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“So you wake up in the morning, rub your eyes and make your way to the bathroom.  From there a series of everyday habits become a health liability.  You take a deep breath of bedroom air thick with carpet mold, mattress off-gassing and fire retardants from your pajamas.  And so it begins. That within the first hour of your day you could be putting up to 150 very harmful chemicals on your skin, in your mouth, and in your body.  Your air, water, food, perfume and personal care products contain a host of hidden, hazardous chemicals, dragging your immune system down, and interfering with your health, energy and mood.  As a chemical engineer with over 30 years experience Donna Kasuska has seen first hand how water is treated, how food is processed and how personal and health care products are manufactured.”

This was the beginning of an interview I listened to yesterday morning with Donna KasuskaFounder and CEO of ChemConscious, Inc., an engineering consulting company that is on a mission to create a healthier world by increasing chemical awareness.  Donna provides consulting services to the chemical industry and also brings technical, yet practical information to the public. I thought this was really useful information to share because it’s from an INSIDER. Many people might not believe that lots of the chemicals in everyday products are harmful, but as a chemist and someone whose been in the field, Donna really knows what she’s talking about. Donna has worked for clients in the water treatment, food processing, oil & gas, chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.  (If you’re interested, Donna’s articles on these issues can be found at her website

I think we can spark change for a healthier future!!  We are learning all the time…

For example, we no longer put models on the cover of major magazines hoping to prove the safety of poisons like DDT…

model life

 And we’ve definitely learned we shouldn’t be dousing our children (or our picnic tables, backyards     and swimming pools) with it.

DDT child

But unfortunately sometimes we don’t learn these things until several generations later.

So, I want so share all that I am learning from people who I think know their stuff.

Donna is part of a series of interviews looking into all of the various ways we are exposed to toxins in our everyday lives and the simple things we can do to reduce our exposure. I plan to share what I learn because her goal is not to scare people, but trather to offer practical and simple solutions that will help us to reduce our exposure to toxins.  Being informed will only allow us all to make the best choices we can for ourselves, our loved ones, and the planet!

Here are some key points from the first interview with Donna:

  • Donna worked at a Monsanto plant for 9 years at the beginning of her career after she graduated Villanova University with a degree in chemical engineering. But she said it wasn’t until she was putting sunscreen on her son one morning and the sunscreen was burning a cut on his legs… she looked at the ingredients and was shocked to find A LOT of the chemicals that she spent her days in the plant protecting workers from — and there they were in the suncreeen she just rubbed on her son’s open cut… so then she wondered where else she would find them… As she said:

“I guess in my mind I thought ok, the chemicals are in the plant, and we’re keeping the workers safe, and once they get into the products they’re in small quantities and maybe they won’t bother people, but then I went on this quest reading labels everywhere, and I realized that maybe it might be a small amount in one product and one time that you use it, but people are using these products every day – and maybe even more than once a day…and that’s where the overexposure happens. And if we have to control those chemicals down to parts per billion to protect the workers in the factories then maybe we should be controlling them in our personal lives.”

She made clear that this is not to say that the companies that produce these things had bad motives … The general public wants things that have long shelf life, so these things evolved from those requests.  BUT now we need to insist on products that aren’t toxic to our bodies!

I’ll be posting what I learn in future interviews so watch for upcoming info on:

Water quality (What is in our water, why and what can we do about it?)

Air quality (What unseen hazards are affecting our health and how can we minimize the risks?) What’s in your carpet and air… and…

Your food supply (There are some obvious risks that come with any processed food, but Donna explains how to become label literate and why the biggest concerns about food aren’t even on the label!!)

Poisonous personal care products? (There’s a general myth that everything on our shelves has been approved… but there are lots of loopholes…. And our skin is our largest organ!)

Cleaning products: In this first interview she also talked about chemicals for cleaning and how she now can’t walk down the laundry aisle at the grocery store because of the intense chemical smell. I agree!! And she warns that once you cut these out of your life, you might start to realize just how sensitive to them you are too. She said to be open-minded and cautious – she said she used to think everything had to be scented and that everything was fine because it was approved, but then when she removed the chemicals she now feels ultra-sensitive because she uncovered the sensitivity buried under years of toxic exposure.

Detox programs – She will interview Colleen Malfair who developed a detoxification program used for many of the rescue workers from 9/11 and it was shown to have removed a lot of the toxins they were exposed to during the time they responded – their exposure levels were through the roof and Donna said that there were amazing statistics showing what they cleared from their bodies using the detox program and the difference between their levels of toxins and those who didn’t detox.

Looking forward to sharing and hope you find it helpful!

Please share this to spread the message of toxin-free health:
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One Response to What Hidden Toxins Are in Your Daily Life?: Info from a Chemical Engineer Who Knows

  1. […] regulated by city officials… so how toxic can it be? 

 I just listened to an interview with Donna Kasuska all about water, what’s in it, and simple things you can do to clean the water in your home and […]

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