The home- it’s where we spend the majority of our time and raise our families, so it really should be the last place that is toxic. But often it is one of the most toxic environments we’re in simply because of the household products we use on a daily basis.
In fact, studies show that indoor air can be up to 5x more polluted than outdoor air!
When I first learned that the everyday products I was using in my home such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, plastic, (and even my pots and pans!) were full of harmful chemicals, I immediately began searching for safer alternatives. These were certainly not worth sacrificing my health for!
The good news is that you have incredible influence over these household items and by swapping some everyday household items for safer options, you can dramatically reduce your daily exposure to harmful substances.
So let’s get right to it! Here are 5 steps you can take to transition to a healthier home.
1. Toss the Toxic Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning products, which are even less regulated than cosmetic and personal care products, contain thousands of harmful chemicals and are big contributors to indoor air pollution. In fact, there are 17,000 chemicals used in cleaning supplies and less than 1/3 are tested for safety. These include phthalates, PFCs, sodium laurel sulfate, glycol ethers, and many more harmful ingredients.
Whether you’re washing your clothes or dishes with these products or just cleaning your home, these chemicals enter the bloodstream through our lungs and skin, and often linger in the air for hours, increasing unnecessary exposure. Using these products, especially around young children, increases harmful exposure to these toxic chemicals.
Related Post: The Dirty Details about Cleaning Supplies
2. Pass on Plastic
Plastic is a bigger part of our lives than we realize at first. It holds our water, stores our food, and is certainly convenient for on-the-go, but unfortunately plastic comes with a cost- our health.
Did you know that plastic contains two primary compounds, bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates? Both of these have been linked to hormone disruption, including early onset of puberty in girls and infertility in men and women, as well as neurological problems including ADHD.
Some of my favorite alternatives for plastic are from BeHomeWell– which is the ultimate one-stop online shop for all things nontoxic, for the home, body, and family. They offer a variety of plastic alternatives, like Bee’s Wrap (a great alternative to plastic wrap), stainless steel food storage, stainless steel straws, and reusable produce bags.
3. Filter Your Bath & Shower Water
Drinking water is not the only water that contains harmful levels of chlorine, fluoride, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and other contaminants, our bath and shower water is too!
Did you know that in a quick shower, the average person absorbs more chlorine, VOCs and disinfectant byproducts than by drinking a gallon of tap water? Yikes. If you’ve never thought of filtering your bath & shower water, it’s an easy way to reduce your exposure to the harmful compounds that are in tap water.
For more information, check out my post Why Filtering Your Shower Water is Critical to learn which filters are best for shower and bath water.
4. Purify the Air with Plants
Did you know that ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene are common indoor air contaminants? Instead of spraying your home with harsh air fresheners full of ‘fragrance’ (which is really just a fancy term for chemical cocktail), or using candles, which contain paraffin (a petroleum waste product), heavy metals, and other artificial chemicals and dyes, just let your houseplants do the work!
This is one of the most fun ways to make your home healthier, because it can double as decor! How? Just add some plants.
For a complete list of plants that purify air and which are best to avoid if you have children or pets, download my FREE eBook, A Beginner’s Guide to a Nontoxic Home, by clicking the image below.
Another way I purify the air in my home naturally is to use Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags. They absorb odors, remove allergens and pollutants, and absorb excess moisture in the air. Moso Air Purifying Bags are even reusable for up to two years and can be rejuvenated by sunlight alone.
Related Post: How to Purify Indoor Air Naturally
“The Moso Bag is a safe alternative to air fresheners that are filled with formaldehyde, petroleum and fragrance, which can be carcinogenic and lead to numerous health problems. The Moso Bag is filled with non toxic, chemical free and fragrance free moso bamboo charcoal that allows your family and pets to breathe safely.” (Moso Natural)
5. Ditch Non-Stick
Non-stick cookware can definitely be convenient at times, and it sounds like a great idea…until you’re aware of what is used to make the pots and pans non-stick!
Non-stick cookware is coated with synthetic polymers that contain PFOAs (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) also known as Teflon. When heated, these substances are released into the air and create toxic gases, which have been linked to thyroid disease, infertility in women, liver toxicity, kidney cancers, hormone disruption, birth defects, immune system damage, and more.
Studies by the Environmental Working Group found that non-stick cookware released dangerous toxins within 2-5 minutes of heating! Since we’re cooking with these pots & pans, it’s hard to prevent these chemicals from leeching into the air and our food.
The convenience of ‘non-stick’ comes with a cost…Is it really worth it? Download the eBook below to learn which types of cookware are healthiest!
For a more complete guide to transitioning your home to nontoxic, get your free copy of A Beginner’s Guide to A Nontoxic Home, here.
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Hannah is the founder and health educator at Healthfully Hannah, empowering women to live healthfully through science-based, step-by-step guidance. Read Hannah’s personal health journey that led her to discover the power of Functional Medicine and Nutrition. Feel free to send Hannah a message here.
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