Eat clean? Ditching the processed, chemical-laden foods in your diet isn’t enough — you have to remove toxins from your HOME, too. From household cleaning products to cosmetics and cooking tools, limiting your exposure to household toxins is will help reduce hormonal threats, reboot your metabolism, and make you feel like a rock star. Not only will you be healthier, your home will be transformed into a safe haven, and you’ll also help create a healthier planet!
Here are 10 easy ways to decrease the amount of chemical toxins you’re exposed to daily:
What Goes In You
1. Filter your water. The human body is 75% water – and we lose 2-3 liters daily through digestion, respiration, perspiration, urination and bowel movements. This water must be replenished through diet. Filtering your water is incredibly important to limit contaminants such as heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and chlorine, while retaining beneficial minerals. Choose filtered tap water over bottled; it has less bacteria and chemical contaminants, as the bottled water industry is largely unregulated in the U.S.
What Goes On You
2. Use natural cosmetic and body care products. Beauty products are a MAJOR source of chemical ingredients and endocrine disruptors that the FDA doesn’t regulate. Watch out for parabens, as well as chemicals DEA (foaming agent in shampoo and baby wash) and BHT (solvent in lipstick and nail polish). Plus, be cautious of “fragrance” in items like shampoo, lotions and perfume. It contains phthalates known to interfere hormones. Look for natural alternatives, like those made from essential oils. EWG.org’s Skin Deep Guide that’s a great resource for healthy products.
3. Give up antibacterial soaps. “Antibacterial” may seem like a good choice for a hand or dish soap, but triclosan (the antibacterial component) can cause big problems. First, it kills all bacteria — the bad and the good. It can also create antibiotic resistance, wheret certain bacteria can grow immune to it over time. Use only natural products that are formulated without triclosan, chlorine, or phosphates. Switch to brands like Seventh Generation, Ecover or Mrs. Meyer’s.
4. Ditch dry-cleaning chemicals, as many dry-cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can interfere with your hormones. Limit your exposure by avoiding to dry clean your garments. If you must, find a dry cleaner that uses alternative, eco-friendly products. And always take your clothes out of the plastic bags to air them out for at least four hours before wearing them.
What Surrounds You
5. Clean your house with non-toxic natural cleaning products to limit your exposure to unnecessary poisons. The MOST toxic offenders are conventional drain, oven, and toilet bowl cleaners, or products that contain chlorine or ammonia. Instead, try white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, baking soda and lemon juice, or look for cleaning products made by environmentally responsible companies like Seventh Generation or Ecover. Don’t forget about laundry detergents and dryer sheets — these heavily fragranced products are some of the mot toxic in your home!
6. Rethink artificial room deodorizers (fragranced candles, Febreze and Glade Plug-ins) that spew toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air you breathe. Exposure to VOCs can cause nausea, headaches, drowsiness, sore throat, dizziness and impaired memory. Long-term exposure may even cause cancer. If you need to clear the air, use a HEPA filter instead. If you’re attracted to room fragrances, opt for the aromatherapy route and diffuse essential oils.
7. Stop using bleached products. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that chlorine byproducts are 300,000 more times as carcinogenic as the scary chemical pesticide DDT. If you think about that statistic, cutting out bleached products like chlorinated paper towels, toilet paper, and bleached coffee filters is a no-brainer. Look for chlorine-free (or PCF) paper products including toilet paper, as well as oxygen-bleached coffee filters.
8. Get rid of toxic plastics. Most plastics leach potential carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals that can screw up your endocrine system. Steer clear of plastic cooking oil bottles, cling wrap, and plastic drinking bottles and Tupperware. Opt for glass packaging, storing your food in glass or ceramic containers, and switch to glass or stainless steel drinking bottles. NEVER microwave food in plastic!
9. Switch to sheets and towels made with bamboo or organic cotton. Conventional cotton is one of the most sprayed crops in the world. By some estimates, cotton accounts for 25% of all pesticides used in the United States. Macy’s and Pottery Bar sell organic cotton sheet sets and bath towels.
10. Replace Teflon pots and pans. Non-stick pots and pans may seem like an amazing idea in the short run, but they come with a hefty price tag. Non-stick, Teflon cooking pans emit potentially toxic fumes when heated, which can damage your liver or thyroid. Reduce your risk of endocrine- and immune-system damage, by ditching the Teflon and using cast-iron, stainless steel, enamel, or glass cookware.
So now what? Take a deep breath. Now release. This may seem like a lot of information, but remember — it’s not meant to overwhelm, it’s meant to empower. Every little bit helps, so do what you can. As we always say, “small steps lead to big and lasting results!”