Archiv der Kategorie ‘Healthy Living‘

Natural ways to keep bees and wasps off the terrace and balcony

Bees and wasps are also beneficial insects, and do not need to be controlled chemically – use natural alternatives for protection instead

Life shifts to the outdoors as the wonderful warm season begins. The terrace, the garden, and the balcony often replace the living room and dining room for breakfast. Nothing compares to a fresh morning breakfast start, enjoying the first rays of sun out in nature. Unfortunately, quickly pests such as wasps and bees appear, also smelling the delicious things on the patio table from afar. This can also be dangerous if they go unnoticed and fly into a glass or have contact with a food that enters the mouth.

Tips and home remedies for wasps and bees on the patio and balcony

  • Leave no open jam jars or sweets on the table
  • Use mosquito hoods for use sausage plates
  • Cover glasses and cups
  • Screw bottles or always put a closure
  • Hang wasp traps made of glass or clay with attractant (sugar water, beer, etc.) at some distance
  • Grow plants with natural repellents or plant in pots, for example, lavender, thyme, or marjoram
  • Put an orange or lemon studded with cloves on the table
  • Use a fan (insects do not like drafts)
  • Set up the evening blue light bait
  • If it is really bad, hang a summer canopy of netting and set the table underneath. This can also be very decorative

One should do without any type of chemical pesticides (sprays, plugs with pesticide, pesticide-containing candles or incense, stickers with integrated pesticide, etc.). They usually contain nerve poisons that are effective but in the long run, very harmful. Bees and wasps are also beneficial insects, and do not need to be controlled chemically. You have natural pesticide alternatives to use for protection instead.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network

Easter Eggs – Those who want to be safe, will buy organic eggs

Conventional eggs come mostly from chickens fed on GM feed

The scandal of dioxin contaminated eggs was off the table as quickly as it appeared. Will consumers be lulled into security and peace of mind for Easter eggs in the supermarket now? Is every egg now purchased free of dioxin? That remains to be seen. Greenpeace has more serious problems before Easter now. The eggs from the normal supermarkets and discount stores’ shelves, waiting to be colored for Easter, originate mostly from chickens fed with GM feed. The only way to be sure that only pollution-free eggs are in Easter baskets is to purchase eggs only from organic chickens.

Most of the eggs come from GM fed chickens

The environmental organization surveyed 15 supermarket chains in Germany, including Aldi, Lidl and Kaiser’s Tengelmann and the organic markets, Alnatura and Denree. The result? The majority of commercially available eggs are from chickens fed genetically modified plants. The laying hens are fed about 20 percent of GM soya. There is not a labeling requirement for animal products like milk, eggs and meat produced with GM feed.

German Consumers reject GM

“Consumers need information in order to opt for a GM-free food production. This information is provided by the new Mini-Guide,” says Sandra Blessin, a genetic engineering expert for Greenpeace. “The majority of consumers rejected the use of GM crops for food. Production and distribution of shell eggs from non-GM feed are still a large potential for development.”

Survey Shows

The consumer can be sure that no genetic engineering is used in the feed of hens in organic production. The supermarkets and Tegut Country are also pioneers for a GM-free feed of their conventional eggs. In May (Kaufland) or June (Tegut), all their eggs will be produced without GM feed.

Supermarket chains suffer

The majority of the dealers, however, including Rewe, Penny, Aldi, Kaiser’s Tengelmann, Edeka, Real and Norma are not doing well because they are using 20-30 percent GM feed. Lidl and Globe didn’t respond or give information on the extent of their use of GM-free eggs. This lack of transparency is unnecessary, since both chains have GM-free organic eggs in the range. Globe also offers a conventional eggs brand with the label “welfare check”, which also requires a GM-free feed.

Range of halogen-free eggs produced expand

The Federal Association of the German food trade on request from Greenpeace argued, in principle, for a GM-free feeding method. The environmental organization also welcomed the news that Rewe and Netto want to change and get rid of their GM feed eggs by late 2011. Rewe would like to get rid of these eggs by more than 70 percent and net up to 100 percent.

Live without GM crops

“The new-found awareness of trade is a first step. The goal should be to protect human health and the environment, however, be assured that no genetically modified plants are the best, “says Blessin. “The cultivation of these crops threatens the biological diversity and leads to increased pesticide use.”

Pollutant-free eggs without genetic engineering

Production depends on the demand. If consumers insist on pollution-free eggs on their breakfast table, the market will act accordingly. It is not necessary for the hens to be fed with GM feed. If the providers are under increasing pressure, there remains little choice but to deliver a perfect product. This pressure should not be only from environmental groups and consumer groups, but also from ordinary housewives and consumers. Ask the store if the eggs are GMO-free whether they are tested for harmful substances, etc., each time you make a purchase.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 04/17/2011

Literature: Greenpeace, too many eggs from GM feed in the trade, 04.17.2011

Allergists warn to pay attention to the drug allergies

One in every three drug-allergy patients, takes the medicine again

Drugs can not only relieve symptoms but can also cause them. More than seven percent of the population suffers from a drug incompatibility, many of which are allergic problems. Common triggers of drug allergies are penicillin and other antibiotics. Painkillers like aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) are the cause of urticaria, shock, or asthma. The allergist, Professor Thomas Fuchs, and his team at the Dermatology University Medical Clinic at Goettingen stated in a recent study that drug allergies may have long term risks. “Every third patient, a year after diagnosis, will take a drug with the allergic trigger. Patients with allergies to drugs will forget or ignore the recommendations of their allergists over time. It is frightening that even doctors ignore our recommendations and prescribe the allergic triggers,” criticizes Fuchs. The consequences can be severe, and in the worst case, a reaction can threaten and endanger life.

Fuchs interviewed 80 patients with allergies to non-steroidal painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, diclofenac, or ibuprofen. He spoke with them regarding their experiences a few years after diagnosis. Forty-one percent had taken the painkillers despite the known allergy-causing effects of the drug. The most common causes for taking the allergy causing drugs again were that the people knew about the allergens or safe alternatives, but after a few years, or as they were no longer taking any medication, they forgot to check the informational leaflet for possible reactive ingredients. In some cases even doctors prescribed a drug with the allergic trigger. Also several patients were deliberately triggering a medicine allergy just out of curiosity to see if a reaction would occur again.

The skin clinic at Goettingen demonstrated the importance of intensive education for people with drug allergies. According to Fuchs, the person should meet with their allergist again a year after the original diagnosis. He also advises patients to always carry an allergy “passport”. In this “passport” the drug trigger(s) is/are recorded so that any attending doctors can immediately recognize which medicines can cause dangerous reactions. “People with a drug allergy should inform their doctors as well, to ensure is that no medication is prescribed with those reactive allergens,” the allergy specialist Thomas Fuchs recommended at the Skin Clinic of Goettingen.

Author: Association of German Allergists Association (AEDA)


Buhl T, Meynberg HC, Kaune KM, Hünecke P, Schoenberg MP, Fuchs D, Long-term follow-up of patients with hypersensitivity to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reveals shortcomings in compliance and care, J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011: 127 (1): 284-285

Nuclear phase-out now, customers have energy options

Drawing conclusions from the nuclear accident in Fukushima

The news of the nuclear accident in Japan is incredible. The situation escalates and the Tokyo metropolitan city is at risk of serious radioactive contamination. In Germany, protests increase against nuclear power, and politicians have agreed to a moratorium, in which the life extension of some German nuclear power plants will be suspended for three months. This however is just a political move to keep the campaign positive as experts and public voices are raised. On the night of March 17th, the nuclear power plant in Phillipsburg left the network. It is uncertain what exactly will happen after the three-month moratorium when the nuclear power plants are on the grid again.

There is a legitimate growing concern in the population about the safety of nuclear power. Currently clients have the opportunity to change to a nuclear-free electrical provider at any time. They may change to a renewable energy which may help to phase out nuclear energy and even to encourage further community projects.

Nuclear power, an incalculable risk

The out of control Fukushima nuclear power plant proves unequivocally to the people that nuclear power is anything but under control. From the very beginning Japan needed international support to assist with the earthquake and tsunami damaged nuclear power plant to bring it back under control.

The news from Japan, on the other hand, brought news of rising pressure in several reactors, explosions, the drying out of the cooling tank for fuel, increasing the release of radioactivity, and the desperate battle of 50 brave people to avert a nuclear meltdown. Assistance from the U.S. and Europe were interrupted because of rising radioactivity, and thus the assistants were removed. In the meantime, the capital of Tokyo, with its 35 million residents, was told not to evacuate.

The scenario that is broadcast worldwide on news channels can cause people around the globe to faint. The question is legitimately being asked, why can’t the leading nuclear experts and brilliant scientists of Japan come up with adequate solutions to avert an absolute nuclear disaster? One must not be at the Fukushima nuclear power plant to find solutions. High technology operations can assist and offer ideas from anywhere in the world.

Total security is unrealistic

Accidents at nuclear power plants can happen in any country that uses this technology. To believe that Germany’s nuclear power plants and safeguards for emergencies are better equipped than those of the high technological country of Japan, is measured by environmental organizations, and was long ago disproved by the facts as nothing more than a wishful belief.

Green power, power without nuclear power

Germany can get along without their nuclear power plants, as specified by experts and environmental organizations. Namely Germany produces excess electricity which is sold abroad. Nuclear power plants shut down and a targeted shift to renewable energies is not a utopia, but easily doable for Germany, the leader in the world in environmental technology.

The switch to a nuclear-free option is easy and straightforward

Demand determines the market. When more and more electrical customers choose nuclear-free electricity, the power company will follow.

The current customer has much more influence than he suspects, and it is easy to change to electrical suppliers who provide green electricity produced entirely without nuclear energy. A decision can be made at any time with little formalities by the providers. Being afraid that suddenly there would be no power during the change is unfounded. The non-nuclear power company can guarantee this would not occur.

Some suppliers for nuclear-free electricity and informational websites on green

Nuclear-free green power does not have to be more expensive than nuclear power, and thus the consumer would not experience any unpleasant surprises. There are internet platforms on which to calculate the costs.

What many do not know is that the green power providers are available for the current customers. Also, electricity from different renewable resources are available to choose from, and one has the additional option to opt for providers that support social projects.

Some examples:

Verivox green calculator

On the website of „Verivox” (german) one can take a close look at prices for green power and at the same time determine charge differences between the current provider and changing to a green electrical provider.

Green Electricity Price Comparison

Nuclear-free electricity“ (german) is another platform for individuals and business customers to compare prices. One can calculate costs for one’s own electricity use.

Greenpeace Energy

The environmental organization Greenpeace has specially created a cooperative to offer green power called “Greenpeace Energy” (german) and at the same time is developing more innovative projects. One project is the hamburger “car-sharing pilot project,” using green energy-powered electric cars.

Ray of Hope

The provider “bright spot” (german) provides electricity from renewable energy sources, ensuring that electricity does not come from nuclear power or coal power plants.

There are many other providers and it is worthwhile to research the different options of renewable energy sources that power actually comes from, and one can read the interesting facts of how the different green electrical providers contribute to the local and international community and the environment.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, March 17th, 2011

Pure Nature has completed the power switch to nuclear-free three years ago . There were no problems while switching to “bright spot”. The employees of Pure Nature are very enthusiastic in helping find ways to save energy, be more energy efficient, and whenever possible, to conserve resources.

Gluten-free diet reduces bone problems in children with celiac disease

Celiac disease is a congenital intestinal disorder that is characterized by a lifelong intolerance to the ingestion of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Celiac illness can occur at any age, but most of the intolerance occurs during early childhood (between the 9th and 24th month of life). Frequently, people who suffer from celiac problems have a decrease in bone density. A current article published in the medical journal, Nutrition Reviews, has reviewed the existing literature on the subject and revealed that a gluten-free diet can strongly influence recovery in children.

Celiac disease can reduce bone density

Metabolic bone disease is among the most significant and frequent complication of celiac disease. Decreased bone mineral density in children can lead to the fact that they are not in a position to develop optimal bone mass and bone loss in adulthood. Both increase the risk of developing, osteoporosis. People with celiac disease, also run an additional risk of bone fractures.

Gluten-free diet can lead to recovery

However, there is evidence that a gluten-free diet can promote an increase of bone density quickly. This can lead to complete recovery of bone mineralization in children. A gluten-free diet improves bone mineral density in adults, but normalization is rare. Children can get normal bone mass if the diagnosis and treatment were carried out before puberty. This also prevents the development of osteoporosis in later life.

Moreover, nutrients which contain calcium and vitamin D seem to improve bone mineral density in children and adults who suffer from celiac disease.


“Our findings reinforce the importance of a strict gluten-free diet, which currently appears to be the only scientifically proven treatment for celiac disease,” said the study authors. “Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to complications from celiac disease, such as preventing reduced bone density.”

Literature: Wiley-Blackwell, gluten-free diet Reduces bone problems in children with celiac disease, October 8, 2009

Maintenance of untreated natural wooden tables made easy – tips from the House Fairy

Many dining room tables and kitchen and terrace tables are made of untreated wood. Its unique appeal reflects the “country style” or “bohemian” trends again.

But what is the best care for the surface of a wooden table without a painted surface?

Is wax or oil a better treatment?

Carnauba wax dissolved in water with no additives and is certainly a good alternative that leaves a clean surface. However, oils, on the other hand, often contain solvents, resins, and essential oils as additives. Thus, many friends with allergies do not like oil because of the pollutants and allergy-triggering ingredients. Particularly, those with sensitivity to chemicals would rather choose a completely untreated surface.

Pure Nature House Fairy Tips: Care of untreated solid wood tables

Wash the table after every meal with a cloth and soapy water.

What should be done to grease stains from food or water stains from a glass on the table?

No problem: Just give a little Vienna lime or other fragrant free scouring powder on a cloth or cleaning gloves and scrub the surface lightly. In no time the stains are gone and the surface is sparkling clean.

An added bonus effect: The surface of the wooden table from the fine-grained sand or lime leaves the surface quite smooth and velvety.

Politicians Support Environmental Patients who React to Chemicals

Education Campaigns for the Chemically Sensitive

The governor from the state of Washington in the U.S. has signed a proclamation this year which will support people who suffer from MCS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The month of May each year highlights information regarding this environmental disease and how tiny traces of everyday chemicals can cause suffering and completely alter the lives of those with MCS.

During the month of May, the United States holds various events and campaigns which are carried out in order to give the public more information on MCS. The public acceptance of environmental disease could be significantly improved by these educational events. In recent years, more new MCS organizations have begun from different parts of the world, and perhaps this American initiation of chemical sensitivity awareness can become an international affair to improve the situation chemical sensitive worldwide.

Governor Christine O. Gregoire

The State of Washington


WHEREAS, people of all ages in Washington have developed a condition known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) as a result of a single massive exposure or repeated low level exposures to toxic chemicals and other irritant in the environment; and

WHEREAS, MCS is recognized by numerous organizations which support the health and welfare of the chemically injured including the World Health Organization, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency; and

WHEREAS, MCS is a chronic condition for which there is no known cure; symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pains, rashes, asthma, headaches, and other respiratory and neurological problems; and

WHEREAS, MCS can result in major financial, employment, housing, health, and social consequences for people who have this disability; and

WHEREAS, reasonable accommodations and raising awareness of MCS can provide opportunities for people with this disability to enjoy access to work, schooling, public facilities, and other settings where they can continue to contribute their professional skills, ideas, creativity, abilities, and knowledge; and

WHEREAS, people with MCS need the support and cooperation of family, friends, coworkers and society as they manage their condition and adapt to new lifestyles;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim May 2011 as

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month

in Washington State, and I urge all citizens to join me in this special observance.

Signed this 24th day of January, 2011

Governor Christine O. Gregoire

Author: Silvia K. Müller, Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 18. Feb. 2011

Literature: Governor Christine Gregoire O., Proclamation 2011 MCS Awareness Month

Doctors warn of perfumes and scented candles

Allergies and Asthma? Be Careful when Burning Scented Candles

Candles are the most popular mood-makers. In particular, scented candles are very popular. They provide an “individual smell” in shops, at events, in restaurants and in homes. However, lung doctors warn against using scented candles, especially if they are made of paraffin. Paraffin candles are made from petroleum, which is produced from oil. Slags are often used by the oil industry for the manufacturing of candles. This allows the production cost of the candles to be kept to a minimum, ensuring a larger profit margin for manufacturers and retailers. Alternatively, lung doctors recommend candles from beeswax or soy instead, and advise consumers to refrain from scented candles and other scented air products altogether. (1) The Medical Association of the German Allergists speak out and are critical of fragrances. (2)

Scented Candles – A Problem for Allergy and Asthma Suffers

Pulmonary doctors of the German Lung Foundation (DLS) consider the use of scented candles made from paraffin as a concern for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. When the burning materials are released, they may cause or exacerbate the respiratory symptoms. Even people with perfume allergies are at risk. Skin reactions may be exacerbated by the burning of scented candles. Those with perfume allergies are therefore advised to abandon all scented candles.

Which is of Greater Concern…Natural Fragrance or Chemicals?

It is often stated, it was “only” a natural fragrance. The consumer often makes purchases with this promise of a false sense of security. Whether natural fragrances are a better choice than chemical fragrances is answered by Professor Thomas Fuchs, an allergist with the Department of Dermatology with the University of Medicine at Goettigen, November 2010 in the Rheinische Post: “… in the end fragrances are fragrances, whether they are natural or produced in the laboratory.”

Should those with a fragrance allergy use any fragrances at all? Professor Fox, who belongs to the Association of German Allergists, makes his position on this matter clear: “Those who are affected by a fragrance allergy should also do without all fragrances as much as possible.”

Fragrances Can Trigger Asthma Attacks

Scented candles are very problematic for asthma sufferers. It is reported that some asthmatics must resort more often to using asthma inhalers. Extreme caution must be used to leave locations where scented candles are being burned.

Paraffin Candles Emit Pollutants

“Paraffin candles are made from petroleum,” said Professor Harald Morr, CEO, on the website of the German Lung doctors. “Especially people, who have already developed a contact allergy to certain perfumes, risk the increase from the burning of substances released to the skin or allergic symptoms in the airways. This can cause skin rashes and asthma symptoms.”

Concern for the burning of candles is not just for asthma or allergy sufferers alone, but also for anyone who is in a room where candles are burning. It is recommended by pulmonary doctors from the German Lung Foundation to be cautious and have good ventilation, especially in small rooms or in places with poor ventilation. In addition, they even advise, to set up fans to get rid of the pollutants faster which are released by the candles. Is this advice over the top? Surely not, because especially if several candles are burning at the same time, this can quickly lead to significant pollution in indoor environments. Not only is the paraffin of concern, but also the wicks, which are very often contain lead. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published that the proven lead exposure in children was caused to a considerable extent by the burning of candles. (3)

Candle Magic to Create Atmosphere

Those who are concerned about health should refrain from scented candles and instead use candles from plant based sources, soy and beeswax instead of those made from paraffin.

In addition, beeswax candles should be organic. Conventional beeswax is contaminated by pesticides and drug residues which can be expected to be released during burning into the air.

Mood candles in the living room should be limited to special occasions and should be selected for their pollution-free quality. After the use of each candle it is important to thoroughly air out the room, and make sure that candles are “suffocated” completely.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network


1. Lungenärzte im Netz, Paraffin in Duftkerzen kann die Atemwege reizen und Asthma hervorrufen, 15.11.2010
2. RP, Experte rät zu Verzicht auf Parfüm, 24.11.2010
3. Silvia K. Müller, Vorsicht bei MCS: Kerzen können zu Schadstoffbelastung in Innenräumen beitragen, CSN, 13.12.2008

Scientific findings on the causes of contact allergy

Fragrances, which are used in many households and skin care products can cause contact dermatitis when oxygen is exposed to air, as this research shows as presented at the dermatologist conference in Gothenburg, at the University of Gothenburg and at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The Swedish researchers have focused their research on identifying how these can be activated by contact with oxygen in the air and how this in turn affects the skin. A specially focused study examined whether the activated fragrance caused a contact allergy in eczema patients at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital Dermatology Clinic and at the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department of Dermatology in Malmö. It was found that a high percentage of the 3,400 patients with eczema had an allergic reaction to the tested fragrance substances.

“In an effort to get a deeper understanding as to how contact allergies occur, we now use state-of-the-art microscopes to track what happens to an allergen when it enters the skin,” said Ann-Therese Karlberg, Professor of Dermatochemistry / skin allergies and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

When determining how an allergenic substance works, it must be also taken into consideration the skin’s ability to activate a substance by metabolism.

We have developed a mixture that corresponds to the composition of real skin enzymes. We use them to find out if the chemicals can be activated in the skin and to see what the allergen is.”

The discovery from the Swedish scientist will help health service providers by developing new diagnostic tools to correctly diagnose allergic contact eczema, and long-term contribution to reducing the number of cases with allergic contact dermatitis. For the patients, a correct diagnosis that they can avoid exposure to triggering substances, and to heal their eczema gives them a chance.

“Future research will include evaluating new diagnostic methods and conducting more in-depth studies on what penetrates the skin. This will allow us to develop new drugs and to replace the only treatment, cortisone ointment, which is currently available for eczema,“ said Prof. Karl Berg, who believes that their research through their effects on producers, consumers and legislators can improve the prevention work.

Contact allergy

It is estimated that in Europe almost 20% of the population is affected by a contact allergy, which means that patients develop eczema when they come into contact with substances to which they are allergic. After nickel, fragrances are the most common cause of contact allergy. For this type of allergy, there is no cure, but cortisone cream can alleviate the symptoms, and avoiding all possible contact with the allergen is helpful as well.


Ann-Therese Karlberg, Göteborg University, New discovery of the causes of contact allergy, 6 October 2010