Terrifying Toxins We’re Eliminating from Our Homes
With our firm’s focus on Green Living, we get a lot of requests to help create not just beautiful, but healthy homes. So what constitutes a healthy home? From a design perspective, it could mean choosing sustainable furnishings, paints, and textiles, but what about once you’re living in the space? Because our lives are so busy, we often op’t for convenience over sustainability and don’t prioritize our health. Because of that, toxins can build up in our homes. But fear-not! Read on below, where we’re sharing the most common health hazards in your home, with easy solutions to fix them!
What Makes a Healthy Home?
Clean Kitchen: Eliminating Toxins In the Kitchen
PFC FluorinesThese fluorines, created to reduce friction and absorb grease in wrappers, are often found in dishware to prevent foods from sticking. While we don’t know its’ adverse health effects entirely, the National Institute of Health Sciences and National Toxicology is concerned enough to reduce production of products containing PFCs in the US, with the intention of eliminating entirely.
PerchlorateFound in rocket fuel and other explosives, fertilizer, and bleach, it should set off an alarm if perchlorate is discovered in your water supply. Considered a human carcinogen by the EPA, perchlorate, try getting your supply tested so it’s not harmful to your family! If you live in California, fear not– the state already sets a stricter standard about the amount they allow.
BPA in Cans and PlasticsBPA is one we hear a lot about, but what is it really? Frequently found in cans and plastics, the FDA is still considering its effects on human health, switching from cans and plastics to stainless steel is a good way to reduce exposure.
DioxinsCommonly found in meat, dairy, and bleach, dioxins, are predominantly the unwanted byproduct of the industrial process, but are actually one of the easier toxins to either completely eliminate or reduce exposure to in your home. Shopping local and organic is a great way to eliminate exposure.
ArsenicMost of us are familiar with arsenic, but may not realize small traces of it can still be found in water and food, rice and juices. Have your water tested, and limit exposure to man-made foods as much as possible to minimize exposure.
MercuryIt’s important to source your seafood, as those packaged in coal-powered plants might contain traces of mercury. While mercury is generally unavoidable, luckily, most of us are only consuming such small amounts that will eventually leave the bloodstream.
Clean Bath: Eliminating Toxins In the Bathroom
TriclosanFound in Soaps, toothpastes, and other cosmetics, triclosan antibacterial properties may not outweigh the downside: which can make your skin more susceptible to UV rays so you might want to check the ingredient label and swap for an all-natural or organic alternative.
PHTHALATESThese chemical plasticizers are frequently found in vinyl flooring and building materials, and in cosmetics. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know whether products contain phthalates, but if the label says ‘Fragranced,’ that’s a pretty good indicator.
Glycol EthersFound in cosmetics and dry-cleaning, paints and cleaners, glycol ethers have been shown to have severe effects on human health, even with short term exposure, including damaging effects on the kidneys and liver. Unfortunately so many products contain glycol ethers and are unmarked as such, so the best preventative measure, is to switch to cleaning your home with common products like baking soda and vinegar.
Clean Home: Eliminating Toxins in Household Cleaners, Paints, and Pesticides