The most important thing you have is your health, so you'll want to safeguard it. It's likely you're already doing several things right, such as:
- Getting enough exercise
- Eating healthy foods
- Avoiding harmful chemicals in your house
Do you know the average household contains around 500 to 1,000 chemicals, many of which you can't see, taste, or smell? While you may be able to tolerate these chemicals in small doses, issues occur when you're exposed to them in larger doses or in combination.
Each person's tolerance level is different depending on things like nutritional status, genetics, and previous contact with many chemicals. However, household toxins' negative effects are often compounded through the use of other types of drugs, particularly recreational or prescription drugs, or habitual alcohol use.
Detox Your Home
You may have performed a detox before to eliminate your body's internal toxins, but what have you done to detoxify your home? Common body-care and household products are increasingly being found to negatively affect the health of individuals' immune and nervous systems, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and endocrine and reproductive systems.
Here are five ways to detox your home.
- Go Green By Using Eco-Friendly Natural Cleaners
When buying products, the Natural Resource Defense Council recommends you look for brands that don't contain things like:
- Additional artificial fragrances
When looking for scented options, select products that contain essential oils instead. Check for the EPA's "Safer Choice" label on items, which show they've been evaluated for their impact on the environment and human health. You can also make your own products with natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon.
Before throwing out your old cleaners, check out your local sanitation department's website to learn where and how to properly dispose of harmful home waste. Don't put products like these down the drain because they could contaminate the water source.
- Avoid Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Use untreated fabrics as much as you can. VOCs like formaldehyde are often in stain-resistant furniture. VOCs are chemicals that turn gaseous at room temperature, possibly triggering negative effects like:
- Irritated throat and eyes
The same thing occurs for flame-retardant clothes like children's pajamas.
Switch out your vinyl shower curtain for a nylon, cotton, EVA, polyester or PEVA plastic one. If you're not sure if it's vinyl, check the recycling seal on the package or on the shower curtain to see if there's a number three printed on it, or the letters PVC.
- Take Off Your Shoes
Make sure everyone in the household takes off their shoes, and leaves them at the door. Many pesticides, fertilizers, dirt, and germs come in the home from the bottom of your shoes. By not walking in your home with your shoes on, you'll keep many contaminants out of your house. Wear slippers that you only wear indoors — or, if you’re so inclined, go barefoot.
- Sleep Clean
You spend about a third of your life in your bed, so you'll want to ensure you're not breathing in hazardous toxins. Switch your mattress out to a certified, organic, latex one that's manufactured without pesticides and chemicals. When cleaning your latex mattress, use mild soap and water instead of harsh chemicals.
A 100% natural, organic latex mattress can also benefit you and your family's health in many ways, including:
- No PBDEs: A lot of fire retardants contain polybrominated diphenyl Ether, which is a very harmful chemical. And, PBDEs don't break down over time. They stay active instead, and continue to contaminate your home's air, putting you and your family at risk.
- No off-gassing: This occurs when specific petrochemicals collect in your home's air, and releases hazardous odors. They're common in things using certain VOCs, like home furnishings, paint, glues, and some traditional mattresses.
- Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial : Respiratory problems can affect all areas of your life, including how you feel overall, how you perform at work, and the ability to breathe clean air. Eliminating allergens and microbes from your bedroom, which you often find lurking underneath the surface of traditional coil and innerspring mattresses, can go a long way in making sure your respiratory health stays in check.
- Use Less Plastic
Plastics come from a variety of chemical formulas. And, chemicals like these can leach into their surroundings — water, air, food, drinks, hands, and dust. Some of these chemicals are suspected or known hormone-disrupting chemicals, contributing to a variety of negative health effects. Ditch the plastic if possible, and use containers made of stainless steel and glass instead.
The best thing you can do is try to go "all-natural" as much as you can. There are many "natural" and "non-toxic" products on the market that are environmentally safe and biodegradable. And, while you might not be able to go completely chemical-free, at least not right away, the above are a few changes you can start today to take great steps towards a healthier home.