When thinking about toxins and health, we often consider what goes into our body, but we sometimes forget that it is equally important to monitor what is on us and around us. We consider our homes a safe space, but we may overlook common pollutants that could harm us over time with repeated exposure. Many products contain harsh chemicals that can affect us in many ways, from stress, to sleep, to hormone balance. Yet, we do not have to live in fear of these assailants. Rather, we can take conscious and committed action to remove these items from the home and not allowing in anything unnatural or questionable. With some small adjustments to routine, we can learn simple ways to swap out chemical cleaners and other items that may be causing harm and unnecessary strain on the body.
Avoiding Adverse Chemicals in the Home
Depending on your location, you may be subjected to more or less air pollution than the average person. Someone living in Los Angeles may be more conscious of this than someone in the woods of Michigan. Yet, it is not only big cities that experience poor air quality. We are often exposed to various toxins in the home from products within it. Chemical cleaners contain compounds called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which can create adverse reactions within the body and can impact the immune and endocrine systems. Chemicals are also found in pesticides, paint, and even carpet! If the product is not natural and organic, this off-gassing could be releasing a lot of chemicals into your home. Always choose organic and natural products whenever possible.
Look Closely and Read Labels
One of the most important steps to making the transition to using healthier products is to begin reading labels. Any item that is labeled with warnings, caution, danger, or toxic should be avoided or should have reduced exposure. These products may be labeled with warnings for eye irritation, skin or respiratory irritation, or flammability. Products like batteries and bleach are considered hazardous waste and should always be properly disposed of.
Storing Toxic Products
Replacing all toxic cleaning products with natural ones is another important step. If you do need to store chemical products in your home, it is recommended to seal them into a large plastic bin or covered container. Then, when you need to use those products, open the bin in a well-ventilated or outdoor area to prevent inhaling the chemicals. Use these products with the windows open or run an air purifier while using them.
Creating A Non-Toxic Home Environment
There are many wonderful non-toxic products on the market that are natural and plant-based. Natural cleaning products are usually made from vinegar, essential oils, baking soda, and other natural products. These are healthy to use and do not leak chemicals into the air. Many of these products are biodegradable, meaning they are healthy for the planet and do not create toxicity in the environment or our bodies. Living a low-toxin lifestyle is a change that may seem drastic, but it can dramatically improve health and wellness. Consider every item you put on, near, or in your body. Simply having this awareness can help you make better choices next time you are faced with a chemical cleaner or toxic product.
Guide to reducing exposure to toxic products:
(from the book “It Starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett)
- Replace any plastic kitchenware that comes into contact with hot food/drink
- Use a stainless steel water bottle
- Minimize canned and highly processed foods
- Prepare more meals at home, using whole, natural ingredients
- Take care when using plastic by choosing polypropylene or HDPE plastic and washing by hand
- Wash your hands when you return home after handling paper receipts
- Avoid conventional perfume, hair spray, nail polish, and fabric softener
- Once you use your current products, replace them with fragrance free and phthalate free haircare & skincare.
- When buying cleaning & laundry products, look for brands that are plant based, fragrance free, or phthalate free.
For up to date recommendations on phthalate-free skin care, hair care, cleaning, and laundry products, visit www.itstartswiththeegg.com/product/guide