Eliminating Toxins from Your Home
Do you know how many things in your home may be toxic? There’s probably more than you think there are. Almost every product in your home- from building materials to cleaning supplies- may contain environmental toxins that could harm your health.
Where to Find Toxins in Your Home
Take a mental walk through your home and consider the following products:
- Car batteries and motor oil
- Paint and other wall coverings
- Cleaning supplies
- Food storage containers
- Personal care products
Items in your garage and can be toxic if they are stored improperly or leak. Electronics contain toxic metals. Furniture, carpets, paint, and wall coverings may contain toxic chemicals used to make them flame-retardant or last longer.
Cleaning supplies are a significant source of toxins in your home. The products you use to store food can also contain toxic chemicals. Even your personal care products like shampoo and cosmetics may contain harmful chemicals.
According to a study published in the Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, people in developed countries spend 90% of their time indoors. All this time spent inside increases your exposure to toxins found in your home.
In a meta-analysis published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers found toxic chemicals in the dust from 90% of the home samples taken. According to studies cited by the World Wildlife Fund, over 300 man-made chemicals have been found in humans. The toxins from everyday objects in your home can affect you and your family’s health and well-being.
To eliminate toxins in your home, consider how you may be exposed to them. As products break down over time, they release chemicals into the air that mix with dust. Homes with poor ventilation are at high risk of containing concentrated toxins.
When dust is stirred up, it can land on skin, food, drinks, and toys children may put into their mouths. And many household chemicals are brought as part of cleaning and personal care products.
Tip 1: Get Informed
The government has multiple agencies that monitor and regulate safe and unsafe levels of environmental toxins. Knowing what is in your home is the first step to eliminating toxic chemicals.
You can contact your local health department or check out the latest information about toxic substances online through government websites. If you plan to remove building products like lead paint or asbestos, strict precautions must be taken to minimize releasing more toxins into the air.
Tip 2: Wash Your Hands
Since dust can settle on any surface, eliminate ingesting it by washing your hands before you eat. Not only does this activity fight germs, but it can also help remove household contaminants from your hands.
Tip 3: Take Off Your Shoes
Don’t bring additional toxic substances from the soil outside your home into your house. Taking off your shoes when you enter your home is an excellent way to eliminate adding pesticides, dust, and naturally occurring toxins from the outdoor environment.
A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported arsenic, a toxic chemical, on children’s hands after playing on playground structures made of older treated lumber.
Tip 4: Dust Right
Moving dust from one place to another spreads it throughout your home. Dust with a damp rag to eliminate dust from moving back into the air and landing again, recontaminating surfaces. Vacuums with HEPA filter bags help trap dust and toxic particles.
Tip 5: Wear Gloves
If you need to use a cleaning or other product containing harmful chemicals, wear dishwashing or latex gloves to protect your skin. Make sure your work area is well ventilated, so you don’t inhale excess chemical fumes. And store cleaning supplies properly, so they don’t leak.
Tip 6: Use a Better Alternative
You can find cleaning and personal care products that don’t contain harmful chemicals toxins. Or you can make your own products from natural, chemical-free ingredients.