What types of lung disease
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Asthma and allergies
- Lung Cancer
- Chronic or acute bronchitis
18 Gifts to Buy for Christmas
- Concert or movie tickets or an afternoon or evening out for dinner (with you as companion/driver)
- A Hepa filter vacuum
- A portable air purifier for the bedroom. Must be quiet and avoid those with ozone emissions.
- A home air conditioner is good for those with allergies and will aid in cutting down outdoor air pollution during hot summer temperatures and air quality smoke alerts
- Air filtering plants like the Peace plant “Low-light-requiring houseplants, along with activated carbon plant filters, have demonstrated the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air in energy-efficient building …” NASA
- 100% cotton clothing is both comfortable & popular as well as hypoallergenic. Also look for wool and bamboo clothing. Slip on shoes, such as clogs, and slippers are easy to wear.
- A holiday to a special place. Like Australia. Gift recipient should be relatively mobile and have medical travel insurance if travelling out of the country
- Gift card for a food or department store
- Wood or bamboo cutting boards and other metal utensils for the kitchen
- Cast iron, enamel ware and steel cooking utensils
- Home baking (avoid common and known allergens) always a welcome gift; and meals for the freezer (casseroles, spaghetti sauces)
- Gardening kits : biodegradable pots for the outside garden and sprout starting kits for inside. Many other truly natural gift ideas in this category … tools, aprons, packets of seeds, etc
- A recreation centre membership; a physiotherapy class or swimming lessons. Swimming is beneficial to children with lung disease
- Best-loved music DVD’s and / or a simple DVD player
- An all-time favourite is books, books and more books
- Jigsaw puzzles (for one person) and games such as Monopoly or Scrabble for 2 or more people, etc. A wide variety of choices here
- BPA free toys for children
- Wood toys, bamboo musical instruments, ceramics and other gifts without off gassing
Hint: check out all the product labels, avoid those with a large number of chemicals. Just because a label says “natural” does not mean there are no chemicals in it. Unfortunately chemicals are used in manufacturing and processing but are not required to be included on the label.
What is off-gassing
Oxford Dictionary Definition: Give off a chemical, especially a harmful one, in the form of a gas:
eg: soft plastics are potentially more harmful, since they may off-gas into stored foods
What Not to Buy Gifts
Personal care products use many toxic chemicals. They may be carcinogenic or hormone disrupting or can irritate or worsen symptoms for people who already have compromised immune systems. May cause breathing difficulty or actually damage the respiratory system. Strong fragrant perfumes often escalate respiratory health concerns and may cause cancer.
- Teflon products are manufactured using PFOA (fluoropolymers and telomer alcohols)
- Some furniture, cosmetics and outer wear clothing may contain PFCS (Perflourinated Chemicals) which breaks down into PFOAs.
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) off-gassing chemicals inhaled over a long period of time can increase health problems especially for those with asthma
- BPA (Bisphenol A) is used in toys to soften plastic and may cause asthma, increases risk of breast and other cancers and affect brain development in children. This is widely used and controversy exists over its use. Simply best to avoid products with BPA
- Phthalates – are used in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) toys. These chemicals can get into your child’s body through inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption and can cause asthma and some cancers
- “Dust catching” gifts such as furry toys (unless washable) can be dust and mite collectors
More thoughts on Gift Giving
- If you notice a worsening of your symptoms after receiving any gifts remove all the suspect gifts and re-introduce them to your home one per week to pinpoint what you are reacting to.
- Stress, good or bad, can cause breathing difficulties and trigger coughing attacks.
- There are so many chemicals used today it is almost impossible to say ‘buy chemical free’.
- An excellent suggestion is to search out the ever-growing number of eco-friendly products. If its good for the environment chances are it will be good for you. Eco-friendly gift ideas for Christmas
- Attend local craft shows and ask the maker of your gift “what’s in it?”
And in closing ~ have a safe and happy holiday and Merry Christmas – joyeux Noel
Links & References
- Air pollution and your lungs
- Children are at greater risk from toxic chemicals
- Chemicals of High Concern for children’s products
- Dirty Dozen Cosmetics – David Suzuki Foundation
- Chemicals in children’s Toys
- How to Reduce Toxic Chemicals in Your Life
- 12 Gift basket suggestions
- Tips for a greener, less stressed, happy holiday season
Thanks to vendors at the Abbotsford Christmas Show who gave permission to publish photos of their products.