We spend most of our lives making decisions that we think are smart – smart enough to make us healthy and happy. But what we don’t always realize is that there are forces working behind the scenes – invisible dangers – that threaten to compromise our well-being. The toxic chemicals found in everyday household items could certainly be included on this list.
5 Ways to Rid Your Home of Dangerous Chemicals
There’s no nice way to put it: Your home is essentially a toxic waste dump. The average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals. That’s more than a chemistry lab had at the turn of this century. It contains dozens of other chemicals that have never been tested for long-term effects. So it should come as no surprise that the EPA considers indoor air to be three- to 70-times more polluted than outdoor air.
You don’t have to live in a toxic waste dump any longer, though. For the most part, we know the sources of the majority of these chemicals. Doing the following will significantly reduce the presence of these toxins in your home.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
The first thing you should do is open up the cabinets underneath your kitchen sink and safely dispose of all your chemical cleaning products. While they may make your house look and smell better, many of them actually make it a more toxic and dangerous place to live.
You can clean just as effectively (and much more safely) by using natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. If you enjoy the convenience of buying ready-to-use products, do some research and look for brands that clearly label all of their ingredients.
Get Rid of Roundup (and Other Dangerous Lawn Products)
It’s important that you don’t just read labels and assume that product manufacturers will warn you when a product has something dangerous in it. There are very loose laws on what chemicals have to be listed in cleaning or landscaping products. Take the popular weed-killer Roundup as an example.
“A US EPA report discovered significant evidence that there was a link between Roundup and cancer in a number of animals. The findings also showed that glyphosate caused damage to human chromosomes within the cells and to the DNA itself,” Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers explains. “Despite these findings, Monsanto has provided false statements to the government, farmers and the public that claim their products are ‘as safe as table salt’ and can be consumed outright without any risk.”
The best rule of thumb is to get rid of chemical landscaping products and make your own products using natural ingredients. There are plenty of alternatives like Epsom salt, vinegar, and dish-washing liquid. You can also try straight vinegar or hot water.
Avoid Fragrances and Candles
Fragrances and candles make your house smell great, but the same substances that give them a pleasing aroma are often a threat to our bodies. When you shop for products like cleaners, laundry detergents, and air fresheners, look for “fragrance-free” labels. (And it’s worth mentioning that labels reading “unscented” don’t always mean fragrance-free.)
As for candles, diffusing essential oils is a much better alternative. You can also try simmering things like cinnamon and apples on the stovetop. Anything natural is going to be better than a commercial product.
Throw Away Plastic Containers
Have you ever noticed how your old plastic food containers get foggy or cloudy after a few runs through the dishwasher? This is simply the visible evidence of plastic breaking down over time. The problem is that this process of breaking down causes dangerous chemicals to be released into your food. Many plastics contain chemicals like phthalates, which act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It’s better to stick with glass containers.
Start a No Shoes Policy
Stop wearing shoes in the home. Shoes are one of the primary ways in which toxins enter the home. In fact, one study from the EPA suggests that 98 percent of all lead dust found in homes is tracked in from the outdoors. If lead is getting tracked in, you can only imagine what else is crossing over the threshold.
Make Your Home a Healthy Space
Simple little steps like throwing out candles and taking off shoes when you walk in the house can make a big difference in your family’s overall health and happiness. Make smart, proactive choices and your home will become a safer space for everyone.