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The following article is an excerpt from the book,

It's For The Animals! Natural Care & Resources

by Helen L. McKinnon 


Caution with Chemical Products used in Air Conditioning Units!

By Helen McKinnon

   Antimicrobial Sprays, "Epidemics"  &  Vaccinations

                WHO BENEFITS -- WHO LOOSES?

I have become very concerned about the Health Hazards associated with Chlorine, and specifically, CHLORINE DIOXIDE .

More about this chemical, and additional important information is available at the

 "Original Can-x Website"


Specifically check out the section:

"See what pollutants you're being exposed to in your community." 

The two Health Effects I scanned were "Respiratory" & "Skin", as MANY dogs develop skin problems --  it's one of the most frequent reasons for vet VISIT$.

During the summer of 2004, we had our whole-house Air Conditioning unit serviced.  Within a week I got very sick and it lasted about 5 weeks -- very unusual for me.  It started out with a severe sore throat and I lost my voice for about a five days or so.  Then, it progressed to a prolonged bad cough -- reminding me of my childhood and neighbor's children having 'the croup' (whooping cough). Oddly enough, one of my dogs developed a strange rash, many of my houseplants were suddenly dead, with others dying, and I noticed a strange 'salt-like' build-up on my air purifier which I'd never seen after 7-8 years of use  -- all this just after a serviceman sprayed an antimicrobial EPA registered Pesticide (which, for legal reasons, the product shall be nameless -- and referred to as: "The Chlorine Dioxide Containing Product"),

The "Respiratory" Health Effects according to the Web Page for "

"Respiratory Toxicity

"Exposure to chemical substances can cause adverse effects on the respiratory system, which consists of the nasal passages, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Respiratory toxicity can include a variety of acute and chronic pulmonary conditions, including local irritation, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and cancer. It is well known that exposure to environmental and industrial chemicals can impair respiratory function. Ground-level ozone, the main component in smog, causes breathing problems, aggravates asthma, and increases the severity and incidence of respiratory infections. Acute exposure to respiratory toxicants can trigger effects ranging from mild irritation to death by asphyxiation. Prolonged exposure to respiratory toxicants can cause structural damage to the lungs, resulting in chronic diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and cancer. Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung disease in which airways become restricted or inflamed, leading to difficulty in breathing. It can be caused by exposure to coal dust, aluminum, beryllium, and carbides of tungsten. Emphysema, a degenerative and potentially fatal disease, is characterized by the inability of the lungs to fully expand and contract. The most common cause of emphysema is heavy cigarette smoking, but the disease can also be induced by exposure to aluminum, cadmium oxide, ozone, and nitrogen oxides. In addition, several toxicants are known to cause respiratory cancer. Examples of well-established human lung carcinogens are cigarette smoke, asbestos, arsenic, and nickel."

Among the MANY "Suspected Respiratory Toxicants"


 And the same Web Site's Page for " Skin or Sense Organ Toxicity

"Exposure to chemical substances can cause adverse effects on skin or the sense organs (Skin or Sense Organ Toxicity). The sense of smell is impaired by exposure to cadmium and nickel. Hearing loss occurs after occupational exposure to lead. Exposure to gases like ammonia, chlorine, and formaldehyde causes eye irritation; organic solvents can damage vision. Contact with toxic agents can also cause acute and chronic skin diseases, including dermatitis and photosensitization. Chloracne is a severe and unusual form of acne that can be triggered by exposure to certain halogenated aromatic compounds, such as polychlorinated dibenzo-furans and dioxins."


Among the MANY "Suspected Skin Or Sense Organ Toxicants":

CHLORINE DIOXIDE (10049-04-4). References: HAZMAP

Hazard Rankings

Industrial Uses

for CHLORINE DIOXIDE (10049-04-4) from Scorecard  


What did the serviceman use in my 'whole-house' A/C unit?   "The Chlorine Dioxide Containing Product", a registered EPA Pesticide.

 But that's only the "Active Ingredient" -- it is ONLY  **   0.1%   **   of the contents!

The other "so-called Inert" ingredients aren't listed -- including the disgusting "flora" odor-- this product really 'stunk-up' my entire house for well over an hour, despite the airing-out.  According to some reports, some 'inert' ingredients may not be harmless, as according to this article by Susan Thorpe Vargas, PhD,  Also in other cases, it seems that they test OK *by themselves* -- but not in combination with other products.  Just the same, it would be helpful if consumers could know all of the ingredients in a product.

 You might wonder, where is this antimicrobial product, "The Chlorine Dioxide Containing Product", being used?

 Just about ANY Indoor Environment!

As the school year begins, public health officials expect the indoor environment may spur a number of new cases.



THE RECOMMENDED USES OF  "The Chlorine-Dioxide Containing Product":



    4th Children's Hospital Staffer Has Whooping Cough 09/05/04







    Fargo insurance company reports whooping cough  08/06/2004

















Is it also being used in SCHOOLS?

What about the increase of incidence of "Whooping Cough" in school children? 

Germ causes school scare ... Whooping cough shows up at Ridgeway." September 3, 2004

"We usually see a peak in the early summer and again in the fall,"  09/06/2004

Officials expected to see an increase in cases with the start of school September 1, 2004

"We are experiencing a significant increase in the number of cases,  ... We usually have 15 cases per year; so far, we are over 200 cases.... Pertussis can infect anyone, although the recent upswing in reported cases in the state is primarily within the 10- to 15-year-old age group."


How about use in Airplanes? or Cruise Ships?

Ever find yourself sick just after a trip?


I became VERY CONCERNED about the MANY, MANY places that this "Chlorine Dioxide Containing Product" -- the antimicrobial "Bacteriostat, Fungistat, Germistat and All-purpose Deodorizer " spray is likely casually being used ON A MONTHLY BASIS --  especially when I read:

"the residues they [antimicrobials] leave will eventually break loose over time and be inhaled by our moist respiratory systems, where they may become reactivated"

That EPA registered Pesticide, "The Chlorine Dioxide Containing Product", antimicrobial used in my home was, according to the serviceman, "NON-Toxic".   WHAT?  That's impossible, because the reason he used it was to KILL microorganisms! Here is some information I gathered on the 'net:

From a Web Site, selling "Chlorine Dioxide Containing Products" :

"spray a light mist in the air. For year round maintenance of the HVAC system, residential homes and apartment complexes should be treated as needed. Commercial, industrial buildings and health care facilities should be treated every month to ensure effective environmental control."

"Bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi and yeasts are everywhere in our everyday environment. For many allergy sufferers, microbial growth in the air handling system can  significantly aggravate or even initiate an allergic response. For this reason we have developed ... ["Chlorine Dioxide Containing Products"], ... an EPA registered Bacteriostat, Fungistat, Germistat and All-purpose Deodorizer. ["Chlorine Dioxide Containing Products"] ... may be used wherever air needs to be treated or on the cooling coils, drip pans and other ..."

 Now, please consider this 'coincidental' information:

There's been many news reports about the national AND International "Epidemic" of a prolonged bad cough, "Whooping Cough" (aka pertussis) spreading across the country with a number of hospital EMPLOYEES becoming ill. 

The Reason for "Epidemic" not known, "...The incidence of pertussis plummeted in industrialized nations after vaccination began in the 1940s. It now is on the rise again globally.  ... Why isn't clear, but it's thought to be at least partly due to waning immunity. ... In the United States, a preliminary count found more than 11,000 pertussis cases last year. That's up from 9,771 the previous year, and the most recorded in three decades. ..."

Many articles appear to be "talking points" with the gist being 'get the children vaccinated'.  But, it's not ONLY the children, as the articles point out.

The current pertussis vaccine should not be administered to anyone 7 years of age or older because vaccine reactions are more frequent.

  Whooping Cough Makes Comeback Sept. 7, 2004

[excerpt]  WASHINGTON, July 13, 2004

"...Here, Glaxo last week asked the FDA to approve its Boostrix version for teens. The idea: People are supposed to get boosters against two other diseases, tetanus and diphtheria, every decade, including one for 11- to 18-year-olds. Boostrix simply adds a pertussis booster to the scheduled adolescent shot.

Competitor Aventis Pasteur wants to target adults, too. It is preparing to seek FDA approval to sell its Adacel pertussis-tetanus-diphtheria booster to ages 11 through 64.

Once FDA makes sales decisions, expected early next year, a CDC-appointed committee must recommend who should get whichever shots are sold. Adolescents likely will be the first candidates, noted Vanderbilt's Edwards. After all, they wouldn't require an extra doctor's visit or needle prick.  ...  Less is known about adult pertussis risk. "

 Some babies are being vaccinated at birth and that it seems that OTHER vaccines are in development to vaccinate PREGNANT women, so, they're looking for volunteers, and a DIFFERENT vaccine to "booster" adults, even though the illness is "not dangerous for adults"

 Mercury (thimerosal) is contained in some vaccines and suspect in Autism.  For that reason,  Scotland announced it has "scrapped" the Whooping Cough" vaccine 9/08/0.  However, it seems that the new vaccine will be a 5-in-One "Combo Wombo".

 Something to realize is that you should check the label before allowing your loved one to be vaccinated:

 Study reignites debate on autism, childhood vaccines September 7, 2004

[excerpt] "...But the vast majority of flu shots given to both adults and children still contain the preservative [thimerosal  - mercury]. In addition; it's widely believed that many unexpired vials of thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines remain on the shelves of pediatricians' offices.  

Many researchers believe increased use of vaccines with thimerosal may help explain the alarming rise in autism in the U.S., which was just 1 in 2,500 children 20 years ago. Now CDC studies show the rate for autistic disorders in some areas to be as high as 1 in 150.

Just a few months after the nations' top medical adviser rejected a link between vaccines and autism, a mouse study has reignited the debate and raised new fears among parents considering vaccinations and flu shots for their kids. a congressional committee will review a June study from Columbia University, which found that a mercury preservative used in vaccines can indeed cause autism-like symptoms in a specific strain of mice. The research raises important questions about whether some people might be genetically vulnerable to the effects of thimerosal.

The study also raises questions about a new push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add flu shots to the immunization schedule for school-age kids.

Parents concerned that a pediatrician may have an old vial of thimerosal-containing vaccine can politely ask to see the label.

Typically, single-dose vials won't contain thimerosal. In addition, you can check Food and Drug Administration charts listing the names of vaccines, whether they ever contained thimerosal and when they stopped using it   ...  " 

Keep in Mind, in that "The Chlorine-Dioxide Containing Product" spray, it may be that those antimicrobial CHLORINE DIOXIDE  "residues breaking loose and being inhaled by us, and our companions, at which time the antimicrobials become REACTIVATED via the moist linings of our respiratory system - nasal passages, sinuses, throat, bronchial tubes, trachea and lungs.


Could the "The Chlorine-Dioxide Containing Product" antimicrobial CHLORINE DIOXIDE adversely affect / impair the body's FIRST LINE of DEFENSE - the moist nasal, passages and disable that part of the immune system, thusly giving some harmful bacteria (pertussis) or other virus a "foothold" to make people and pets sick?

Could the "The Chlorine-Dioxide Containing Product" spray, so frequently used in all the MANY places, contribute to the "Sick Building Syndrome"? 

Could the assault by the antimicrobials in the spray containing CHLORINE DIOXIDE on the moist nasal and respiratory passages result in an impaired immune system, and thus "allowing" an infection, after exposure, to a contagious disease such as Whooping Cough?

Most dog lovers are aware of the vaccination, commonly referred to as "Kennel Cough", it's interesting to note the similarities for humans:  BORDETELLA "  ... B. pertussis, the organism which causes whooping cough  ..."

Using these antimicrobial sprays so often and in so MANY places is worrisome.  The potential ramifications in health problems are staggering, in my opinion. As with so many other issues, we are told to 'follow the money' WHO BENEFITS?

Something else to consider:

Particles enter the nervous system via the nose - Conduit to the Brain
Science News,  Jan 24, 2004  by Ben Harder

[excerpt]  "Like stealthy intruders, minute airborne particles can apparently invade the brain through a vulnerable portal. At least some such particles, when inhaled into the nose, shimmy up the nerve bundle that governs smell and infiltrate the central nervous system, bypassing the natural firewall between brain tissue and the main circulatory system, new research suggests.

That has both worrisome and promising implications, according to scientists. For one thing, particulate matter from human activities such as burning of diesel fuel may cause neurological problems in addition to harming the heart and lungs. On the other hand, aerosolized particles that circumvent the blood-brain barrier might someday serve as delivery vehicles for drugs....  "

For additional information on Pesticides:


BEYOND PESTICIDES Freedom from Pesticides is Everybody's Right

For more information, email info @ beyondpesticides .org (omit spaces in addressing)

Pesticides & Non-Toxic Methods

US Environmental Protection Agency

National Pesticide Information Center

    Antimicrobial Division 703/ 308-0127

Washington Toxics Coalition "...protects public health and the environment by eliminating toxic pollution. WTC promotes alternatives, advocates policies, empowers communities, and educates people to create a healthy environment."

New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides "works to protect people and the environment by advancing healthy solutions to pest problems."


Copyright 1995-2010 Helen L. McKinnon All Rights Reserved

Your comments, questions, suggestions are welcomed:

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