We all talk about how every week brings new information about what’s good for our health. These tips should be helpful, but we hesitate to take action. Making changes in our life is not easy, and we can’t be sure which ones will really make a difference.
Three main doubts hold us back, and with good reason:
1. This week’s finding so often contradicts last week’s, and there are so many it’s hard to know what to pay attention to.
2. It’s not clear how they apply to us specifically, at our current age, with our state of health, and combined with other treatments we may be receiving.
3. Despite the evidence, they’re still theories, not a proven fact.
We can’t do much about the first two, except wait and consult our health care provider—or wait until something happens to us. But waiting to see how it comes out isn’t always the answer, either, and it’s obviously better to prevent a health problem than to treat it, if you can. Doctors are also a cautious bunch, not wanting to take risks with their patients by jumping on research data before it’s proven to their satisfaction. And many findings are quite controversial among practitioners and scientists both.
The problem is that it can take decades, or longer, for scientific evidence to mount to the level of “proof,” if it ever does. Seniors don’t always have time to wait.
And this is where common sense can play a very useful role—there are times when it really is “better to be safe than sorry.”
A mother cautions her children, “You don’t have to jump off the roof to prove that you won’t break your leg!” The children aren’t convinced. Why? Because they’ve has seen actors in movies jump off roofs and not break their legs. What the mother really means is, “It’s extremely likely that you will break your leg if you jump, but nothing bad will happen if you DON’T jump, so it’s prudent to avoid this particular risk.”
Nobody would say that to a child standing on the edge of a roof, of course, but we are not children, and we understand that there are risks it’s wise to avoid. And when prudent avoidance doesn’t have a high cost or any other downside, we can confidently go ahead and take action.
We, too, are cautious about giving medical advice, so instead, let’s focus on some risk factors in your home. We’re told that there are several times more pollution indoors ni most homes than outdoors. Seniors and children are often more at risk, since we spend more time at home.
Here are three health risks you can prudently avoid:
• Digital clocks have electric fields close around them that can be measured and that may cause headaches and other problems. Not proven beyond doubt, but it’s easy to move the clock away from your pillow to the other side of the room and prudently avoid the possible effect.
• Many products like paint and some cleaners, as well as synthetic fabrics treated with formaldehyde, outgas chemicals that are suspected of being toxic to humans and causing serious concern. A few are proven, but there are countless thousands of chemicals and not all have been tested. But it’s easy to store these away from where you live, or dispose of them properly, or look for different products to begin with.
• Pesticides typically have a very long half-life; once in your home, they are not easily eliminated. Many serious effects of pesticides on your health are being studied, but you can easily choose to prudently avoid them.
If you take these three simple steps, which will cost you little or nothing in time or effort, you will have eliminated three of the biggest causes of indoor environmental pollution!