5 Easy Ways to Detox Your Home in the New Year January 18 2018
For many years, I thought a lot about the food I put in my mouth, how it was grown and under what conditions. But I didn’t think too much about my home environment. I knew eating the wrong foods could make me sick, but what about my home?
The fact is, our home can be filled with 500+ different chemicals. Experts say that in many cases our homes are 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Many of these chemicals can have a devastating effect on our nervous and immune systems, on our reproductive systems and on our endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Thankfully awareness is growing and there are many steps you can take to “detox” your home. I’m including five easy steps below.
- Remove Your Shoes at the Door. Reduce your home to a variety of toxic chemicals such as lead, dust from contaminated soil, lawn and garden pesticides, fecal matter from public restrooms and animal waste, industrial toxins, dust mites, allergens and mold. This becomes even more important if you have little ones crawling around the floor.
- Ditch Nonstick Cookware. Overheating nonstick pans causes their coating to break down which can result in the release of surface chemicals and/or toxic gases. This is because nonstick cookware is made up of a carcinogenic compound called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. These chemicals become airborne when heated. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) discovered that roughly 98% of Americans have traces of PFA’s, PFC’s or PFOA’s in their bodies.
- Switch from Plastic and Vinyl to Glass and Stainless Steel. Vinyl releases some of the most toxic chemicals such as phthalates, lead and cadium. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and other serous chronic issues. Phthalates are also hormone disruptors which can interfere with the production of testosterone.
- Ditch Anti-Bacterial Soaps and Gels. These products contain triclosan, a toxic chemical that interferes with hormone regulation which is currently being phased out but still readily available in many store shelves. In December 2017, the FDA actually banned tricolasn from anti-bacterial soaps and gels but it is still readily, and legally, added to body washes, toothpaste, cosmetics as well as products not regulated by the FDA such as furniture, clothing and kitchenware. There is some research that suggests long term use affects your hormones, prompts cancer cells (such as breast cancer) to grow, and makes it easier for antibiotic-resistant bacteria (like MRSA) to grow inside your nose and throat.
- Avoid Fragrance. Going fragrance free is the absolute easiest way to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. This would include your personal care products, your household products, and in your laundry detergent. Though companies are required by law to list their ingredients, fragrance is considered proprietary information, a trade secret. This enables companies via the “fragrance loophole” to hide dozens of toxic chemicals without any legal requirement to disclose what makes up their “trade secret”. Fragrance is considered one of the top five allergens that can cause and trigger asthma attacks.
Now back to you: What are your favorite ways for detoxing your home? Let me know in the comments!
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