20 May 2007

Deirdre Imus

Someone gave me a copy of Deirdre Imus's book "Green This! Greening Your Cleaning". I flipped through it and decided she was a crackpot when she said that the steam vapor produced when you take a shower is toxic:

Even if you have an overhead ventilation fan or a chlorine filter on your showerhead...you and your kids will inevitably end up inhaling the vapors of chlorinated gases. You know how your bathroom mirror fogs up after you shower? Most of that steam is toxic - a mixture of the chlorine bleach and other chlorine-based chemicals like chloroform that have been added to our water system. An open window will prevent these and other toxins, like carbon dioxide, from building up. As a general rule, the more outdoor air that circulates in a room, the safer that room is.

Yes, fresh air is good. But let's not go overboard and suggest that taking a hot shower is dangerous.

Another choice suggestion is to clean your copper with ketchup. Um, okay, then why did she also suggest cleaning copper with salt and lemon juice? Why would you ever think it was smart to use ketchup as a cleanser? It's a foodstuff, people, a foodstuff that is heavily industrially processed and trafficked. So, if you subscribe to the Michael Pollan/Marion Nestle school of "eat local unprocessed foods as much as possible", why would you choose ketchup as a cleaning product? Hell, I barely eat the stuff.

Oh, I know! Someone gave her a book contract because she's married to Don Imus and she had to fill 224 pages. Eyeroll.


Anonymous said...

That is some dumb advice, I agree.

We try to limit chemical exposure but it's SO HARD.

S said...

Oh, yuck. Just: yuck. Book deals are so corrupt these days.

If I sat down and thought about all of the toxicity in my house, I'd weep.

So I don't sit down. Ever.

(P.S. I left your comment a comment of my own.)

niobe said...

Is there any possibility that this book is some kind of extremely subtle satire?

I didn't think so.

Aurelia said...

Does she have any scientific evidence to back up her claims? I mean, I've heard of toxic bathroom steam when you have mold contamination in the room, or when you have e coli in the water, but that's kind of different than this.

I'm not sure I understand how she gets from A to B.

S. said...

I don't know about showers, but I do know that at indoor pools (like at the Y) you get more chlorine exposure from breathing the air than from swimming. Things you learn as a pregnant swimmer...back when I was still a swmimmer.