We can't control all of the toxins we are exposed to out in the world, but we can certainly do our best to limit the toxins we allow in our homes.
Look at the ingredient lists of the household items (cleaners, fresheners, etc.) you have in your bathroom and kitchen. Every day we put products on our skin, in our body, and breathe them, but many of these products contain damaging chemicals. The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day through soaps, makeup, shampoos, and hair care products (men fair a bit better with only 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients). Consider that modern technology also ensures that most of those chemicals stay within your home, locked in tight. Our homes are likely one big chemical soup... and we were worried about the Ozone!
Many scientists believe aluminum exposure may be linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and most deodorants contain aluminum. One of the top pollutants in the family home is laundry soap and dryer sheets— you wash your clothes, it sits on your skin, and outgases in your closet all night long. Air fresheners are listed on the EPA's toxic household chemical list (along with pesticides). Is that something you really want to use in your home?
The Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 grandfathered in over 80,000 chemicals that have not been tested for safety or side effects. 26 seconds after exposure, chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body. I realize that it might seem like everything has the potential for causing cancer these days, but given the opportunity, I would certainly prefer to reduce my risk wherever possible.
Cancer is the #2 cause of death in the U.S. and only 5-10% of cancers are genetic (hereditary). This means that 90% of cancer is within our control through diet, exercise and environmental factors. Cancer is definitely on the rise and most will know or have experienced first-hand the impact of cancer in our lifetime. It's time to take control and reduce those risks.
We need to act now to kick toxic chemicals out of our home. The 10-steps below are just a jumping off point. Feel free to comment below with other recommendations.
- Read Labels - I know this sounds obvious, IT IS!. A majority of toxic chemicals are going to enter the home through personal care products and cosmetics. Check your labels and look for things that are phthalate- and paraben- free. If you can't pronounce it, it's probably not something you want in your home. Find cleaner options. Even makeup has organic options.
- Reduce your cleaning products - find "clean" options. I personally use one product (Thieves Household Cleaner) for almost all of my household cleaning and I can pronounce every ingredient. If you are interesting in a sample, please use the contact page to reach out. Most cleaning products are toxic to breathe in and are especially potent for kids.
- Cut the saturated fat - What does this have to do with toxins you ask??? Toxic chemicals are often attracted to fat and when eating fatty meats, you may be ingesting any chemicals that animal was exposed to. If you are going to eat a fattier cut of meat, try to ensure it's grass-fed and hormone-free to reduce exposure.
- Workout - Yep, that's right....SWEAT!!! Working up a sweat helps to rid your body of all those ugly toxins. Just one more reason to get that body moving!
- Water, Water, Water - Much like sweat, drinking more water also helps us to flush our body of nasty chemicals. The added benefit is it also helps you feel full longer and keeps your skin looking younger. DRINK UP!!
- Choose Organic - Choose organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat to reduce your exposure to nasty pesticides and hormones. Organic foods are grown or produced without the aid of pesticides or antibiotics.
- Avoid plastic and nonstick pans - Choose glass or stainless steel whenever possible. Many plastics contain BPA which is especially bad when heated. If you must use plastic, only use it minimally for storage in cold areas (like the fridge). Do not cook in these containers. Nonstick pans emit toxic chemicals when overheated, choose stainless steel instead.
- DIY (Do it Yourself) - If you want something done right.....Make your own products if you can't find something that fits your expectations. There are tons of recipes out there and most are easy to make with a little bit of time. These can also make great homemade gifts.
- Eat REAL food - Processed foods are often easier and more convenient, but they also wreak havoc on our systems and can cause problems like inflammation, IBS, weight and hormone issues, etc. Whenever possible, opt for fresh real food. If that is not available, look for frozen options with little to no processing. Select meats that are nitrate-free and uncured (in the case of sausages and bacon). The added bonus is cooking at home means you may find yourself having more family dinners!! Your body will thank you for this change and you will notice when you revert back to old ways.
- Promote Change - While each of us doing our small parts is important, it's also imperative that we take every opportunity to share this information with others. The more of us there are seeking out alternatives will only help to promote companies providing cleaner options. These changes benefit all of us.
Please feel free to comment below with other recommendations for ridding your house of toxins.