7 Simple Steps to a Non-Toxic Home
We spend nearly 90 percent of our lifetimes in our homes. Roughly 1,000 chemicals lurk in the average American house, making our home one of the most toxic environments we will encounter. We can’t see, taste, or feel these household toxins, but they exist, continually adding to our chemical burden.
One of the most effective ways to detox your body and improve your health is to detox your home.
How can I get started?
Going green can be a bit overwhelming. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. That’s okay. Here’s my advice: take it slow! Rid your home of toxic products, one at a time. Before you know it, your home will be a healthier (and much safer) place.
Take these simple steps to a non-toxic home and lifestyle:
1. Rid your home of synthetic fragrances.
Nearly 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from crude petroleum oil, which contains an absurd amount of carcinogenic chemical additives. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been linked to birth defects, allergies, cancer, nervous system disorders, and more. If it smells good, it’s likely a synthetic fragrance (with the exception of essential oils). Harmful chemicals hide in candles, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, home sprays, colognes, perfumes, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, and soaps --- basically, anything with a scent. Fragrance tops my hell-no list. If a manufacturer refuses to list ALL of a product’s ingredients on the label, it's a major deal breaker for me. I hope it is for you, too.
2. Clean up your cleaning products.
We expect household cleaning products to do one thing: clean. However, research proves that most are actually quite dirty, contributing to a host of health issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says household cleaning products rank among the most toxic every-day substances to which people are exposed. Many of these household cleaning products not only harm the skin, but also release toxic fumes that affect anyone in the area.
3. Adopt a natural laundry routine.
The chemicals in common laundry products are hazardous to humans. And these chemicals are on our clothes, against our skin, and on the towels we use to wash our faces, day and night?! Scary. One study found that scented products emit more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). That’s like breathing paint bucket fumes all day. Many of these chemicals are considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and contribute to air pollution as well.
4. Chose non-toxic cookware.
Most conventional pans are non-stick, which means they’ve been coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is extremely dangerous because it contains fluoride atoms. This polymer has been linked to cancer, endocrine disorders, birth defects, and more.
5. Ditch plastic.
Plastic is full of toxic chemicals like BPA. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, and endocrine disruption. Trade plastic for glass when possible and use cloth bags or Stasher Bags.
6. Filter your water.
You may think your tap water is safe. Is it? The short answer is probably not. City water is full of harmful chemicals like fluoride, chlorine, per-fluorinated compounds (PFCs), and arsenic, which are all linked to cancers, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, hormone-related disorders, and ulcerative colitis. Clean drinking water is a must when it comes to a healthy home. A water filtration system is one of the best health investments you can make.
7. Open your windows.
Just because we cannot see the harmful chemicals we breathe doesn’t mean they’re not affecting our health in a big way. EPA studies confirm that indoor air pollutants are typically two to five times higher than outdoor air. Airing out your house periodically improves the quality of the air you breathe. Crack a window.
Start by making just a few simple changes. One at a time. And remember that every small change adds up overtime. The result is a much healthier and happier YOU!