Working as a natural therapist and acupuncturist, Nicole Bijlsma observed some alarming and confusing health trends amongst her patients. After experiencing a tragic series of miscarriages, Nicole became determined to look further into the connection between the home environment and ongoing health issues. Her new book, Healthy Home, Healthy Family, is the product of over 10 years of extensive research. We spoke to Nicole about what she discovered, and how we can make our homes a healthier and safer place.
RESCU: What prompted you to look at the home environment?
Nicole Bijlsma: In the past 20 years, we have seen cases of ADD quadruple, sperm counts halve, breast cancer double, infertility rapidly rise – and one in four children are now asthmatic. Some of my patients were getting better, but as soon as they stopped their treatment, their health would decline again. I soon started to look for answers, which lead me to look closer at their home environment.
RESCU: What are some simple tips to improve the health of your home?
Nicole Bijlsma: It’s preferable to take your shoes off before entering your house, to not have carpets, to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, to keep pets outside, to look at basic housecleaning techniques such as using a wet microfiber cloth to dust, sunning rugs outside, drying sheets and clothes in the sun. It’s about getting back to basics. Somehow we started to believe that chemicals were the answer, but there are natural ways to clean that create a sterile environment without using chemicals.
RESCU: How can you tell if your home is making you sick?
Nicole Bijlsma: As a building biologist, when I assess your home I would be looking for certain elements in the environment. Do you have a wireless phone or internet connection in or near a bedroom? What factors exist in the environment such as mould or dust? Just being aware of when symptoms occur and whether that coincides with when you moved into your house, or when you added a new technology such as wireless internet, can often lead you to the the cause. It can be a process of elimination.
RESCU: What advice do you have regarding new technologies?
Nicole Bijlsma: Wireless internet, cordless phones and cordless baby monitors, all emit a pulsing microwave frequency which can cause insomnia and headaches. These technologies have not existed long enough to truly know their long-term effects, especially on children. I would strongly suggest using hardwired technology wherever possible.
Healthy Home, Healthy Family shows which chemicals to avoid if you have sensitive skin, where the allergens are in your home, what plastics to avoid in the kitchen, how to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields, why most countries don’t fluoridate their water supply, what to look for in an asthma friendly vacuum cleaner, what chemicals to avoid if you’re pregnant or have breast cancer, and more.
Healthy Home, Healthy Family is available now through all good booksellers.
For more information about Nicole Bijlsma visit: http://www.buildingbiology.com.au/
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