Avoid the flu and boost your immunity

November 18, 2008

By Staff

Many invest significant time and dollars into taking measures to boost their immune systems and protect their health through the winter. Ironically, despite all these precautions, it’s not uncommon for them to get sick anyway.

Debra Lynn Dadd, an expert on chemical toxicity and author of “Home Safe Home,” said cold and flu season may be intensified by exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday lives. Toxic chemicals that can weaken the immune system are called immunotoxicants.

In order to boost your immune system and protect your health all winter, Dadd recommended five simple things you can do to eliminate immunotoxicants from your home:

1. Open a window: While the tendency is to keep the windows closed during the winter due to the cold, it’s a good idea to open one every now and then to let any toxic fumes from heaters out and fresh air in.

2. Avoid disinfectants: It’s natural to reach for a can of aerosol disinfectant and spray it everywhere to protect against colds and flu. But disinfectants contain many immunotoxicants. These reduce the body’s ability to fight off infection from the germs they’re killing. Better to kill germs with hot water or tea tree oil.

3. Eliminate nonstick cookware: A study from the Environmental Working Group through West Virginia University found that subjects with a higher level in their blood of a chemical found in Teflon had lower levels of a key protein that helps keep the immune system strong. Try cast iron, clay, porcelain enamel, glass or one of the new PFOA-free “green pans.”

4. Remove permanent markers: Choose water-based markers instead.

5. Sleep on untreated cotton or linen sheets: All polyester/cotton and permanent-press cotton sheets are treated with a formaldehyde finish that can’t be removed and that can cause runny noses, itchy eyes and other cold or flu-like symptoms.

To learn more about protecting yourself and family from immunotoxicants, go to www.dld123.com/colds-flu.

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