Each day we come into contact with hundreds of chemicals through the use of body products, household cleaners, our clothing, pesticides, candles, sprays, and even simply the environment.
While it would be virtually impossible to completely eliminate our exposure, there are several steps you can take to limit the amount of toxins you come into contact with on a daily basis.
Read on to see how you can reduce the risks within your household.
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Hazardous chemicals are found in basically every household product you could think of. The list includes bathroom and kitchen cleaners, stainless steel and oven cleaners, bleach, dishwasher detergent, glass cleaner, furniture polishes, hardwood floor cleaner, and the list goes on and on.
Fortunately, there are many homemade and store bought options available that are far less toxic.
Method Home and Ecos are two excellent non-toxic brands that carry a full line of cleaning products. Dr. Bronner’s castille soaps are great and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is an all-purpose cleaner that can be diluted to clean just about anything.
Vinegar is also a handy option for those who would like to make their own cleaning products.
How to Clean Your Entire Home With Vinegar
Who doesn’t love a fresh smelling load of laundry?
Sadly, that fragrance is almost certainly just one of the toxic elements of your laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets. This article from Molly’s Suds (my personal favorite for laundry detergent!) does a great job at breaking down all the nasty hazards lurking in your laundry room.
As stated above, my personal favorite for non-toxic laundry products is Molly’s Suds. I’ve also found two excellent homemade options (the first utilizes Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, mentioned above!)
Sal Suds in the Laundry
Homemade Laundry Detergent – Wellness Mama
I once came across the Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database and was shocked to discover that the water in my zip code contains 40+ contaminants. This is most likely because we live in a major city in Texas, where pollution is high.
If you check the database and find that you also have highly contaminated water, I would highly suggest you purchase purified drinking water or have a reverse osmosis water filter installed.
What if you have a water filter built into your refrigerator? Most refrigerators utilize a carbon filter which only removes a fraction of the toxins in your water.
If you have routine pest spraying performed in your home (a must down here in the south!) you are being exposed to some pretty unpleasant chemicals.
According to the EPA, exposure to these types of chemicals can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, the endocrine system, and the liver. On top of that there is of course the risk of cancer.
Some people choose to spray their entire home, both indoors and outside. However, even if you live in an area where pests are common, it is important to avoid routine spraying of your entire home unless it is absolutely necessary. If you find that you must spray indoors in order to avoid pests, limit the application to possible entry points, like doorways. Avoid living areas, play areas and bedrooms.
Candles, wax melts, room sprays and air fresheners all pose a threat to your health. Candles and wax melts are often made from cheap wax such as paraffin that is often contaminated with toxins that are released into the air when burned. When you use room sprays and air fresheners, you are inhaling those chemicals as well.
If you burn candles or melts, ensure that they are made using a clean wax. Pure soy (not a paraffin-soy blend) and beeswax are excellent options. Instead of toxic sprays or air fresheners, try using a plant-based room spray such as Grow Fragrance.
Mixing a simple spray using distilled water and your favorite essential oils is also a clean alternative!
Each day we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals that can negatively affect our health. Over time, this could potentially lead to illness and disease.
Following the steps above and choosing alternatives to common toxic products will significantly reduce the risks of these exposures in your home!