Toxic Air

Posted to Subscribers on 25 June 2010


Dear Subscribers,

First, I would like to urge people to listen to or read the testimony of Kindra Arnesen, a young and heroic mother in Louisiana:

Sorry for the link. I tried to listen to the audio on, but the quality was so bad that I looked for a transcript. If it isn't mainstream enough, try this:

To make a long story short, Kindra is more or less in the heart of the disaster area. It also seems that she has been trying to rebuild her life since Katrina. She believes people need to be evacuated and while I agree more or less with the wisdom of the suggestion, I have a lot of apprehensions about how an evacuation might be arranged. If this occurs, I pray it is under the voluntary initiative of individuals and not BP or the federal government.

Air Quality

Many creatures have already died and plants, both oceanic and on land, are dying. Conventionally grown and organic plants are equally vulnerable. Spots appears on their leaves and then the plants die. Workers near the clean up sites are reporting respiratory complaints, and they are not being provided proper face masks or even gloves. This is simply outrageous. People on the coasts and even as far away as Atlanta have a higher than normal incidence of headaches, nausea, vomiting, and throat irritation and coughing. I am sure this will be followed by an increase of liver, kidney, lung, and immune system failures and then by higher than normal rates of cancer. I wish I had a solution, but anything I might suggest would fall very short of satisfactory. I have always said that the most debilitating problems are the ones involving odor because the sense of smell is directly tied to our most fundamental survival instincts. In our present world in which we have reintroduced torture, it's probably not wise to report that the fastest way to break someone is not by waterboarding but by noxious odors or deprivation of oxygen. Breathing is absolutely natural until the moment comes when either one cannot breathe or the air is so bad one does not want to breathe.

As such, the use of chemical dispersants is reprehensible because it tends to volatilize even more chemicals so the burdens placed on aerobic entities are truly immense. My interim suggestion would be to invest in a high quality air filter. When dealing with the mold in my house years ago — honestly, it was a decade ago and I recovered so those of you who are writing asking if I am all right have not seen the dates of the original material — I tried many, many different types of air filtration. I want to share what I learned so that you understand the issues as thoroughly as possible.

Air is obviously abundant and it exists in empty spaces. To filter hazardous substances out of the air, the air must come in contact with whatever is being used to improve the air quality. If using a mechanical filter, like a mask or paper filter or even a carbon filter, the air must pass through the filter, not dance around near the ceiling. Many filtration systems combine several methods into one unit. For instance, there could be a negative ion generator or UV light as well as a mechanical filter that has pores but very tiny, sometimes less than a micron. Portable filters are generally rated according to their capacity to process a specific amount of air, usually scored by the square footage of the room but we really need to think of cubic footage so if the ceilings are high, consider a unit rated for a larger room. In my case, I tried many, many types of filters and ended up putting a UV system into the duct itself. Let me explain it quickly. Air is sucked up through a return (which has a filter) and then passed down to the furnace in the garage. Before it reaches the furnace, it passes in front of a UV light, then it goes through another HEPA filter before it is recirculated into the house. It takes about 20-30 minutes to remove an odor IF there is no recurring source of the odor. If the odor is persistent, the challenges are obviously much greater because sooner or later, there has to be fresh air exchange. Kindra Andresen explained this in her rousing oratory.

It would not be fair to encourage anyone to think that filtration would have permanent benefits. It is intended for emergency use under the assumption that air quality will improve, if and when they stop using chemical dispersants and the leak comes under control. No one knows how long that might be. Knowing the government, the facts will not be revealed to the public and the justification for this unconscionable failure to provide correct information is that the first goal is to avoid panic. In short, crowd control is more important than truth or safety.

Having seen photo ops first hand, I also have no doubt about what Mrs. Andresen said about ponies and balloons. Moreover, I am certain that anyone who deviates too much from the party line will end up like Gen. McChrystal. If an over-the-line article is a tough act to follow, maybe Michael Hastings can find some material for an encore performance by taping Mrs. Andresen.

Water Quality

The second precautionary measure would be a good water filter, preferably something that works on gravity and does not require electricity. I believe this is sensible for a number of reasons. As the body is pushed to its limit in dealing with the stress of bad air, ingesting more toxins through treated water could push one past the adaptive capacity. Secondly, it is very likely that the ground water itself will become contaminated by aerial spraying, dispersants, and seepage.

Organ Protection

Taking herbs that are organ protective makes an immense amount of sense: milk thistle for the liver, fruit juice such as watermelon or cranberry for the kidneys, mullein for the lungs, and/or a formula that addresses organ issues from multiple angles. I am willing to provide anything needed by people in the affected regions for a vastly discounted price in order to encourage people to protect themselves as much as possible. I was born in Virginia and have cousins from Washington, D.C. on down into Georgia and Florida. I have also lectured throughout the Southern States and have many friends, colleagues, and clients in the south. However, I have just as much feeling for the suffering of animals and people in Afghanistan as in Louisiana so it's truly time to stop the madness and change the trajectory.

Existing Medical Situations

If someone has a major medical problem like asthma, emphysema, chronic respiratory distress, liver or kidney problems, it might really be wise to relocate until the situation is resolved in the Gulf. Obviously, this includes people and pets. I know, this is easier said than done. When I had the mold problem, people advised me to leave. I didn't know where to go and my mind was fuzzy from the allergic reactions and toxicity. However, I conquered the hazards and recovered my health. In the present situation in the Gulf, it is not clear that individuals can protect themselves. I will therefore continue to pray for the highest good and to help in whatever ways I can.

This said, there are some considerations worth taking to heart. Kindra Andresen discussed the rashes her children have had. Children and elderly people are usually more vulnerable. Children are vulnerable because their tissues are growing fast and when the tissues are subjected to stress at the time of cellular division, accidents happen that can easily lead to cancer or some other critical disease. The elderly are vulnerable because they lack the vigorous growth that is necessary for tissue repair. Moreover, many are on medications that have side effects that undermine bodily functions.

At a time when animals are dying because of the leak, I hate to bring up the subject of formal research using animals. Obviously, I oppose all research in which animals are made to suffer in the hope that what is learned will benefit humanity. Not only do I not believe humans are more important than animals, but there are enough sick people and animals that there is no shortage of patients for studying the effects of medicines. Moreover, what happens to a healthy individual is only partly relevant to what happens to sick people.

Okay, this said, some research involves deliberate exposure of test animals to known carcinogens. The animals are given various drugs or herbs to see if any of these protect against changes to the DNA and tissues. Chyawanprash not only protects, but it confers margins that are so great that cortisol levels do not increase. I reported this earlier in the context of the rejuvenation program, but I would not like to give the impression that anyone can withstand prolonged exposure to Corexit, methane, volatilized crude oil, and whatever else is fouling the air in the Gulf. So, to be realistic and fair, I would say that using herbs to increase coping margins makes complete sense, but if the quality of the air declines markedly, get away from the danger.

I am acutely aware that the situation in the Gulf is unpredictable. One could move to North Dakota and pick up a paper only to see headlines telling us that the leak stopped. My sense is it will stop and this will be another chapter in Earth history where the worst case scenario did not happen. At this juncture, anyone who says this is apt to appear a blithering idiot, but I tend to err on the side of optimism.

I get thousands and thousands of emails every week. If I mull over the opinions expressed, I realize that most fears are in fact exaggerated and I am alive today because Russia and the U.S. did not nuke each other despite all the exercises of hiding under desks in elementary school. If there had been an internet in those days, I'm sure I would have received emails arguing about the consequences of accumulating so many weapons and not using them. Films were made about nuclear wars and here we are, still arguing and still trying to disarm, but the world has not ended. I hope that a few months from now, we are all saying that we came very close to ending the world as we knew it, but it didn't happen.


The Gulf situation is a nightmare. It is hard to say whether it is emotionally harder for environmentalists or residents of the coastal areas. It is deeply troubling for all of us. People have sent me hundreds of emails with links; and, as I said earlier today, I have been distracted and scribbling. There are still more segments to this effort. The one on extinction was posted online:

Many people are more on the edge than I am. I think some have a more nervous disposition and some are more susceptible to the darkest and most cynical interpretations of information. I want to underscore that emotional well being is just as important as physical and spiritual well being. It is vital that we each spend time realigning our psyches after each shock wave hits. I urge people to stay in clear relationship with their deepest held beliefs and with those they love. Next, stay in relationship with Nature and Truth. If you act, act from a position of clarity, not panic.

If I don't reiterate or elaborate a few points, I will feel remiss. I know some people are not processing information as carefully as they would under normal circumstances. Therefore, I want to explain that the rashes described by Kindra Andresen are indications that the liver is already overtaxed. Under ideal circumstances, we exhale toxic air and inhale clean and revitalizing air. The blood in the lungs picks up the oxygen, transports it to tissues in the body that require oxygen. Then, it picks up the waste and tries to discharge it. We have massive filtering operations to help this process. The liver performs hundreds of functions, including blood filtration. The kidneys also do a lot of filtering. When these organs are overworked, the toxins spill and we see the evidence in the form of skin eruptions. Topical treatments might relieve some of the itchiness but internal treatments are required to address the deeper issue. I think anyone exposed to fumes needs both liver/blood support and adrenal support because breathing difficulties will rapidly translate into fight or flight responses. That is the issue, isn't it? Stay the ground and fix the problem or relocate. It's a very tough choice and I hope people are permitted to make the choice freely.

Many blessings,


Essay on the sense of smell:

Detoxifying herbs:

Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2010


Ayurvedic Herbs





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