Warning: The contents of the following column may cause runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Just thinking about the dust mites, mold and toxins likely lurking in your home is enough to cause gasping and wheezing even if you don’t have asthma.
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In fact, ever since I talked to healthy space designer Robin Wilson, CEO of Robin Wilson Home, I have been itching in my sleep thinking about all the dust particles and dead skin cells burrowing in my bedding.
I need to start sleeping in hazmat gear.
“They’re invisible, but they’re everywhere,” she says of the allergens in our home.
“Sounds like the opening of a Hitchcock movie,” I say, creeped out.
“Just because a house looks clean, doesn’t mean it is,” she adds.
“Anymore than going to church every Sunday makes a person honest.”
Wilson’s immaculate home conception started in childhood: “I grew up wheezing and sneezing in Austin, Texas, the pollen capital of the world,” said Wilson, also an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Fortunately, her parents consulted a specialist who persuaded the family to get rid of all the wall-to-wall shag carpet and replace it with hardwood floors, and to go on a cleaning spree to rid the home of pet dander, pollen and dust.
“Once my environment changed, I started breathing a lot easier,” said Wilson, who applies the advice in her New York home, and makes clean living a priority for the homes she designs for clients.
“You realize,” I tell her, “by saying it’s not enough to have a beautiful space, but we also need a clean space, you are raising the bar for all of us.” I am mildly perturbed by this standard of hygiene.
“Having an ecofriendly home implies that you have a wellness lifestyle, and that you’re aware of hidden dangers from invisible toxins that come from chemicals, mold, dust mites, pets, and the outdoors.”
“Heck, I can barely get the dishes put away and the beds, now I have to worry about what I can’t see, too?
“Once you know, there’s no going back.”
Told you to read with caution. Here are household hazards on Wilson’s hit list, and how to bust their dust so you and your family can breathe easier:
Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.