Bedding 

If you have skin allergies or MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), switching to organic bedding and an organic mattress could help you avoid symptom flare-ups associated with being exposed to chemical treatments and 'off-gassing'.Pesticides, chemical-based dyes and flame retardants are often used in the manufacture of non-organic bedding. Some even contain formaldehyde resin, which may result in symptoms such as headaches and rashes on continued exposure.Similarly, memory foam mattresses could aggravate MCS symptoms too. Made from polyurethane mixed with a variety of other chemicals, at high densities, memory foam reacts to body heat, giving that comfortable ‘moulding’ effect.The hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) associated with the manufacturing process of memory foam include methylene chloride, which has been shown to irritate the nose and throat on short term exposure to high concentrations. It has also been reported that long-term exposure can induce headaches, nausea and dizziness. Some people have also reported allergic reactions from the classic 'new mattress' chemical odour, so particularly for the chemically sensitive among us, it’s worth exploring other bedding alternatives.Although nobody fully understands the long-term effects of exposure to memory foam yet, the initial studies and reports suggest that there could be cause for concern. Thankfully, there are plenty more natural alternatives available for those of us who react to this array of chemicals. 
 

Household paint

If you are chemically sensitive or have a respiratory condition, you might find that standard solvent-based wall paint can worsen your symptoms. Symptoms like headache, coughing, a sore throat, runny nose and congestion have been reported as a result of exposure to these paint fumes. You may feel better using ECOS (also known as Lakeland) paints and varnishes, available in a unique range of decorative finishes. It's the only range of totally solvent-free paints available today and has been independently tested to reveal 0.0% VOCs. 

Food

With around half the fruit and veg sold in today's supermarkets thought to contain pesticide residues, and reports of accidental pesticide poisoning killing up to 40,000 farmers in developing countries each year, it's no surprise that many people make the decision to buy organic groceries. 

Pesticides are designed to kill any living thing that can damage crops, so naturally they are not something we would generally choose to ingest! It's believed that pineapples, apples and pears are among the worst offenders in terms of pesticide residue. And it's not just fruit and veg that are affected - pesticide residues can also be found in cereals, bread and oily fish. 

Contamination by pesticides (particularly neonicotinoid insecticides) has also been linked to the decline in our bee population.

If you have MCS, you may also experience an aggravation of your symptoms as a result of ingesting pesticides.

Our verdict? Go organic and see if you feel the difference! It's kinder to your health AND the environment.


References:

  • http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/pesticide_supermarket_food.pdf
  • http://www.pan-uk.org/food/best-worst-food-for-pesticide-residues
  • http://www.organicgardening.com/living/7-shocking-reasons-to-go-organic?page=0,4
  • http://www.soilassociation.org/frequentlyaskedquestions/yourquestion/articleid/2360/what-are-the-problems-with-pesticides
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/16/eating-organic-food.aspx
  • http://www.pan-uk.org/links/cotton
  • http://bees.pan-uk.org/assets/downloads/Bee_leaflet.pdf
  • http://www.chemicalfree.co.uk/what-is-mcs
  • http://www.aboutorganics.co.uk/bedding.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7786048