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6 Unexpected Sources of Toxins in Your Home

Every year, 33.1 million people across the US experience household consumer products incidents, including injury, property damages or death.

There are hidden, undetected toxins all around your home in things you use every day.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside your house might be 2 to 100 times more polluted than the air beyond your front door. How is it possible? It turns out that the air you’re breathing inside your home may include chemical by-product, fungi, or contaminants that can harm your health.

You may feel overwhelmed when reading about all these dangers inside your home but the good news is that it only takes simple steps to properly protect yourself and your family.


toxic_house Here are the most commonly used things that may be hazardous to your health:

6. Water

water

Tap water has been found to include up to 700 chemicals, including many that have been linked to cancer, immune system damage, and hypothyroidism.

Chemicals such as perfluorochemicals (found in Teflon-coated pans), cadmium (extremely toxic metal used in batteries), and PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls (found in fluorescent lighting), as well as other chemicals, make their way into your tap water when they’re dropped into soil, contaminating groundwater.

Even worse, when contaminants in tap water are heated, they can become inhalable gasses in the shower.

To prevent exposure to inhalable gasses, you can buy a showerhead filter, as it can remove chlorine, chloramines, barium, lead, and mercury. (Various models are available for under $200)

You can find out more details about the water in your area by visiting ewg.org/Tap-water and entering your Zip code.

5. Air Fresheners

Air Fresheners

Using Air fresheners either in excessive or small amounts in an unventilated area can release high toxic levels of pollutants. Anything you inhale eventually ends up in your bloodstream.

Air fresheners, in particular, are associated with many volatile organic compounds, such as nitrogen dioxide. Some fresheners also contain paradichlorobenzene, the same chemical emitted by mothballs.

Also, synthetically scented candles or plug-in scents may contain chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive problems.

As an alternative, you can use candles that are made with fresh flowers and essential oils to scent your home. You may also try using white vinegar and baking soda as odor absorbers.

4. Cleaning Products

Cleaning Products

You should always check labels before purchasing any of your household cleaning products! Beware of chemical ingredients such as chemical surfactants and phthalates.

Some natural alternatives like soap powder, Borax, baking soda, vinegar, hot water, and lemon can work wonders in cleaning your home and help you avoid unnecessary toxins.

3. Plastic food containers

Plastic food containers

You sure have noticed a cloudy look on your plastic containers after using them for a while, well, it’s due to plastic break down over time, which releases dangerous chemicals into your food.

Multiple plastic containers are made from chemicals such as phthalates, which act like endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

The best thing you can do about it is to switch to glass containers once for all.

2. Prepared foods in plastic containers

Prepared foods in plastic containers

You don’t necessarily need to throw away these ones but you should never heat them up in the plastic.

Heating plastic releases dangerous chemicals that seep into your food. However, it only takes few seconds to avoid all the danger.

It’s totally worth your time to take a few extra seconds to transfer your prepared food into a glass container before heating them in the microwave.

1. Carpeting

Carpeting

You may love that new carpet smell when you first install it, but this famous scent is actually toxic.

The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with new carpet installation include bromine, toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, acetone, and styrene, which come from the dyes and glues in the carpet.

These VOCs can be harmful to your health in high concentrations, however, their initial emissions often subside after the first few days.
You should also consider the fact that carpets can trap pollutants like mold, dust mites, pet dander, and more, which can critically after people with respiratory sensitivities.

To protect yourself and your family, you should keep the windows open during the first few days after installing a new carpet so the VOCs can escape, as well as you should regularly vacuum your carpeted floors to remove the fibers of potential pollutants.

General strategies to reduce toxin levels in your home

You should seriously consider taking appropriate measures to limit your exposure to toxins.

– Use only natural cleaning products in your home, make your own, or use the ones with safe ingredients.

– Create a ‘No Shoes’ policy in your home to minimize the number of pesticides and other toxic chemicals that are picked outside from entering your house.

– Avoid using chemical pest control products and try non-toxic alternatives.

– Try some toxin-reducing houseplants that can absorb potentially harmful gasses and clean the air inside your home.

– Clean or change your furnace or A/C filters at least every 1 to 3 months, depending on use.

– Switch to natural brands of toiletries including toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics, and antiperspirants.

– Avoid using artificial air fresheners, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or other synthetic fragrances, as they pollute the air you breathe.

– Have your tap water tested and if you found any contaminants, install a proper water filter on all your faucets.

– Use low-VOC caulks, finishes, sealants, carpeting, and paints. You can easily find a list of non-toxic paint suppliers on the internet.

Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate!

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