I recently got an e-mail from a reader who asked if I knew of a safe area of the country to live. It’s a question that I get asked frequently. It’s a question that I have discussed with my friends many times. The quick answer is there is no perfect place to live. Based on your own health issues, every place will have its own problems or benefits. I believe finding a healthy place to live, is about finding what works best for you at the time.
I have talked with people who have MCS who live all over the country and the places they have chosen to live are based on what works for them. I know people who live in Arizona and love it and another person who said she hated it, because she felt that the extreme heat caused everything to outgas to such high levels that it negatively impacted her health. I know others living in Washington State, who feel it’s perfect, while others say the humidity and mold made them sick. The key is what works for you, not someone else.
I thought I had found the perfect place to live a few years ago. It was a quiet neighborhood on small acreage. My house backed to three small farms. Everything was great for about four years, but then things started to change. A neighbor moved in across the street that wanted a conventional lawn and started using Chem Lawn. He soon talked all of the other neighbors into using their lawn services so they could get a discount. Shortly after that, the farmers all start crop dusting, right up to my property fence. My utopia had become my hell. I could no longer open my windows, or go outside at all. My health took a dramatic turn for the worse.
I now live in a non toxic, healthy home that I had built on a large parcel of land in the West. The truth is with MCS, or EI there is always something to deal with. The county does spray the roads with herbicides so that the plants don’t encroach on the road edges. Since I am registered as a pesticide sensitive person, they must contact me with ample notice before they spray. That assures that I have my house closed up tight, so nothing gets in the house.
Even rural property has its issues. In 2012 the Western U.S saw a huge number of wildfires. The smell of smoke was pervasive everywhere. Even with everything I had done to make my house healthy and safe, I was still forced out of my house for a month. The smoke was so thick in my state and the neighboring states that I just kept driving till the air was clear. No place is ever really safe for someone with health challenges. Sometimes we just have to make do with where we are and what our finances will allow.
I could literally write pages of questions to consider when looking for a safe place to live. Questions that inquire about the air quality, auto traffic, chemical use in the area, how the home is built and products used, the age of the home, water damage to the home, pesticides used in the house, pesticides/herbicides used in the area, wireless service in the town, smart meter used on homes. The questions are endless; the factors to consider are numerous, they are narrowed down by your particular health and work circumstances. The answer is in your own observation of your health. Have you been somewhere where you noticed your mind was clearer? A place where you physically felt better? Have you noticed feeling worse at certain places? That is your starting place and while it’s wonderful to want to find a healthier place, it’s important to create a safe and healthy living environment by making your home a healthier place to live.
No matter where you live, I can pretty much guarantee that when you find that perfect place, something will change that will challenge you. Your health will change, a new neighbor will move in, the county will start spraying, a neighbor will move in who uses dryer sheets/fabric softeners, someone will bring in Terminix to spray for pests, and you will have to readjust, or even move , if it’s a consistent problem that is detrimental to your health. It’s a fact of life that everything changes.
Having the interior of your home be safe and healthy is important to your recovery. So while it’s important to find a healthy place to live, it’s also import to create a healthy living environment wherever you are. Begin to work on lowering your own level of toxicity, so you are not so reactive to anything and everything, create that safe haven in your home,even if it’s just one safe room, don’t wait, your health is far to important.
To Your Health!
For additional ideas on healthier living check out the following articles:
•Minimize Your Daily Chemical Exposure
•Are Your Clothes Making You Sick?
•Check out the DIY section of this website for recipes to make your own personal care products and cleaning supplies
•Prescription for a Healthy Home by Paula Baker LaPorte
• Scorecard.org You can type in any zipcode and get a pollution report card for that area.