Gone are the days when a fireman who swaggers around covered in soot smelling like smoke is the sexiest thing alive.
We now know the dangerous carcinogens that are carried in that soot and smoke. I’m not talking your run of the mill fall Friday night bonfire smoke.
Today’s house fires aren’t just burning up a wood house. They are melting, mangling and scorching a wide variety of manmade materials, many of them chemically treated to retard flames and when heated emit dangerous toxins. The higher rate of cancer in firefighters is directly attributable to these conditions.
Contrary to what may seem logical, it’s not lung cancer that’s killing them.
It’s skin cancer and neck cancer and any cancer in the groin area. Why? Because those are the places where their gear is not fully protecting them and their body is sweating excessively, pores open wide to let in the toxins while they are fighting fires and cleaning up after the fire is out.
Case studies show firefighters from the same crew contracting the same type of cancers that can be linked back to specific fires they fought together.
Organizations such as the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (find more info here: http://firefighterwife.com/cancer/) have generated much awareness for how to better protect our firefighters.
Simple practices such as frequently washing gear and wiping equipment with baby wipes after fires is a start to being better protected against these carcinogens. And most importantly, showering as soon as possible after exposure in a fire.
As a fire family, you know that exposure to harmful ickiness doesn’t stop there.
First responders come in contact with patients with many illnesses and diseases and risk exposure from accidental needle pokes, airborne and surface contact germs, not to mention bed bug infestations that yes, sometimes make their way home to your family.
Unless you are a first responder or in the medical profession or social services, these are not typical risks exposed to on the job.
You read in the last post in this series how I earned the “dirty hippy” nickname from my husband (very lovingly).
I’m an advocate for being aware and making the right changes for your family, not being a mom-choice judger or chasing our kids around with organic, natural, essential-oil laden reusable wipes after they touch everything.
Life is made to live. But certainly we need to be aware of risks around us to avoid unnecessary dangers.
Detoxification is a topic you’ve probably heard something about as there are so many natural remedies now to use in our homes for cleaning and cooking and spraying for bugs and weeds and even washing our bodies.
A good rule of thumb is this: When you look at the ingredients and there are more than a couple items that you cannot pronounce or don’t recognize, see if there is a more natural alternative to that product.
When I started down the “dirty hippy” path (with love, with love!), I found that natural and organic products were so highly priced.
I felt like an elitist, and didn’t like that.
How can I truly care the best for my family unless we were blessed with the income to do so?
Certainly there are more affordable ways to do this than through an over-priced home party business product line (hats off to you ladies bringing awareness and making some extra funds for your family this way,but I know even many of you agree the products can be quite costly.) Today, I’m encouraged to see so many DIY and home-grown options that are much more affordable and those of you who are inspired, for example, to make your own laundry detergent.
- Let’s wrap this important topic with our most important fire family detox recommendations:
- Your firefighter’s gear should have very minimal contact with your vehicles and your home. Keep it clean and keep it at the station, if at all possible. If you are a volunteer, use plastic storage totes for the gear.
- When taking cute family photos in fire gear, I’m not one to get freaked out by a few seconds of exposure. But it doesn’t hurt to take extra precautions and be sure that gear is clean, not placed in their mouth and hands are washed after handling.
- Encourage your firefighter to shower and wear clean street clothes home from the station.
- Don’t forget the germs and ick that can accumulate on shoes and drag stuff from the firehouse, into your car and home.
- High germ items include car steering wheels, cell phones and purses. Handle them accordingly.
- If anyone in your family experiences sensitive skin or airway allergies, consider finding a more natural alternative to the cleaning supplies and house maintenance items you are using in your home.
- Consider your food sources and educate yourself about the dangers of genetically modified and highly processed food items. If you are a documentary lover, there are many favorites on this topic on Netflix including Forks “Over Knives” and “Food, Inc”.
Remember my dirty hippy plan started with one simple item at a time (for me it was high fructose corn syrup).
Don’t overwhelm yourself or your family by making changes. Start small with the items where you can make the biggest impact.
If you’re like me, you do WANT to be healthy. It would be nice to take more time for myself (and my family) to focus on living a healthier lifestyle.
But figuring this out can be so overwhelming.
It’s not that you don’t understand or agree with why it matters. You’re sold on the merits of eating whole foods, raising healthier kids, avoiding toxins and chemicals, getting fit, and using alternative remedies (especially after thinking through those fire family realities right?)
But sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to say than to actually do. Especially on busy shift nights.
Believe me, I’ve had the same struggles and questions as you.
What on earth do you eat (and especially, what do you feed your kids)?
How do you afford to buy healthier products?
And where do you find the time to make and do all this stuff?
I know what it’s like to feel that healthy living shouldn’t be this hard, and it shouldn’t have to cost so much, either!
I needed someone to tell me exactly what I need to know and how to make these changes for less.
When I started my journey, I didn’t even have Pinterest! Yikes!
When you have the right info and tools at your fingertips, it all comes together so much more easily.
You know what to cook for your family. You’re more confident in choosing natural alternatives. You find ways to save money without comprising on what’s important to you.
You learn to replace store-bought products with DIY options that actually work and are easy to make. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.
This is why we are recommending the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. It’s a package of 83 digital products the cover the whole range of healthy living topics.
For the cost of a small bag of groceries, you’ll get a complete healthy living library to help you:
- prepare whole & delicious real food
- get the toxins out of your house for good
- understand and use natural remedies
- breathe new life into your exercise habits
- learn about important women’s health issues
- raise exceptionally healthy kids in an unhealthy world
- plus learn about gardening & homesteading, meal planning, weight loss and so much more!
Did we mention some of the contributors include: a pediatrician, two MDs, 3 chiropractors, a pharmacist, multiple nutritionists, acupuncturists, certified personal trainers, and herbalists, plus a student midwife, a doula, a master gardener, an aromatherapist, a dietitian, and a nurse? Legit.
Plus, it comes with over $250 worth of bonus offers including:
- Bloom Naturals – $15 gift certificate toward any product ($15 value)
- Perfect Supplements – $15 gift certificate toward any Perfect Brand product ($15 value)
- TriLight Health – $15 off select TriLight products ($15 value)
- MadeOn Skin Care – FREE BeeCool Muscle Balm Stick and Natural Lip Balm Combo (value $15.25)
- The Maca Team – FREE Organic Gelatinized Yellow Maca Powder, 8 oz. ($15.44 value)
- Primal Life Organics – FREE 1-ounce jar of Dirty Mouth Toothpowder ($15.97 value)
- Get Kombucha – FREE 1-month supply (15 ml) of Kombucha Pro: Liquid Probiotics (value $29.99) AND/OR a FREE 1-ounce bag of 8. Get Kombucha’s Custom Organic Kombucha Tea Blend (value $15.99)
- Orglamix – FREE Mineral Eye Shadow Trio ($18 value)
- Experience Life – 4 FREE digital guides (value $29.99)
- Grove Co. – FREE Mrs. Meyer’s 64 Load Laundry Detergent, Mrs. Meyer’s Fabric Softener, 60 Day VIP Trial, and FREE shipping with a $20 minimum purchase for new customers ($32.66 value); FREE 1-year VIP Membership ($39.95 value) for existing customers
- Meal Garden – 6 months of Meal Garden FREE (value $35.70)
The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just six days!
After Monday night, September 26th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.
You can get it for the LOOOOW price of $29.97 (PDF) / $39.97 (eReader)!
Join us in giving ourselves and our fire families a healthy life!
If you are like so many of us, you want to jump headfirst into the journey of helping your fire family live a happy, healthy life.
But where on earth do you start when you are being bombarded with loads of information?
If two heads are better than one, then with all the pretty heads in the Fire Wife Sisterhood we can conquer anything together!
Join us in discussions and posts where we share ideas and recipes, evaluate ways to keep our homes clean and our families healthy, and encourage each other along the way.
For some more reading
Latest posts by Lori Mercer - WifeOnFire (see all)
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- Ways to Honor a Retired Fire Wife - March 24, 2017
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