It has been reported that on average, poison centers in America handle one poison exposure case every 14 seconds. Most often, in-home poisonings involve everyday household items including cleaning supplies. Don't just clean your home - detox it! Here are eight easy things to change in your home that will make a big, positive impact on your health.
1. Filter indoor air. After being cooped up indoors, you probably can't wait to open up the windows and let in a warm breeze. That also means letting allergens and toxins into your home. Make sure to replace your air filter frequently to combat toxins and allergens.
2. Use natural air fresheners. Instead of masking odors by using candles and air fresheners, which introduce more toxins into the air, try eliminating them using baking soda. To get the smell you love, try natural alternatives such as essential oils.
3. Drink clean, use a filter. Chlorine is a common "cleaning" agent used in the treatment of tap water. Studies have shown that chlorinated drinking water can negatively impact the thyroid, immune system, and even pregnancy. The best way to reduce your intake of toxins is to purchase a filter. The Environmental Working Group's national drinking water database & filter buying guide can help you.
4. Give your cleaning supplies cabinet a makeover. While conventional products may disinfect, they also leave behind toxins that have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive and hormonal problems. EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning lists hidden toxins in cleaning supplies and shows how to read cleaning product labels. Try using diluted vinegar for windows, and baking soda paste for scrubbing.
5. Ditch the plastic. Storing, cooking, and freezing food in plastic containing petrochemicals such as PVC (used in plastic wrap) and BPA (used in hard plastics like Tupperware, and water bottles) can cause these chemicals to leak into your food. Studies have linked these to many health problems, such as cancer, reproductive system damage, impaired brain development, and impaired immune function. When buying plastics, look for the resin number located in a triangle. Opt for containers made of #1, 2, 4, or 5 plastics. Better yet, ditch plastics in favor of stainless steel or glass containers.
6. Truly clean your laundry. Laundry soaps, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets, particularly those that are scented, are terrible for those with asthma and allergies. In fact, fragrances are among the world's top five allergens. Additionally, many softening chemicals have antibacterial qualities, and overuse of such chemicals may cause the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. To reduce your family's exposure, choose clear laundry soaps. Skip fabric softeners and dryer sheets and substitute with a 1/2 cup of white vinegar per load during the rinse cycle.
7. Bathe in nature. Soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and other body products often contain harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems. The EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is an easy way to learn more about your personal care
items and help you make less toxic choices in the future.
8. Protect your grin. Most toothpaste sold in the U.S. contains fluoride. Proper usage instructions are often confused with advertising tactics, making the use of fluoride potentially very dangerous. In fact, the health risks associated with fluoride are so serious that the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US. Risks from ingestion include stomach problems, permanent tooth discoloration, skin rash, metabolism impairment, and acute toxicity. The best solution is to switch to a fluoride-free brand. If switching isn't an option, be sure to abide by the real rules of use and stick to a pea-size amount of toothpaste, and don't swallow.
We've discussed how cleaning the air in your home is a way to relieve and heal disorders
such as seasonal allergies. While some plants cause seasonal allergies, it is also true that other plants will help filter the air of various allergens as well as harmful chemicals that invade your home.
Aloe vera and spider plants naturally filter the air of formaldehyde and benzene which are prevalent in materials, paints, and cleaners used today.
Spider plant also filters carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber, and printing industries.
If you dry clean your clothing, gerber daisies are a good option as they have a knack for removing trichloroethylene in addition to benzene.
Golden pothos, a fast-growing vine that doesn't mind the dark, has been suggested for use in the garage as it will help filter formaldehyde from car exhaust before it creeps into your home.
If you prefer the convenience of a mechanical air purifier, remember that not all air purifiers
are created equal. Many air filtration systems only clean the air of larger air particles but miss
the ultrafine particles that account for about 90 percent of all airborne particles. We
recommend the IQAir Cleaner Health Pro Plus, a HyperHEPA filtration system that has been
proven and certified to filter up to 99.5 percent of all particles in the air.