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For those of us approaching middle age, we have to wonder as we watch the nightly news: “What have we been exposed to in our lifetime?” More and more we are learning that all of the things around us have the potential to be loaded with toxicants harmful to our health.

This month’s (May) AARP Bulletin has a great article on the the potential hazards that can surround us in our homes; especially those of us who have owned our homes for 20 or more years. Before the year 2000, the Scotchgard anti-stain treatments that we were so proud of as modern housekeepers may have included chemical compounds that were potentially carcinogenic. Another hazard that most of don’t consider as we spread out on that soft carpet before a good baseball game on TV, is that the flame retardants designed to make the carpet safer actually may contain ethers that can affect the thyroid glands and nervous systems of those with long-time exposure.

Other aspects of our home environments that have already been receiving attention in the news media are the cleaning products we use and the chemicals they contain. Using gloves used to be considered just a way to keep your hands soft and lovely, now consider putting them on to keep one more barrier between you and threatening chemicals.

If you would like more information about ways to take control of your good health and living environment, check out any of the following websites:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative at

The Green Guide at

The Green Seal Program at

To find a collection site for disposing of hazardous household products go to



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