Have you ever heard the phrase, “follow your nose?” When it comes to environmental toxins, we should follow our noses. Why? Because the number of synthetic chemicals that we are exposed to can be alarming. And so is the toxic material they contain.
There are over 80,000 synthetic chemicals in use today, so it’s no wonder that when we are inside our homes, in the office, and even at school, we are exposed to all different kinds of synthetic chemicals by inhaling them in the form of VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds. These VOC’s are the off-gassing from perfumes, upholstery, paints and cleaning chemicals. They are found in our drinking water as pesticides, and even in our toiletries, creams, cosmetics, and shampoos.
Environmental toxins, indoors and out, can be dangerous to our health. Neurological problems, developmental problems, reproductive problems, respiratory problems, liver, kidney and blood problems can result from unhealthy or long-term exposures to these toxins. Health problems may range from something as mild as a headache to something as severe as dementia.
We need to protect our families and ourselves, but how can we reduce our exposure to the environmental toxins found all around us? Why not start at home!
My home is my sanctuary. I try and keep it as clean as I can so my family and I can stay as healthy as we can. Here are a few things that I do at home that help lessen our environmental toxin exposure:
1. Leave it at the door. As soon as I get home from work, I leave my shoes by the front door and I change my clothes. In fact, my husband and my children have learned to do the same thing. I also wash my face and my hands to get rid of any extra germs that have come home with me.
2. “Clean” up your sleep: Each bedroom in my home contains a bed with allergy-free mattress, mattress cover, pillow, and pillow case. During my weekly “bedding” cleaning, while the bedding is in the laundry, I like to air the mattress out by opening a bedroom window. Also, all of our pajamas are organic cotton.
3. “Clean” up your clothes: After bringing clothes home from the dry cleaners, I unwrap the clothes right away and I hang them out for at least one to two days outside. When ironing, we use steam to remove the wrinkles in our clothes. No starch needed! I clean all my laundry with Borax and white vinegar. My clothes come out nice and clean everytime!
4. Air exchange: I try and open some windows as much as possible to air out the house and let the fresh, clean air come in.
5. Power down: My family has finally gotten in the habit of unplugging all electronics and appliances when we are not using them.
6. Clean green: I only clean with non-toxic green cleaning household cleaners. It really makes a difference in reducing toxins.
7. “Clean” bathroom cabinet: I use only natural, preservative-free skin products. There are just too many preservatives in cosmetics and skin care that contain phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde. Our deodorants are also non-aerosol. Every day I treat myself to a great tasting probiotic yogurt. It boosts the immune system and keeps me “balanced.”
8. Re-clean: I got into the habit of washing my hands often each day, with soap and warm water. Castile soap is a great germ fighter.
9. “Clean” air: I use natural smelling essential oils to make my home smell clean.
10. Tools are everything: I have a really good HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner that works wonders when I am cleaning my home. I also use microfiber cloths to clean each room of my home. My water system contains a carbon filter which helps reduce the contaminants in the water.
11. Clean intake: I drink one glass of lemon water each day. I also spice up my food with pepper instead of with salt.
12. “Smart” phone use: I try very hard each day to reduce my toxic exposures by limiting smart phone use.
Once you get the hang of reducing environmental toxins in the home, you will realize what a great step in a healthy direction you’ve taken, for yourself and for your family!