It seems that everyone is equally struck by the news that John Travolta’s and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett, died from seizures. Jett apparently suffered from a series of grand mall seizures related to his affliction with Kawasaki syndrome. Undoubtedly, everyone is asking what this little-known disease is and how it is transmitted? Sympathy for the Travolta’s eventually turns into a concern for whether this disease is on the march and how it can be prevented in other families.
The Mayo Clinic points out that the disease is not hereditary. It is more common in Japan … hence the name. Potential causes for the disease range from possible viral infections passed by exposure to wild animal or perhaps mosquitos. The second popular theory is that is is brought on by chemical exposure of a child during the developmental years. According to the American Heart Association, “About 80% of the people with Kawasaki disease are are under age 5. Children over age 8 are rarely affected.”
John Travolta shared his opinion of the cause of his son’s ailment recently. He told a CNN reporter, “With my son … I was obsessed with cleaning – his space being clean, so we constantly had the carpets cleaned. And I think, between him, the fumes and walking around, maybe picking up pieces or something, he got what is rarely a thing to deal with, but its Kawasaki syndrome.” Jett Travolta was two when developed symptoms, Travolta also revealed.
This disease affects the heart and the vessels of the heart although it is not necessarily lethal. Whatever the cause, it seems to hit in the early developmental stages of childhood, and it has lasting and serious results. The best minds are left wondering if this illness comes from a yet undiscovered virus, or perhaps another auto-immune type disease brought on by chemical exposure. This would not be the first or last disease that we eventually find out came from our own love affair with chemical products that seem like a good idea at the time. Mesothelioma is a lung disease brought on by exposure to asbestos. LIttle children who are exposed to lead paint can develop brain complications. Even asthma has grown by 40% over the last ten years. Experts wonder if this does not parallel our increased use of chemicals in the home.
A new science that considers the air that we breathe as nearly as important as the food we eat or water we drink may support these concerns. We now know that second-hand smoke causes cancer in innocent victims. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is an invisible factor in our well-being and disease resistance. Homes with minuscule invasion of radon gas will cause lung cancer in unsuspecting family members. Carbon monoxide will kill anyone running a car in a closed environment. Who can say that the air we breathe isn’t a literal toxic cloud of ingredients recycled routinely by the forced air system, vacuuming, and dusting.
There are better options. As Green practices are eventually understood, we then realize that simple, natural, and organic products may be better than anyone thought. Try walking into an area where the floors are being stripped. The fumes are amazingly strong. Go back during the buffing cycle when the air fills with particles containing zinc and other strange ingredients. Watch a typical vacuum in a room where sunlight is showing through to see contaminated our air can be with particles easily inhaled.
Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality contributes to persistent headaches, lethargy, more sick days, and more sick claims. This is not just a problem for the workers, but creates a calculable impact on the budget of any business. In the long term, we are hearing more and more about Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Building Related Illness (BRI), and each of these come from poor air quality. These are often tied to the quality of the air and the infiltration of mold, fumes, bacteria, and pesticides. Existing buildings have a build up to ingredients that come from years of contamination by chemicals that include arsenic, asbestos, lead, pollen, and cigarette ash.
To find out if your home of business has a problem with the indoor air quality, contact your nearest certified Green Consultant, and have a simple test done to find out if your home or office is a safe place to live and work. Green consultants know numerous ways to dramatically improve the health quotient of a home or office, reduce energy costs, improve operations, and assist your family or business in obtaining a reputable Green certification.