Family Magazine

Book Review: Healthy Home Healthy Family

By Sillymummy @silly_mummy

“Is your house making you sick?” Not sure? Think your daily or weekly house cleaning is enough to keep you safe? Think again!

nicole bijlsmaToday I would like to talk about a very important book, Healthy Home Healthy Family, by Nicole Bijlsma, a Healthy Home Expert and founder of the Australian College of Environmental Studies. Her book can help you expose the hazards in your home, including allergens, cleaning products, cosmetics, dust mites, drinking water, lead dust, mould, pesticides, phones, smart meters and WiFi. Nicole also lectures and writes widely about this topic.

Do you agree that it’s getting more difficult to keep up with the many news articles, public announcements and study reports about what’s harming you? When you’re too busy to research properly you just read as you go. It’s normal. But normal is like standing with your eyes closed, arms extended and trying to catch some of the many articles a crowd of journalists are throwing at you. You catch what you can and miss the others.

I felt like that before reading Healthy Home Healthy Family. You see, all three of us in my family suffer from some sort of allergy or more. My son Curly is allergic to nuts (enough to cause anaphylaxis) and he also suffers from eczema. The Scientist, who suffered from allergies when exposed to cats and horses when he was a child, hasn’t shown any sign of external ‘evidence’ in his adult life. However, he’s almost always sniffing and to the point where (to me) it gets as annoying as a tic. He carries a handkerchief all the time. I suspect something but you know men, they act tough!

With me it’s what is referred to as idiopathic (unknown cause) allergy, where there is one or more unknown external triggers causing me to break into hives, rapid swelling just below the surface of my skin, flushing, and itching.  There is a section in Healthy Home Healthy Family on allergens in your home and we’re starting to make changes around here because of what we’re learning from the book.

The purpose of Healthy Home Healthy Family is to lay out all the information and ‘usual’ situations you would come across when creating a home, which could be a house, apartment or caravan, whatever you call home. From front cover to back, throughout 334 pages, complete with Did You Know? notices, checklists, references and links to other resources, the author takes you through all the various steps to create a healthy home – everything from buying, renting, building and renovating the home through to looking at what’s in the home that could be harming you.

The author presents a detailed range of things to think about. The book starts with a look at the Sick Building Syndrome which is recognised by the World Health Organisation and which is explained to us as:

“our home may be involved in either causing or exacerbating specific health conditions – these primarily involve the lungs and skin, as well as our immune and nervous systems.”

Beyond the first pages, Nicole refers to many findings from recognised studies from across the world, which emphasizes that the author knows her business and gives some reliable facts that back her ideas with verifiable information (she also lists all her sources in the back of the book). She brings to one book all the ideas to help ‘fix’ our assorted unhealthy home, unhealthy family problems. Note: This is not a book about what to eat, drink or do to be, feel or look fit (or healthy).

Divided into seven chapters plus two additional sections, Healthy Home Healthy Family discusses topics such as:

  • how our children are being let down by our environments
  • what to look out for or avoid when you buy, rent or build a home
  • how to build a healthy home
  • electromagnetic fields and radiation inside and surrounding the home
  • what’s in your drinking water and vessels
  • water filters, infant formula, school drinking water concerns, bottles, dummies and teats
  • allergens in the home already harming you
  • the chemicals around you, your children and your pets
  • breast cancer and hazards to avoid
  • infertility and pregnancy (including miscarriages)
  • Nicole’s own story about her miscarriages.

All the while, this book gives many examples that are not only useful in the home but can also be applied in an office, school and hotel environment (and the car!). At the end of the book, you’ll have a clear idea of what you can do to reduce the harm and your detectors and protective shields will pop up more than before – everywhere you look now you will be able to detect what could be causing harm. This book is an incredible reference and you can use is to check and double check things time after time again.

I  can’t find anything bad to say about this book. Nicole’s point-to-point and to-the-point writing style makes topics easy to understand and easy to find when quickly looking through the book. With the well-placed Did You Know? and tips accompanied with icons that make those pop out of the pages. It’s written in a language for both men and women, but also easy enough for a young child to understand.

Buy this book if you are looking to make your home, office, school or other building hazard-free and don’t want to read through multiple sources to find all your answers. Obviously, you want to be convinced, so this book brings facts emerging from studies, plus tips on what to do to ‘make things right’. This book is helpful in uncovering the hidden and nasty environmental factors that are affecting your health without you even knowing. It’s a great present for anyone who has the power to influence changes in the home, office or other places!

More information on Healthy Home Healthy Family can be read here.

Title: Healthy Home Healthy Family
Authors: Nicole Bijlsma
Publisher: Joshua Books
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Paperback but first edition available as an E book / Kindle at Amazon
ISBN: 9780987260444
Pages: 336
Recommended for: Anyone interested in eliminating the harmful environmental factors.

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