When we think about changing habits to improve our health, we usually think about changing the way we eat and increasing our exercise level. Many of us who are conscious about our health are adding more fruits and vegetables in our diet and limiting processed foods as much as possible. Hopefully we are also starting to take exercise classes or at least take regular walks and steps to move our bodies every day.
Another very important factor for our health is our environment- the toxic ingredients in our air, our water and our homes that we are exposed to every day of our lives. So much of our global environment is out of our personal control: in that case we must work together through legislation to improve large scale issues. But we can protect our own families by taking simple steps to avoid toxins in our own homes.
Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz of USANA Health Sciences have written a book, The Healthy Home, that easily guides us through each room of the house with practical advice on reducing our exposure and improving our body’s ability to detox from these exposures.
How to Reduce Household Toxins in the Bathroom
Because the bathroom is small, often poorly ventilated and heavily contaminated, it’s one of the most dangerous places in the house for heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Not only do we store and use strong cleaning products, we use multiple personal care products like lotions, antiperspirants, and make-up that sit on our skin all day long. Our bathroom cabinets are filled with prescription drugs and over the counter medications, and we have declared a war on germs with antibacterial soaps and sanitizers.
It’s time to take responsibility for what we put on and into our bodies. Here are some small changes that you can make over time that will make a major difference:
- Find alternatives to products with parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, and other harsh chemical preservatives, especially those that stay on the skin all day. See my post on healthy skin to see my personal choice.
- Reduce the use of antiperspirants (check the label). Switch to a natural deodorant or stop using antiperspirants on weekends and during cooler months.
- Switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste, use a tongue scraper or rinse with water flavored with a few drops of cinnamon, peppermint, or anise extract instead of mouthwash.
- Use safe cleansers made with common everyday ingredients. They work well, are non-toxic, and cheaper, too. Recipes at Clean Without Toxins.
- Safely dispose of all old prescriptions, and reduce the use of antibiotics unless necessary. This includes avoiding the meat of animals treated with antibiotics.
- Stop using triclosan antibacterial soaps. Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future
- Take stock of all over-the-counter medications taken, and eliminate the use of at least one through behavior changes:
- We have heartburn because we eat too much. Don’t just pop an antacid. Eat less.
- We pop a pill at the first sign of a headache. Don’t overuse OTC pain-relievers. Drink more water to reduce headaches.
- We’re constipated because we aren’t eating enough fiber or drinking enough water. So don’t take a laxative and continue bad habits- improve your diet.
- Consider improving overall immunity and support the detoxification of the liver through quality supplementation. Take a quality multivitamin along with extra liver support. Hepasil is a patent-pending product that has been shown to significantly increase glutathione, a major antioxidant key for aiding the detoxification process.
Remember, we do have control over the household toxins and how they affect our health and the health of our families. Make these simple changes one step at a time and you are on the road to a healthier you.