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Are Dangerous Toxins Lurking in Your Home?

Thu, May. 11, 2017 Posted: 01:08 PM


You do all the right things. You try to buy healthy food, clean your house religiously every weekend, and make sure you only buy the safest toys for your children. But what if you aren’t doing enough? Unbeknownst to millions of people, dangerous toxins and chemicals are lurking in some unlikely places.

Chemicals, Toxins, and Germs, Oh My!

You aren’t going to want to hear this, but it’s important to face reality. Your home is likely filled with different chemicals, toxins, and germs. Some homes have more than others, but there are very few that are totally clean.

It all starts with cleaning products. Did you know that there are no federal regulations on the use of chemicals in cleaning products? Ingredients don’t have to meet any sort of safety standard and there’s no requirement to list all ingredients on the label. As a result, the majority of cleaning products found in the aisles of your closest supermarket contain questionable chemicals that are dangerous to your health.

“Manufacturers argue that in small amounts these toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, but when we’re exposed to them routinely, and in combinations that haven’t been studied, it’s impossible to accurately gauge the risks,” health and fitness blogger Jessie Sholl notes.

Sholl points out that the average household contains 62 toxic chemicals and that many of these “household products” have been linked to cancer, asthma, neurotoxicity, reproductive disorders, and hormone disruption.

The presence of chemicals found in everyday products is even more alarming when you view this issue through the lens of young developing children. Research is showing that these harmful ingredients can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADD.

“These everyday chemicals, including organophosphates, flame retardants and phthalates, can be found in food, plastics, furniture, food wrap, cookware, cans, carpets, shower curtains, electronics and even shampoo,” CNN’s Nadia Kounang reports. “They are pretty much everywhere around us.”

If all of this sounds pretty foreign, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t know about the prevalence of these toxins because there isn’t a lot of discussion on the topic. But in order to become better informed, you need to get familiar with the following chemicals and toxins – which are surprisingly prevalent in most homes.

• Phthalates. Found in staple household items like toilet paper, air fresheners, and dish soap, phthalates are present in the majority of homes. This chemical has been linked to reduced sperm counts in men (among other things).

• Polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These chemicals are frequently used as flame-retardants and are found in things like computers, children’s toys, pillows, televisions, and computers. But in addition to slowing the spread of flames, they also wreak havoc on the thyroid.

Perchiloroethylene. Known as “Perc,” this dangerous neurotoxin is classified by the EPA as a “possible carcinogen.” While it’s being phased-out, it’s still found in many homes. It’s been directly linked to dizziness and loss of coordination, among other symptoms.

Give Your Home a Detox

After reading this, you probably feel a bit hopeless. Is there any way to avoid these dangerous toxins? It’ll take some work on your part, but the answer is yes. You can detox your house and start fresh. Here are a few ideas and pointers.

• Make your own cleaners. One of the first things you need to do is throw out all of your household cleaners. Believe it or not, you can actually make your own cleaners and they’re much safer and more effective. All you need are basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils.

• Pay attention to finishes. It’s not just the items your own. The building materials and finishes used for things like kitchen cabinets can contain toxins. But as Kitchen Cabinet Kings notes, “Some environmentally-conscious manufacturers now offer a water-based, ultra-violet (UV) finish on kitchen cabinets. Unlike any other finishes, this finish contains virtually no volatile organic compounds, and emits no toxic fumes or chemicals into the air.”

• Stick with glass. Whenever possible, choose glass containers over aluminum cans. BPA is present in the lining of cans, which is just another reason to stay away from canned soda and beer. And when it comes to storing leftovers, it’s best to avoid those convenient plastic containers. The glass alternatives are much safer.

• Avoid formaldehyde exposure. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is everywhere around us. It’s a common component in furniture, fabrics, and construction materials. While it’s virtually impossible to totally avoid it, you can limit your family’s exposure by being careful about what you buy and always washing new clothing before the first use.

This is just a starting point. In order to totally purify your home, you’ll need a room by room approach, taking inventory of everything you have. This can be a meticulous process but we’re talking about your health. You can’t afford to take any risks!

George Smith