unique environmental needs of hospitals, they recommended the development of a model for resolving indoor air problems.  I agree the effects of inhaling air contamination are absolutely indisputable, especially those with compromised immune systems. Every hospital should have a task force specifically created to address air quality problems.

How to Confront Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome is a compound problem. When a building lacks ventilation, harmful air pollutants build up to horrible levels and lead to respiratory (and other) problems. Alleviating the problem has to be, at a minimum, a one-two attack. First, ventilation must be increased! Open the window, turn on a fan, consider an air exchange system! Second, reduce the sources of air pollution! As some pollutants are natural byproducts of nature (skin dander), complete removal is difficult… but you can make a world of difference by switching to organic cleaning products, only purchasing organic home furnishings and use non-toxic building materials. Using an efficient air purification system may also help purify your air and remove toxic invaders. Natural versions of Lysol may also be underway. Cedar leaf oil, from the Western red cedar, was evaluated in a Canadian Study as a safe cleansing agent for applications in buildings. Specifically, the alleviation of sick building syndrome.  Your lungs are constantly working and if you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time in your home and workplace – be proactive in making sure the air you breath is clean, healthy, and satisfying.