Posted on: May 26, 2022 Posted by: H.J. Rangas Comments: 0
5 Tips to Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your Home
Reading Time: 4 minutes

All of us want to live and work in an environment that makes us feel safe and protected. Unfortunately, not all of us are aware of the many harmful substances that may make their way into our home.

This is not only from the products we use but even in the food we eat. These are not only detrimental to our physical health but also to our environmental wellness. Therefore, it is very important that we start doing our part in keeping our environment as safe as possible from toxic chemicals and substances that may harm us and our whole family.

Here are some tips to avoid toxic chemicals in our home, office and other living spaces.

1. Makeover Your Personal Care Products

A lot of personal care products contain chemicals that are harmful to our health and the environment. These products are applied directly to our skin so we absorb them easily. Some of these ingredients lack the needed research to guarantee their safety while some pollute the water or the soil when we wash them away.

Next time you go shopping for personal care items, be sure to read the label. Avoid buying items with parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and oxybenzone, just to name a few. It is also recommended to avoid products with fragrance. Try to shop for cleaners, laundry detergents and other products that are labeled “fragrance free”. Always read the labels. Some products are labeled “unscented” but it does not mean they are chemical-free.

Go online and try to find brands that use safer, natural ingredients. Finally, try reducing the number of products you use and use them less frequently to reduce your exposure.

2. Ditch Air Fresheners and Disinfectants

Air fresheners are one of the most chemically-laden items in our shopping list. They include many chemicals that may disrupt hormonal production and other health concerns. Instead of picking up an air freshener, try more healthy ways of removing unpleasant odors in your home.

Open a window to get natural ventilation. Set out a bouquet of fresh or dried flowers to add a floral scent to your environment. You can also simmer herbs or spices such as cinnamon or vanilla, on a stove to make your whole space smell good, naturally.

Be sure to regularly clean your home to prevent unpleasant odors from invading your space. Having plants around the house also helps to reduce air pollution. If your home feels dull and stale; then try clearing the energy of the whole space to brighten things up.

Disinfectant products and antibacterial soaps may also have chemicals that can irritate the skin and lungs. Some are linked to asthma, fertility and other reproductive issues. Check the labels for ingredients named “…onium chloride” such as benzalkonium chloride and avoid buying them.

3. Go BPA-Free and Avoid Plastics

Bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure is linked to a lot of hormone-related health issues. It is commonly found in can liners, plastic items and paper receipts such as those from ATMs.

To avoid BPA, reduce consuming canned goods and choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead. If possible, use storage items made from glass or lined cardboard instead of cans. Avoid taking paper receipts from ATMs, grocery stores and other places unless really needed.

If possible, use glass jars or ceramic bowls to store food instead of plastic containers. Plastic items may contain toxic additives, heavy metals and other harmful compounds which may leach out over time. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) known as poison plastic can be found in a lot of products from toys, cookware to shower curtains. So again, read labels before buying and try to find safer alternatives.

Avoid plastics with recycle symbols #3 (PVC), #6 (polystyrene), and #7 (other) as these have greater potential for leaching toxins and are hard to recycle. Finally, never microwave plastic; wash them by hand instead of using the dishwasher.

4. Turn Down the Heat on Non-Stick Cookware

Teflon is a popular material for non-stick cookware. Despite it’s convenience, it releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) when heated to 450 degrees. This chemical is linked to a lot of developmental health risks and even cancer.

If you already have non-stick cookware, try to prevent the release of PFOA by keeping the stove at or below medium heat when cooking. You can also reduce the heat once it starts boiling to prevent the temperature from rising during cooking.

Use wooden spoons and ladles for cooking instead of steel, silver or plastic to avoid scratching your cookware. Throw out non-stick cookware that have scratches to avoid chemical leaching into your food. When buying new cookware, choose cast iron or stainless steel pans instead.

5. Keep Harmful Chemicals Out of Your Home

Your shoes can bring in toxic chemicals from outside your home. Clothing items do too but at least you can wash them regularly. Get into the habit of taking your shoes off before entering the house. Use a door mat to clean off your shoes and slippers. Have a designated place to put your shoes and slippers near the door and clean that corner regularly.

Having plants around your home is also a good way to help filter out toxic chemicals. However, if you use chemically-laden products for your gardening; then it is time to reduce use of them. Instead of buying commercial fertilizers; you can make your own compost from your meal prep leftovers.

One of the best ways to reduce chemical exposure in your home is to make your own cleaning products, even your own personal care products. These can be fun, cheap and easy projects using items that are already in your home such as vinegar and baking soda. You can find plenty of recipes online. Good luck!

Feature Image: Original Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash.

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