“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
This is an ancient Iroquois philosophy which is the basis for the oldest living participatory democracy on Earth.
“In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation.”
Wouldn’t you agree that such forward-looking philosophy of integrity can mitigate the deterioration of this Planet?
Practicing the 7 Generation Principle
- Bettering lives of those who are affected by environmental diseases, such as MCS
Having become homeless because of my intolerance over various chemicals used in housings and interiors, I have been living at hotels and doing laundry at hotel bathrooms.
Since clothing textiles absorb fragrances and smells in the environment, doing laundry becomes an arduous task.
Using public laundry machines and dryers is out of the question, for they are stained with scents and fragrances of all kinds.
So I am compelled to do it the conventional way: plug the faucet, dissolve natural powder soap in water and soak my clothes in it for a while, before rinsing and wringing them out with my hands.
I need to repeat this process at least five or so times, before those fragrances and scents on my clothes are “descented” down enough to my tolerable level. In most cases, though, no matter how many times I repeat this process, I am unable to get rid of those scents completely.
Only after then can I finally officially wash, rinse, wring out and dry by hanging them on hangers and hooks in hotel rooms.
High humidity and the manual drying of clothes require lengthy time for the clothes to dry. I keep the air conditioner on all the time, but still, it takes at least half a day.
So what exactly are these everlasting scents and fragrances?
The scents and fragrances of scented products are basically what are called Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs.
VOCs exist in the form of liquid at room temperature; however, due to its volatile nature, they exist in the form of gas in the air as well.
According to EPA, they are emitted by thousands of products such as
・paints, paint strippers and solvents
・cleaners and disinfectants
・moth repellents and air fresheners
・stored fuels and automotive products
・building materials and furnishings
・office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
・graphics and craft materials such as glues, adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.
That is why VOCs make their way into our lungs, every time we inhale, to be absorbed into our bloodstreams. Moreover, they are also absorbed by our eyes, skin and membranes.
According to an article by Carol Potera, “a survey of selected scented consumer goods showed the products emitted more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws.”
The results of a survey conducted by Professor A. Steinemann and her colleagues showed that “a single fragrance in a product can contain a mixture of hundreds of chemicals, some of which (e.g., limonene, a citrus scent) react with ozone in ambient air to form dangerous secondary pollutants, including formaldehyde.2 The researchers detected 133 different VOCs.”
The Effects and Symptoms of VOC Exposure
Naturally, it can cause health effects such as:
・Eye, nose and throat irritation
・Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
・Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
・cancer in animals, and some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Major signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:
・nose and throat discomfort
・allergic skin reaction
・dyspnea (breathing difficulties)
・declines in serum cholinesterase levels
・epistaxis (nasal bleeding)
In my case, all of the health effects as well as symptoms above except cancer occur whenever exposed to VOCs.
Why Not Start Applying The 7 Generation Principles Somewhere Closer To Home? ~ Enhance Awareness on what VOCs are and Their Impact
Looking back, and even to this date, an astronomical amount of time, energy and money had been and are being spent on getting rid of and avoiding fragrances and scents in the environment, not to mention coping and recovering from symptoms upon exposure to VOCs.
Since most of my energy and attention had been consumed on survival, almost no energy is left for creation, or constructive activities.
According to the study by Dr. A. Steinemann, MCS is widespread and that an estimated 25.6 million adults are diagnosed with MCS, and an estimated 51.8 million adults report chemical sensitivity in the U.S.
Similar trends are seen around the globe.
If we take a look at an individual basis, an average human adult takes in:
・about 11,000 liters of air
・2.7-3.7 liters of water
・2.5 kg of cooked food
respectively per day.
Being watchful of what you drink and eat is important. Even more, taking heed of the quality of air is far more important, given the amount of air consumed.
Wouldn’t you agree that enhancing awareness of what we are inhaling and absorbing, and taking necessary actions accordingly would be in line with the 7 Generation Principle?
I sincerely hope that you are coping with your circumstances and even more, rising above those adversities.
If you are looking ways to support yourself and create income from home without having have to commute to work and be exposed to substances that trigger your symptoms, you may find the education found below useful: