Our environment is critical for our overall health. Sadly, most of our homes are a toxic soup of petrochemicals, plastics, heavy metals, and pesticides. Even prescription drugs contaminate our water supplies. Because these synthetic chemicals are new, our bodies struggle to eliminate them. Some people are particularly susceptible, and develop serious health conditions. Young children in particular are vulnerable to toxic chemicals, and may not metabolize or excrete toxins as easily as adults.
I have found the book called The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz to be extremely helpful for everyone who wants to take steps toward avoiding common household toxins.
We have taken a number of these tips to heart in my own home. Here are 10 of my very favorite tips:
Tip 1: Start at the front door.
Slip off your shoes at the door, leaving them and whatever toxins you may be bringing in with them on a mat or bin near the door rather than track them through the house.
Tip 2: Reduce plastic.
So much of our modern life includes plastic. Many plastics release small amounts of toxins into the food or beverages they contain. These toxins are released more quickly if the plastic is heated, either in a hot car, or used in a microwave.
I have begun to reduce the plastic containers in my kitchen. I purchase most of my foods fresh without plastic containers, or transfer them to glass containers when I get home.
Tip 3: Skip the non-stick cookware.
The problem with non-stick cookware is that at high temperatures toxic carcinogens are released. I have switched out all of my non-stick pans for either cast-iron pans ( thank you Grandma!) or stainless steel pans.
Tip 4: Reduce pesticide exposure.
My husband is an environmental chemist, and is a specialist in human exposure to pesticides and herbicides. Needless to say, we use very little of these chemicals in our home and garden. There are more natural ways to reduce pests in your home- vinegar and essential oils do a good job of discouraging bugs safely.
We also eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible, reducing our intake of pesticides while we enjoy food as close to it’s natural state as possible.
Tip 5: Drink safe water.
Quite wasting your money on bottled water, it is frequently regular municipal water and of course, it is stored in that plastic bottle. Instead, use filtered water from a pitcher or faucet-based system. For water on-the-go, use a non-plastic container such as stainless steel, or a protected glass bottle.
Tip 6: No more artificial sweeteners.
It doesn’t matter what kind of artificial sweetener it is… since it is artificial, your body reacts negatively to them. Instead, choose small amounts of natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.
Tip 7: Improve your indoor air quality.
In the video I mentioned VOCs ( volatile organic compounds). VOCs are found in lots of products around the home, including cleansers, air fresheners, paint, and gasoline products. If possible, I buy and use low VOC products as an alternative. I store any gasoline or paint thinner product separate from living areas- in a detached garage or storage building.
Smoking is forbidden in my home, as well as burning candles! Both emit particulates and combustion materials that have negative health effects.
Tip 8: Avoid Dry Cleaning.
Ever since my husband’s research studied how dry-cleaning chemicals affected indoor air quality in private homes, we have been limiting our use of dry cleaners. Now there are many dry-cleaners that use much safer and environmentally friendly procedures. If you must dry-clean your clothes, choose this newer method or be sure to air out your dry-cleaning before bringing it into your bedroom closet.
Tip 9: Clean Green.
Either choose more environmentally friendly cleansers that can now be purchased, or make your own with common household items such as vinegar and baking soda. I’ve even cleaned an oven using a paste of baking soda. Just leave it overnight and wipe clean in the morning.
Tip 10: Personal Care Products.
We often overlook the toxic load in our daily personal care products. Skin care products, shampoos, toothpastes, and deodorants all contain chemicals that can have negative health effects. Parabens and formaldehyde releasing preservatives have been correlated with some chronic illnesses. Choosing personal care products that are self-preserving without these chemical preservatives is another way you can reduce your own exposure to toxins.
The following are some articles you may find interesting:
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