How Do You Reduce Toxins in Your Home?
WHY IS KNOWING HOW TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR HEALTH?
The New York State Department of Health describes toxins as “a substance that can be poisonous or cause health effects. People are generally concerned about chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin which can be found at some hazardous waste sites. Products that we use daily, such as household cleaners, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, gasoline, alcohol, pesticides, fuel oil and cosmetics, can also be toxic. Any chemical can be toxic or harmful under certain conditions.”
Whether you’re looking to give your family a fresh start or someone in the home has fallen ill, knowing how to reduce toxins in your home is the first step to a healthier living space that everyone can benefit from.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST WAYS TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME?
Toxins are sneaky and hidden all throughout your home, making it hard to know where to begin. One of the first places to look is in your kitchen. Your water, food containers and even the foods you are eating are all areas you need to keep an eye on if you’re looking to reduce toxins in your home.
We all know water is necessary for life, but not everyone realizes how harmful tap water can be. National Geographic describes how harmful toxins get into your water, writing that “the waste can harm humans, animals, and plants if they encounter these toxins buried in the ground, in stream runoff, in groundwater that supplies drinking water, or in floodwaters, as happened after Hurricane Katrina.” How can you protect your family from these toxins? You want to invest in a high-quality water filter. A pitcher filter like ZeroWater is a terrific way to go because it doesn’t just reduce the harmful toxins like other filters, it eliminates them.
Another area of concern when it comes to water is the containers you are drinking out of. Water bottles are full of the harmful toxin bisphenol A (BPA), which is an endocrine disrupter, meaning it blocks our natural hormones from behaving properly. According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), it has also “been shown to mimic the female hormone estrogen. This upsets the normal processes of development (for growing babies and young children) and the functions necessary for maintaining an adult body.” The best way to avoid consuming BPA when drinking is to invest in a stainless steel or glass water bottle. Another place BPA hides note is in your plastic food containers. If you’re looking to reduce toxins in your home thoroughly, you will need to throw out the old containers and look for ones that advertise BPA free.
4 WAYS TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME AND BODY?
1. Toxins get into the foods you eat by way of pesticides. Pesticides are sprayed on the produce and grains that we eat to protect them from fungi and pests. In theory, this sounds great. In practice, it’s very harmful to our bodies. You can avoid the consumption of pesticides by buying organic foods as much as possible. If organic produce is unattainable, vigorous washing before eating them is helpful.
2. Perfumes, colognes, and air fresheners smell fantastic but are full of harmful toxins. To reduce these toxins, try essential oils instead. doTerra, one of the best-known producers of essential oils writes that “essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.”
3. For an air freshener, buy an essential oil diffuser. The market is flooded with different diffusers, so you have a lot of options for price and looks. Simply pour in water to the max fill line, add three to four drops of an essential oil of your choice, turn on and enjoy. When you’re looking for the best one for your home, make sure to read reviews and find one with an auto shut-off feature.
4. Beauty products are another hiding place for toxins. Go through your makeup drawers and look for product ingredients such as parabens, which are another estrogen-mimicking toxin, phthalates, which are found in nail polish, lotion and hair spray and are endocrine disruptors, and formaldehyde, which is a known human carcinogen, which means cancer-causing. These are only a fraction of the chemicals to avoid. Educate yourself on these toxins, and begin reading the ingredients list on the products you’re looking to buy. Look for products that are all natural and organic. You may pay a little more, but you owe it to your health in the long run.
Indoor air pollutants are constantly increasing, so knowing how to remove them is tantamount to a healthy home. How are the air born toxins getting into the home? When you come in from outside, you’re tramping them in on your shoes and clothes. If you have pets, they are also carrying them in on paws and fur. The simplest way to reduce the entrance of these toxins is to take your shoes off at the door. If you leave them on, you are potentially carrying around toxic chemicals such as lead, flame retardants and even mercury.
Plants are another way to reduce toxins in your home. There are numerous types of plants that have air purifying properties. Some of them include spider plants, which are very hardy and easy to grow; peace lilies, which will flower during the summer and like shade; and snake plants, which are very hard to kill, making them great for novice plant owners. Some of the toxins these plants remove are benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia.
One of the best ways to purify your air is an air duct cleaning. An air duct cleaning involves cleaning the entirety of your HVAC system, from the air handler (the device that distributes the hot and cold air throughout the home) to the main trunk line and all of the supply and return ducts. Always find a company that uses the National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association’s(NADCA’s) preferred process of cleaning, which ensures that you’re getting the best possible cleaning, and removing all the built-up dust, debris, and toxins from your HVAC system. Removal of these harmful particulates helps protect your family from allergens, asthma attacks, and inhaling any of the toxins discussed here.
More info? For more information about toxins and particulates, check out our other post: Get Rid Of (Toxic) & Harmful Dust Particulates