ARE you looking for ways to rid your home of toxins but don't know where to start? Synthetic chemicals are in everything from cleaning products and cosmetics to furniture, clothes and toys. In fact, there are about 100,000 synthetic chemicals on the market today, and many of them haven't been tested for human and environmental toxicity. And of those that have been, there are many chemicals that contain known allergens, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens.
1. Take your shoes off
If you take your shoes off before you enter the house you can reduce the load of dust, residue and other nasties you trail in from the outside world.
2. Ditch toxic plastics
Potential carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals are leached by most plastics. The worst ones to look out for are polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC), polystyrene (PS, aka Styrofoam, when extruded), and polycarbonate (PC). Opt for cardboard or glass packaging, storing food in ceramic or glass packaging, rinsing all canned food thoroughly and using non-plastic microwave containers and stainless steel drinking bottles.
3. Keep house plants in every room
The soil bacteria will help to reduce volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde in the air.
4. Air your home
One of the quickest and easiest ways to detox your home naturally is to open up the doors and windows. Healthy homes are filled with fresh air and light.
5. Stop using bleached products
Chlorine byproducts have been found to be 300,000 times more carcinogenic than the pesticide DDT. You can find it in bleached products like paper towels, bleached coffee filters and toilet paper. Choose chlorine-free paper products.
6. Ditch spray cans
Sprays like air fresheners, artificial fragrances and insect sprays contain lung irritants and phthalates, one of the worst endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters mess with hormones and affect body functions such as growth, metabolism and fertility.
7. Use a water filter
Invest in a good quality water filter for your home to filter out chlorine and fluoride in drinking water. Store your water in stainless steel or glass.
8. Avoid Teflon pots and pans
The chemicals used to create non-stick cookware can cause damage to your thyroid, your liver or your immune system. Get rid of Teflon and other cookware that's made from fluoropolymers and fluorinated telomers, and opt for pots and pans made from iron or stainless steel or are glass or porcelain coated.
9. Use essential oils as disinfectant
Essential oils such as lime, tea tree and cinnamon have disinfectant properties and are better than commercial disinfectants that contain chemicals like chlorine, triclosan and formaldehyde.
10. Read the labels on processed foods
Try to avoid artificial flavours, colours and flavour enhancers.