Nature’s Spaces

Greetings friends and friendly followers! Biodwell has evolved into something a bit more personal for me, my new project, Nature's Spaces. Nature's Spaces will focus on finding the beneficial properties of Nature at home, in the garden and in our lifestyles. I will continue offering Building Biology consulting services, but newly blended into a Permaculture…

Generation Zapped

You may have noticed that wireless devices seem to have just exploded into a myriad of different forms lately, and our exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation has increased just as much. A new documentary, Generation Zapped, is out on this subject, and I urge you to watch the short trailer and support the filmmaker if you…

Reframing your stress

I've been getting closely acquainted with a new environmental stressor lately, one that goes by the name of "Low Frequency Noise" or infrasound. Like many of the other invisible toxins, this is one of those things that not everyone hears or feels. Being the only one in the room that feels like there is an…

What’s missing in holistic healing?

How A Low-EMF Environment Can Improve Holistic Health Treatment I'm a fan of holistic and alternative healing methods. They have helped me find healing when conventional medicine has let me down, and I bet you could say the same. What would we do without chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, and naturopathy, not to mention many other alternative healing…

Wireless Radiation Impacts on Children

Whether you're a parent, a grandparent, or just a concerned member of society, I'm sure you want the kids in your life growing up to be healthy. One of the obstacles to this healthful life is becoming more and more pervasive and is associated with breast cancer, ADHD, and autism in young people: exposure to…

Easy energy save with daylighting

I have a quick and easy energy save for you and you won't need an energy audit or solar panels or special lightbulbs. All you need is to add one easy step into your daily routine. Open your curtains or blinds during the day. The sun provides free light that is there for the taking…

NYTimes article on CDC recommendations for cell phone use

A New York Times article from January 1, 2016 addresses recent changes in CDC language regarding cell phone use and health: "When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new guidelines 18 months ago regarding the radiation risk from cellphones, it used unusually bold language on the topic for the American health agency: 'We…

What’s up with the menstrual cup?

When I first heard of menstrual cups, my immediate reaction was, "Ewww, gross!" Everything about it sounded unpleasant: it was a silicone or latex "cup" which you inserted into the vagina to catch menstrual blood. At the time, it brought up memories from a scene in Mutant Message Down Under in which the author observes aborigine…

Questioning the logic of the “Nocebo effect”

If you aren't familiar with the term, while a placebo is an inert source (such as a pill) that causes a positive health outcome, the term "nocebo" is often used to describe an "inert" source that produces a negative health outcome. In other words, it's all in your head. The nocebo effect is sometimes used to…

Sustainable & Healthy Design at Islandwood

I just returned from the International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology's 2015 Conference and am excited to share with you some important new information on healing through the built environment. But first I wanted to give you a look at our lovely conference location, which was specially chosen with Building Biology principles in mind. Islandwood,…

What does “home” mean to you?

tiny home

Home is not just where you live, it has a singular meaning and emotional status for us. Americans in particular have a funny relationship with "home." Part of the american dream seems to be constantly upgrading to an ever bigger and more luxurious home. On the other hand, an astounding number of people are embracing…

Stay healthy while dealing with sensitivities

Hi friends! I know many of you out there in blog land, like me, suffer from environmental sensitivities. You are not alone! While my sensitivities have not disappeared, I have learned to cope with them better and keep them under check to a certain degree. I wanted to share with you what has worked well…

Why do I have mold?

why do i have mold

Ahhh...yes. That musty smell, those unsightly splotches. You're finally starting to suspect that you might have a mold problem. But should you be concerned? And what should you do about it? Mold is a serious issue, so yes, you should be concerned! Not only is mold very destructive to the materials in your house, it can…

Get an eco-friendly garden

If you're trying your best to live sustainably, I'm sure you'll want to take that commitment to your garden too.  For the past three years I've been carrying out in experiment in eco-gardening and wanted to share what's worked for me so far. Here are some of the techniques I use for an easy, eco-friendly approach…

Seven Principles of a Healthy Home

If 25 principles sounds like too many, why not start with 7? Here are the seven Healthy Homes Principles from the National Center for Healthy Housing... How many can you check off for your own home? Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma. Clean: Clean homes help…

How to create healthy habits

If you're struggling with the idea of creating a healthier home, or eating better or starting an exercise routine, it turns out that a big part of the solution is pretty simple and can be summed up in one word: habit. Our lives are defined but what come to be our habits. That's why being selective…

How to attract birds to your backyard

Last weekend I took a class on birds. It was a great crash course in ornithology and I was delighted to learn all sorts of interesting things about our feathery friends. The main purpose of the class though was to learn how to attract birds to our backyards with native plants. Because I love to share, here are…

Good electromagnetic hygiene

You many have heard that EMF's are dangerous even if you don't understand what they are exactly or know how to avoid them. Here's a quick primer for you on avoiding electromagnetic pollution: - Avoid constant exposure to cell phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless energy. Turn that stuff OFF at night, at the minimum. -…

What’s it like living with electrical hypersensitivity?

Ever wonder what life is like when you are electrically hypersensitive? Peter Lloyd's situation is like that of so many others suffering from EHS (Electrical Hypersensitivity) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). Click the photo to read the Wales Online article and learn more about his sad circumstances and difficulty to lead a normal life because of…

Healthy slow cooking

If you're interested in creating a healthy home, you are most certainly going to want to focus on your kitchen! There are so many important ways we can reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals in the kitchen. But I'm here to tell you about one device which has proven to be a healthy, useful workhorse…

Take a Wi-Fi break

Wi-fi, wi-fi everywhere... and not a place to think? Some of you might applaud the widespread and overreaching waves of a wireless internet connection and relish the opportunity to connect "freely" to the internet. What you may not realize is that this "free" connection comes at a cost - the pollution of our natural electromagnetic…

Easy way to reduce allergens

When I work as a building biologist (baubiologist), folks tend to think that I'm going to give them lots of bad news about how unhealthy their houses are. This really makes me laugh - who needs someone to give them bad news without proving solutions? While assessing the situation is important, my purpose is to provide…

Edgar Allan Poe and the madwoman in the attic

Were you a lit major, or just an avid reader? Did it ever seem odd to you that there are so many literary references to madness in the 18th century? Edgar Allan Poe's work is full of it, of course, and then there's the archetypal madwoman in the attic. In McKay Jenkins "What's Gotten Into…

What’s “toxic black mold”? Is it dangerous?

  Earlier this week a friend asked me about "toxic black mold." As with many health subjects, there is a lot of confusion as to whether mold is truly dangerous, or if this is all just hype perpetuated by mold remediation companies. So here's a little clarification. Some molds produce toxins (called "mycotoxins"), and some of…

Non-toxic nail polish

My make up routine has always been pretty simple. So several years ago when I decided to "clean up" my make up routine, I didn't have that many products to switch out. I've found a few products that I love and keep going back to the same ones. The transition has not been so easy for nail…

What’s Your Body Burden?

What is body burden? How do chemicals end up in your body in the first place? Why do chemicals get passed to infants through breast milk? What can you do about it? These and other questions are answered at chemicalbodyburden.org. Also available en espanol... After learning more about your body burden, come back and find out more…

Recommended Reading: Allergic to the 20th Century

Allergic to the 20th Century – Peter Radetsky If you think have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, know someone who does, or just want to learn more about it, Radetsky provides a highly informative (though somewhat dated -1996) read on the subject. He examines who tends to be effected. In one survey of the general population, 33 % were reported to be…

Guide to Plastics

Navigating the vast plastic waves of packaging is more complicated these days than just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When you realize that some plastics are more toxic than others, you want to be careful about which ones you reuse and what you are reusing them for.  And obviously you might want to rethink the ones you…

Home Ecology for Foodies – The Next Level

So you're on your way to eating more local, more seasonal, more organic or pesticide-free food and less of it comes from animals. Good for you! I thank you for the positive impact you're having on our earth and on your own health! Pat yourself on the back! Now moving on from food habits to cooking habits, let's open the cabinets and find…

Smart Meters: How to Send Health Complaints

An individual experienced with lodging complaints about Smart Meters suggests: "See these sites for where to send complaints about health problems from wireless devices, especially transmitting utility meters. http://smartmeterhelp.com/ http://www.electricalpollution.com/smartmeters.html (near bottom of page) Make sure you include type of product, product number, if it is UL certified or not (if you can find out), when…

Real Estate: Tips for Choosing a Healthy Home Location

Looking for a new home to buy or just to rent? Aesthetics are important, but your home's health potential is too! Check out these tips for choosing a healthy home location. Prevention is the best remedy! 1) Make sure there are no substations or high voltage power lines nearby. Being close to these can increase your…

Hidden hazards in baby nurseries

Concerned about your baby's exposure to toxins? This infographic from HealthyChild.org on health hazards in the typical baby nursery shows that your concerns are not unfounded! Biodwell LOVES to assist new or expectant parents with guided help for creating a healthy baby nursery!

Seeing stars

When's the last time you saw the milky way just by looking up at night? I've only seen a sky like this a couple of times - both were in Greece. (Yes in my past life I was lucky enough to vacation in Greece). Now I live in an urban area where I get excited…

Green Your Garden

Spring time is here for many of us, or just around the corner! Before you head to your local big box store for a flat of showy annuals, consider these few things you can do for a greener, more sustainable, yard or garden, and save some cash too! - Use native or adapted plants which need less…

The Elusive Organic Sofa

While finding organic beds these days is getting easier, at least on-line, finding a truly organic, chemical-free sofa or armchair is a veritable challenge. What's wrong with a "normal" sofa in the first place? Well "normal" in this case means the foam used to fill the cushions is petroleum-based, and then flame retardants are added…

Five quick and free tips for a better night sleep

If you've spent any time at all watching TV in the past several years you know one thing, Americans don't sleep well and big pharma has plenty of little pills for that! Rather than turn to medication, why not try preventing the cause of the problem in the first place? I look at the bedroom…

Recommended Reading: Healthy Child, Healthy World

Through a surprising chance acquaintance recently I encountered an important non-profit group dedicated to environmental health. Healthy Child, Healthy World was founded by a couple after they lost their 5 year old daughter to environmentally-caused cancer and decided to turn their pain into passion. They have lots of resources on their website, but even more interestingly…

Tips for reducing exposure to flame retardants

Flame retardants are part of our toxic body burden. They are associated with cancer, neurological deficits, hormone disruption and impaired fertility, to name a few. They get inside us when we inadvertently ingest flame-retardant laden dust, or breathe it in. Flame retardants are everywhere, it seems, but it is possible to reduce your exposure to them. Here are a few…

Safe and effective air purifiers

Folks who care about their air quality often purchase air purifiers to help improve their air. What most don't realize is that they may unintentionally be making their air quality much worse. Some air purifiers directly use ozone to remove pollutants from the air while others may create ozone as an unintentional byproduct. In both…

Coping with chemical sensitivities

As I walked to pick up a few groceries today, I got caught at an intersection for what seemed like an inordinately long time. I resisted my Parisian urge to jet through the red hand and patiently waited for the white walk symbol, watching the cars rush by. There was a young couple behind me waiting, and…

Yoga for the olfactory impaired

If you've ever practiced hot yoga, you know that heat intensifies any smells in the yoga studio. The smaller the space, the harder those smells are to escape. But hot or not, it can be a challenge practicing yoga (pranayama! breathe deeply!) for those of us who are sensitive to smells. You probably started reading…

Show some love for the chemically afflicted

If you have a loved one who is environmentally ill, chemically afflicted, suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity or "allergic to smells," here are a few steps you can take to help them out and show them you care. 1) Believe them. They know how they feel. Many doctors say the best way to diagnose a patient is to…

Get a healthy night’s sleep with a natural organic mattress

I used to wake up drenched in sweat every night. If you've ever slept on a bed that had one of those vinyl-plastic-hospitalish peepee pads on them, you know just how horrible they are... I was looking for a mattress and bed that would have a positive impact on our health and would not have a negative impact on the environment.

Chicago Tribune’s Flame Retardant Special

"The average American baby is born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world. The toxic chemicals are present in nearly every home, packed into couches, chairs and many other products. Two powerful industries — Big Tobacco and chemical manufacturers — waged deceptive campaigns that…

Better Home Ecology for Foodies

Who me, foody? Why yes! Living in France for over a decade changed me from a vegan food lover into a vegetarian food snob. Even though junk food, the low fat trend and loss of seasonal local produce has taken a solid foothold in France, there is still a strong, cultural tradition that says "everything in moderation, but especially…

Stain Treatment Sheet

The best place to start reducing chemicals in your home is by finding replacements for your conventional, chemical filled cleaning products. Here's a handy guide to stain removal to get you started: Download a printable version at Wellness Mama.

Death of a Hairdresser

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend died during surgery for tracheal cancer. The death of this friend was a rude and rough reminder of mortality, and engulfed me in a tsunami of regret. As I looked at Jacques' memorial photo, what rose to the surface was how incongruous were the word "cancer" and the mischievous smile…

Safer sunscreens

Sunscreen season is upon us again! But like many other beauty products & personal care products, sunscreens can be loaded with junk (potential hormone disrupters & nanoparticles, among others) or may simply not do their job! Another concern is that using a sunscreen with a very high SPF creates a false sense of security, allowing…

Pet-Friendly Plants for Indoor Air Quality

Plants are a great way to improve the quality of your indoor air, but if you have fur-babies like we do, you'll want to make sure that you aren't creating a health risk in case Fido decides he needs some greens with his kibble! Some of the most common houseplants (Snake Plant, Peace Lily, Pothos,…

Smart Meters: The Basics

Do you have one of these on the side of your house? Don't know? Well, that's normal...your electric company probably didn't tell you they were switching out your old analog electric meter for this new digital "smart" meter. These devices are supposed to provide better energy efficiency...mostly by monitoring customer usage! The tradeoff however is…

Cell Phones and Your Health

There is a certain controversy over cell phones and the harmfulness of the energy emitted from them, RF (Radiofrequency) Radiation. This is understandable, the cell phone industry is a big business! Users change out their cell phones for newer models, are lured into long-term subscriptions, and the cycle of cell phone dependency is hard to…

Sweet sleep: Earthing

Last night I slept on my earthing sheet for the first time. The earthing sheet has a very simple function. It is a cotton sheet woven with silver filaments which connects to a grounding device. When your skin touches the sheet, it connects you to the earth outside so that you are grounded while sleeping,…

Real estate red flags

When looking for a new home to buy or rent, there are plenty of red flags you'll want to avoid in order to make your home as healthy and happy as possible. You'll want to look for possible indicators of serious home maintenance issues, health hazards, sources of stress and wellness obstacles. Of course, your…

10 Tips for Safer Cell Phone Use

How about making a resolution right now for safer cell phone use? Here are ten tips to reduce toxic exposure to harmful Radiofrequency Radiation from your cell phone. Some of these are pretty obvious - and some will probably surprise you!  Avoid carrying your cell phone in your pocket, tucked into a bra strap, or otherwise next to…