Did you know 90% of cancer is not only lifestyle related,but environmental!
Your home can be the most toxic place where we spend the most time!
These days we are hearing a lot about the things that go into our mouths and on our bodies—organic this, petroleum-free that. But when it comes to keeping a healthy home, knowing what to do isn’t so easy.
In fact, the average house may contain as many as 400 chemicals, some of them toxic, many untested. And reducing your contact with chemicals— even a little—can yield clear benefits. Depending on your sensitivities, you might experience fewer allergy and asthma symptoms, headaches and skin irritations. Long-term, you may even lower your risk of infertility and cancer.
According to a 2009 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, short-term contact with one toxin in small amounts isn’t going to kill you. But with so many questionable chemicals swirling around us, “you definitely want to take simple measures whenever possible to lower your exposure,” says Phil Brown, PhD, director of the Social Science Environ-mental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University in Boston.
I know what you’re thinking:
Where the heck do I start?
And how much work is this going to take?
This is going to cost more.
The answer is, you can make BIG sweeping changes like ripping up carpeting or removing furniture. Or you can start making small changes that will add up to making a big difference. It is all up to you and how much or as little you would like to do.
Here are some low-effort, high-impact ways to minimize your toxic load. Try a couple of these, or more, to really clear the air. Environmental health experts think they may even boost your health!
KICK OFF YOUR KICKS
Leave shoes at the door to keep out 80 percent of the crud they track in, per ISSA/Interclean. That can include nasty stuff like road sealant, pesticides and lead dust.
MAKE YOUR OWN DRYER SHEETS
Most coat clothes with chemicals like quaternary ammonium compounds—which have been linked to the development of asthma—and acetone, also found in nail polish remover. Plus, your towels will be more absorbent sans the chemical covering. Here’s a link to learn how to make your own eco-friendly dryer sheets. They are really easier and can be less costly! http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Dryer-Sheets-27044025
KNOW YOUR PLASTICS
Some plastic containers can leach out a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA), which is known to tamper with our hormones. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned BPA from infant bottles and sippy cups. Then, in 2013, a review of research in the journalEndocrine Disruptorsfound that it may be associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease and other conditions in adults. So avoid plastics marked with a 7, which may contain BPA, and never put BPA-containing plastics in the microwave or dishwasher; BPAs are more likely to leach out when heated. Buy fresh or frozen foods, and look for glass or cardboard packaging when possible (the lining of cans could contain BPA, too). Doing so is especially important when it comes to acidic and oily foods, which can allow more BPA to leach out. The good news: BPA passes out of the body quickly, so it doesn’t take long to reduce your exposure.
MAKE YOUR OWN ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
Making your own all-purpose cleaner is easy. It’s very likely that you already have everything you need in your pantry.
You will need:
-1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar
-2 tablespoons of baking soda
-Several drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil (optional) or lemon peel
-Enough water to fill the bottle
This recipe is great for everything, counters, bathrooms, windows, etc.
Why white vinegar:White vinegar cuts through grease and grime, dissolves mineral deposits, helps lift stains, and breaks down odors. While it does smell when wet, I find it the smell goes away when it dries. I also just don’t mind the smell of vinegar.
Why essential oils:Some essential oils, like tea-tree or eucalyptus, have anti-microbial properties, which means they help inhibit the growth of disease causing microorganisms. They also add a nice scent.
Why baking soda:A powerful deodorizer and stain remover with anti-bacterial properties (that aren’t over the top) baking soda is, like white vinegar, a staple in household cleaning.
*Use can use clove oil rather than bleach to get rid of mold.
When bleach is mixed with other chemicals, it can create a toxic gas. It’s also harmful to your skin and your eyes.
Instead of sprays (which add to your chemical load) or feathers (which just kick up more dust), use dry, unscented microfiber cloths, which attract dirty particles instead of scattering them.
KEEP SOME HOUSE PLANTS IN EVERY ROOM
The soil bacteria helps to reduce the volatile organic compounds (like formaldehyde) in the air.
STOP USING AIR FRESHENERS AND OTHER SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES
You’ll reduce your exposure to phthalates. Use essential oils, for a variety of safe scents. Also, in most cases those oils are really can be used for many other things!
Also, you can switch to pure beeswax candles. Other candles contain petroleum-based, which paraffin releases nasty chemicals when burned, such as benzene, toluene, and ketones. Soy and Palm oil candles are hydrogenated and then typically colored and scented, again releasing nasty chemicals when burned.
WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY, BUT AVOID SANITIZERS
They can contain nasty chemicals, which may increase your absorption of other chemicals to which you’re exposed! There are great essential oils that sanitize your hands, smell good and don’t leave your skin dry.
VACUUM YOUR HOUSE
Vacuuming regularly using a HEPA filter will reduce the levels of many chemicals in your house. This could help reduce your exposure to brominated fire retardants, phthalates, and pesticides. A study by the Silent Spring Institute identified 66 endocrine-disrupting compounds in household dust.
If you do all of these things, you’d be going a long way to reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals. But if all these changes are a bit overwhelming, why not start with one and go from there?
There is a great resource you can use to check the toxicity of your cosmetics, household products and more. Check out http://www.cancerschmancer.org/check
ENJOY YOUR DAY!
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