I will not get tired of repeating this disturbing truth: toxic chemicals are everywhere! Decreasing the accumulation of toxins outside relies on a collective action from the involved agencies and us. But before we can even go out into the streets, the fight against toxic substances begins in our own homes. Indeed, we could be living in homes that host countless harmful chemicals. For starters, here are four household toxins that shouldn’t be in your home.
Synthetic pesticides: These include bug and weed killers and should be avoided inside and outside your homes. Researches have linked these chemicals with brain development problems and even Alzheimer’s. Be wary of those that claim to be “natural” too! Herbicides have been linked to various types of cancer including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Alternative: Cleaning up crumbs, placing food in sealed containers, and sealing pest entry points are reliable methods of combating indoor bug problems. To achieve that perfect grassy lawn, weeding them by hand is highly recommended. The added exercise is a great bonus too!
Antibacterial soap: Most antibacterial soaps contain triclosan, an antimicrobial chemical that is said to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels. Researchers also believe that overuse of antibacterial chemicals promotes the growth of bacteria that are resistant to antibacterial treatments.
Alternative: Your good old-fashioned soap and warm water could kill just as many germs, studies show. When buying sanitizers, choose the alcohol-based variety and make sure triclosan is not listed on the label.
Synthetic fragrances: We love a home that smells good! However, most fragrances contain harmful chemicals known to be carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, and reproductive toxicants. These fragrances are usually used in almost everything from laundry detergents to scented candles.
Alternative: Choose the unscented type as much as possible. You can freshen the air at home with better ventilation and with some baking soda. Keep in mind synthetic fragrances do not clean the air. Instead, they add harmful chemicals to the air we breathe.
Some (harsh) cleaning products: The products you use to clean your homes could actually be contaminating the air you breathe. In example is ammonia which can trigger asthma attacks.
Alternative: Find cleaners that are guaranteed to be eco-friendly and contain natural ingredients. You can also learn to make your own homemade disinfectant with one part white vinegar and 9 parts water.
Keeping our homes safe should be a top priority. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the benefits (health and environmental) will make the effort worth it.
To learn more about other toxic chemicals found in our homes, check this blog I wrote previously.
Source: Rodale’s Organic Life