Household Products with Small Amounts of Toxin Can Still Affect a Family’s Well Being

What we know of as toxic products may be limited to the information we acquire when researching about harmful ingredients. Most of which include chemicals classified as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that have a tendency to evaporate even under normal room temperature. Commercial products with VOCs as ingredients are immediately distinguishable because of strong acrid smell of chemical. Except for aerosol-sprayed air fresheners, which release the VOC emission during the spraying process.

Yet most of us are unaware that there are other household items that could be just as hazardous even if marketed as not containing VOCs. Chemical substances such phthalates, perchloroethylene a.k.a. PERC, triclosan, ammonium compounds, ammonia, formaldehyde, chlorine and many other substances are sources of toxic emissions. This is particularly true for those living in, or staying in closed-in areas to which weather or climate prevents or minimizes letting in of natural air.

Some of those household items may occur in your homes as non-stick teflon cooking ware, dishwashing liquids, kitchen and bathroom cleaning materials, furniture polish, stain removers, flea powders, flame retardant mattresses and even toys. The concern over such products, even if containing only small amounts of toxic substances, is the frequency by which residents are exposed to them as part of daily or weekly routines transpiring over a lifespan.

Once the exposure builds up in tissues, or slowly takes effect in one’s system, health disorders such as asthma, cancer, and hormonal disruptions leading to reproductive neurotoxicity, reproductive disorders and the likes, eventually develop as serious forms of illnesses.

Effects of Toxic Emissions on the Olfactory System

The emission passing through human nose detects the kind of smell that pervades in the environment. If through the years, the sense of smell becomes impaired, a person’s ability to remember experiences is impaired as well.

University of Toronto neurobiologists were able to identify a mechanism connecting the functions of the olfactory system to the brain’s ability to recall memories of experiences stored in the brain. A certain region in brain called anterior olfactory nucleus (AON), which processes the what, where and how information received through the process of smelling.

Once the connection between a person’s sense of smell and the AON is lost, that person is likely to manifest the early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the inability to recognize smell; leading to a more serious condition of memory loss.

The Quality of Smell Entering the Olfactory System Can Affect Moods and Emotions

In light of the connection between the AON of the brain and the olfactory system, the quality of smell passed on by the nose to the brain can also affect the mood or emotion of a person. That is because a certain aroma or fragrance can trigger the recollection of good or bad memories via the AON. What the smell evokes as memories therefore can alter a person’s present mood, or bring out an emotion, especially if it pervades for a long period.

Grain & Gram, an online seller of organically scented products suggests making your home a source of happy memories. That way, every time a home-related aroma or fragrance is received by the AON, a family member currently experiencing a bad day while away from home can simply look for scents that can turn his or her mood, from bad to good.