Your home is meant to be a safe space, a haven where you feel protected.
Unfortunately, our modern way of life may actually be full of toxins and allergens that can get into our bodies from things that are already in our homes: from cosmetics to cleaning products and even the air we breathe.
Fortunately, there are some really simple steps you can take to reduce the toxins in your home, leaving it fresh, clean and healthy.
Here are some suggestions that will make a difference:
Air purifiers: these can help to reduce allergens such as dust, pet dander and pollen. There are many varieties available, from larger, free-standing ones that cover a bigger area, to more discreet plug-in filters that are great for smaller rooms.
Duct cleaning: air ducts can gather allergens like pollen and dust, as well as mildew, mold and other toxins - so regularly cleaning your air ducts will ensure the cleanest air is circulating around your home.
Open the windows: airing out your home will prevent allergens and toxins building up inside. If you live on a busy road in the city, then open your windows at night when there are fewer cars and less air pollution.
CLEANING AND PRODUCTS AND FURNITURE
Check ingredients: home cleaning products can contain a huge array of toxic ingredients that can have negative health effects. Avoid synthetic preservatives, disinfectants, fragrances and ethoxylated ingredients. We love Pur Home, a female-owned cleaning brand that makes low-toxic, plant-based, biodegradable products. The Environmental Working Group is also a great resource if you want to check how ‘clean’ a product is.
Avoid air fresheners: air fresheners are often packed with chemicals and don’t clean the air as much as they simply cover up any smells with chemical synthetic fragrances. Essential oils are a great alternative if you like a scented home - try using a diffuser. It’s also easy to change the essential oil depending on how you feel. Sage, rosemary and thyme are great respiratory boosters, as is eucalyptus.
Choose Safe Furniture: Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate - or TCPP - is a flame retardant commonly used in polyurethane foam as well as in consumer products, insulation and electronics. Since it’s not chemically bound, it escapes from products into the indoor environment. Check labels and choose products that are free from flame retardants - healthier for you, as well as any children or pets in the home.
IN THE KITCHEN
PFAs: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a broad spectrum of man-made compounds that have consistently been found in the environment, in our drinking water and even in human bodies. One of the most common uses of PFAs is in non-stick cookware as well being found in stain and water-repellent fabrics. According to the EPA, exposure to PFAs can lead to adverse health effects, so it’s well worth trying to reduce them in the home. Non-stick cookware is a good place to start: we’d recommend replacing non-stick pans with a beautiful Le Creuset ceramic set.
Food Storage: plastic food containers and packaging can leak certain compounds into the foods they store. Glass jars and containers are safer (and more environmentally-friendly) alternatives. Beeswax food wraps are another way of keeping plastic away from your food - and as a bonus, they’re reusable, meaning you reduce your single-use plastic consumption.
Ventilate When Cooking: Opening a window while you’re cooking (especially if you’re frying) will help to remove any pollutants that are created as a result of the cooking process. If you cook with gas, it’s important to use a vent fan to remove the fumes. It’s also important to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly.
Water: Having a great reverse osmosis water filter installed in your home can ensure that the quality of the water you drink is keeping you healthy as well as hydrated.
For more ideas, we recommend Suzanne Somers's TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick - a great book for learning how to detox your home and body.