There are so many toxins that we come in contact with every day that it can feel overwhelming. For example, there’s one chemical called diacetyl that is found in all types of snack foods. It can cause serious lung damage when it’s inhaled, contributing to a condition dubbed “popcorn lung.”
With the many toxins that we’re regularly exposed to, there are some things we can do to at least reduce our exposure, starting with our homes.
The following are some ways you can eliminate some of the toxins present in your home environment for the health of your family.
One of the best ways you can reduce your toxin exposure within your home is to get rid of your store-bought cleaners and start mixing your own.
There are some cleaning products that claim to be eco-friendly, but if you read the ingredient lists, you’ll often find you have no clue what many of the names are.
Making your own cleaners is simple, and it’s also cost-effective.
Some of the items that you can use to make non-toxic cleaners include lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar. They’re highly effective at cleaning and when you’re done your home smells fresh, rather than like it’s filled with chemicals.
Other ingredients to think about using are hydrogen peroxide and essential oils.
If you buy reusable spray bottles and containers to store your cleaning products, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint.
For a simple all-purpose cleaner, mix hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, the essential oil of your choice, and water.
This is so simple and can keep your home cleaner and reduce toxins—simply take your shoes off when you get home and have everyone else do the same.
When you wear your shoes in the house, you’re tracking in chemicals like pesticides. Shoes also bring in lead dust.
Non-stick cookware may seem convenient, but chemicals are used to create the surface. Then, when you’re cooking, these chemicals are constantly leaching into your food.
The result can be effects on your health, including organ damage, infertility, and thyroid disorders.
A non-coated pan like one made of cast iron is a much healthier alternative.
Plants naturally detoxify the air in your home, and they’re mood-boosters as well.
Plants, for example, can remove ammonia, which is commonly found in cleaning products, as well as formaldehyde, which is found in furnishings.
If you have a 2000-square-foot house, aim to have anywhere from 15 to 20 different types of plants throughout.
If you group them together, they’ll be even more powerful air cleaners.
Some of the best plants to clean the air include rubber and spider plants.
Whether it’s soap, shampoo, lotion, or anything else, avoid scents as much as you can. Products that are scented are more likely to have phthalates, which are chemicals that can cause allergies and other health problems.
Along with avoiding scents, look for labels that specifically say no phthalates.
Don’t use air fresheners either, because they are known for their harmful toxic ingredients. Make your own room freshener with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water, put in a spray bottle.
Plastic often contains BPA. BPA can get into your food if you’re storing it in plastic, and especially if you’re heating items in plastic.
Use either glass food storage containers or ones made of stainless steel.
You can figure out what’s safe by checking the bottom of the containers. If there’s a 7, the container probably has BPA and you should avoid it.
Finally, use a water filter of some kind. Maybe you put a water filter on your counter that you refill, or perhaps you add a water filter to your faucet or a whole house system.
However you do it when you filter your water before you drink it, you’re reducing your risk of potential lead exposure. When you choose a home water filter, read the label carefully to make sure it actually does remove lead.
You need to change the filter frequently, and letting your water run for at least 30 seconds can also reduce toxins, including lead.
Only use cold water for drinking because it also has less lead.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to make your home less toxic, and you’re likely to feel the effects.