Detox Your Home For A Cleaner Body & Mind: 6 Crucial Steps To Take
With winter fast approaching, we’re spending more and more time indoors. A clean and toxic-free environment can have a major impact on your health and wellbeing.
For example, if you’re living in a home with a mold problem, you can suffer significantly from exposure. Breathing problems, neurological disturbances and immune issues can quickly become a problem in a home with mold.
There are other hidden toxins in your home that can really contribute to lagging health, breathing issues, autoimmune illnesses and fatigue. Here are some critical steps to take to clean up your home in order to boost your health.
- Detox your cleaning products. According to David Suzuki, “When we use these chemicals to clean our home, they linger in the air and we breathe them in. Researchers in the U.S. identified 133 unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a small sample of consumer products, including six cleaning products. Each product tested emitted between one and eight chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws.” So, while these products might seem innocuous, they’re not. We breathe these chemicals in, they come in contact with our skin and at this time of year when windows are closed they’re sealed inside our homes with us. Opt for natural cleaning products and laundry detergents. They line the shelves of grocery stores now. And while we may not feel the immediate effects of switching to a greener product, we’ll benefit greatly in the long run. And so will our planet. Remember that what we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.
- Detox your personal care products. Do you know that most make-up contains lead? And did you also know that when a product lists the word “fragrance” in its laundry list of ingredients, that within that one little ingredient can be thousands of chemicals? And did you know that most of those chemicals have not been tested for safety? Opt for clean personal care products. Shampoos and conditioners without parabens, sulfates, fragrance or, my personal favorite, polyethylene glycol, also known as PEG, which is a known carcinogen and developmental toxicant that can interfere with healthy human development. Yep. I’d like some of that rubbed vigorously into my scalp. No thanks!
- Detox your air. In the summertime in my neighborhood, I often marvel at the number of houses that never have a window cracked. Our houses are full of flame retardent products (from our clothing to our mattresses) that contain PBDEs, a class of chemicals that are structurally similar to known human toxicants PBBs, PCBs, dioxins and furans, all of which have been banned under the Stolkholm Convention. Our houses are full of dust, stale air, chemicals, EMFs and fragrances. Give the air in your home (and your lungs) a break and open some windows. You then have the added benefit of listening to the sounds of nature.
- Toss all of the non-stick cookware. That convenient pan that perfectly cooks your eggs also contains perfluoroalkyl acid. This class of chemicals have been linked to ADHD, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease. They’re also potent sperm killers and are suspected of contributing to female infertility. Oakey doakey. Instead, opt for cast iron cookware. I’ve been cooking with cast iron for years now and wouldn’t cook on anything else.
- Decorate with plants. Firstly, they just look so beautiful. They add incredible life to a space because they are life. But some plants are also amazing air cleaners. Spider plants, snake plants and golden pothos are all known to reduce ozone air pollution outdoors and indoors. What a great, inexpensive and healthy way to decorate a space.
Getting the chemicals and toxins out of your space can have life-changing effects. We know a number of these chemicals (like BPA in the plastics we all have in our houses) also have significant impacts on our hormones. Imagine what living in a toxin-free environment can do for your health. Our livers don’t have to work so hard to shuffle out the crap. Our endocrine system isn’t being messed with by hormone-disrupting chemicals. Our respiratory systems don’t have to work overtime to filter out excess chemicals that can cause chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
We spend so much time in our homes, it’s worth spending the time to clean out what might be making you sick and invest in those products that are friendlier to you and the planet. Everyone wins. Make the switch.
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