Did you know there are 500 to 1,000 toxic chemicals lurking in your home?
That’s right. Toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, asbestos, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), flame retardants and BPA are found in a number of common household items including, paper products, paints, bathroom cleaners, water bottles and many more.
Although exposure to small doses of these chemicals may not be harmful, in combination or in large amounts, these toxins can cause a number of irritations to our body. This includes impacts to our respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems.
In fact, chemical off-gassing from household products, cigarette smoke, air-borne allergens and viruses can promote “sick-building syndrome,” which causes symptoms such as headaches, Eye, nose, and throat irritations, dry cough, irritated skin, and nausea to name a few.
Just as we detox our bodies from sugar or caffeine every once in a while, it is beneficial to detox your home on occasion.
Here are four quick ways to minimize the amount of toxic chemicals in your home:
Add Plants to Improve Indoor Quality
Not only are plants the perfect touch to any interior, they can actually improve indoor air quality.
Plants improve air quality by removing toxins from the atmosphere. A study by NASA found that indoor plants absorb harmful toxins lingering in the air through their leaves and roots and act as a sort of air filter removing carbon and increasing oxygen levels.
Some of the best plants to add to your living space are ferns, golden pothos and aloe vera.
Consider the products you bring into your home
Although “going organic” is a hot trend these days, it’s not a bad idea.
Be picky about the brands you use. Check what is used to make the product and where they are made. You should only purchase from brands that clearly disclose what materials are in the products.
Many brands are catching wind of how important ethically sourced, organic materials are to customers. One example of an environmentally sound and transparent brand is Leesa Sleep.
Leesa Sleep is a Certified-B corporation which means they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Their product is made in the U.S. (which holds the highest standards for product development) and built with Certi-PUR foams. This is just one example of many brands joining the fight to become green.
As a rule of thumb, here are a few tips when it comes to shopping for non-toxic household items:
Shop for biodegradable household cleaning products that disclose all ingredients used and don’t use fragrance
Avoid aerosol spray cans
Avoid spraying pesticides - address the root of the problem instead, (i.e., not leaving food out)
Buy non-PVC paint
Shop for BPA-free plastics
Cut back on cans
Vacuum the house regularly
One of the most common places for toxins and allergens to lurk is in dust. This makes it important that you dust and vacuum the house regularly.
One study conducted by the NRDC, found that 90% of dust samples collected contained toxic chemicals. In fact, the study found roughly 45 different types of chemicals across five main chemical classes. Some of these chemicals include phthalates, flame retardants, fragrances and environmental phenols.
All this to say, when detoxing your home, one crucial step is to clean.
Install the proper protection
There is no way to 100% detox your home. In order to stay safe from potential pollutants in your home, take these precautionary measures.
Install CO detectors to notify you when this harmful gas is present in your home
Have your water tested for lead
Always ventilate while painting or refurbishing to let toxic gases escape
Get a shower filter. This will filter out any impurities in your tap water that could turn to gas at room temperature.
The average American spends 90% of their time in their home. It’s time we take care of it and the things we bring into it.