The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1177: How You Can Avoid Toxins in Your Home

Learn how you can identify and avoid the toxins in your home, from flame retardants and stain repellents to mycotoxins from mold.
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How You Can Avoid Toxins in Your Home

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Are there toxins in your home? As it turns out, many houses hold furniture, electronics and other products that have been treated with toxic chemicals such as stain repellents and flame retardants. Some of these are there because of misguided legislation requiring them in the past. What are the consequences of chronic exposure to compounds like PFOA and PFOS? How about the bisphenol compounds found in plastic containers? Where are they lurking and what can you do to minimize your exposure and that of your family? We’ll also find out about policy initiatives that could protect everyone better.

Watch Out for Mold:

Some of the toxins in your home may be natural. That doesn’t make them less dangerous, however. Have you inspected your crawl space or basement lately? If you did, did you find mold?

We may consider mold an unpleasant and unsightly problem, but in fact chronic or intense exposure to mold may trigger health problems. What are the symptoms of mold exposure, and what can you do to help your body recover?

Five Tools to Conquer Mold:

Dr. Jill Crista, a naturopathic physician, has spent decades working with patients to help them recover from their exposures to mold. She has her own story that helped her take their problems seriously. Now, she offers us five tools to conquer mold and feel better. Find out how to treat a flooded building and what else to do about mold that may show up with other toxins in your home. Dr. Crista also tells us how to overcome the negative health effects of mold exposure. To treat the building, she recommends building experts certified by the ACAC, the IICRC or the BBEC.

This Week’s Guests:

Arlene Blum PhD., biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer is Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute and a Research Associate in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. Blum’s research and policy work has contributed to preventing the use of flame retardants and other harmful chemicals in children’s sleepwear, furniture, electronics, and other products world-wide. Her current “mountain” is to educate decision makers and the public to reduce the use of entire classes of harmful chemicals in everyday products.

Learn how you can reduce your own exposure to such chemicals at

Dr. Jill Crista is a nationally recognized educator on illnesses associated with mold and mycotoxin exposure. She shares what she learned after over a decade working with people struggling with chronic diseases related to mold. Dr. Crista is the author of Break The Mold: 5 Tools to Conquer Mold and Take Back Your Health. Her website is

Find out if you could be having health problems due to mold:

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I took the lady’s quiz:
After working through 31 items, some of which required careful thought, I was annoyed to find at the end that my email address was being demanded. I provided it and then was VERY annoyed to find that the information given had NO REFERENCE WHATEVER to my responses on the quiz. I don’t know what sort of game the lady is up to, but selling stuff seems to be a central part of it. The subject is important, and she may actually know something about it, but I’m not about to put out $20 for a book by someone who’s just unpleasantly surprised me twice in a row.

From my experience, mold issues are not difficult to figure out. IF the mold appears on the ceiling, the roof might be leaking and there may be extensive water damage. Raccoons may also have torn up shingles and deposited babies, in which case an exterminator will need to be called to remove them prior to extensive home repairs. Do not put poison up there because sick raccoons will hide, die, and you will have a rotten animal(s) to deal with from unknown areas such as between your walls, and it will stink. Find the source of the problem,and call a roofer.

IF the mold appears on the walls, most likely the windows are leaking air and will need to be replaced with more up-to-date windows which has the added benefit of being sound proof. Replacing windows can be very costly as well.

Take mold with all seriousness, as it can invade lung tissue and start growing there, which will require extensive treatment which is also very expensive.

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