Once you begin researching toxins in your home, it can be overwhelming deciding where to start in eliminating them.
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The most common pollutants of indoor air are:
- Flame retardant particles are highly toxic (especially to children)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’S) like formaldehyde and benzene
- Mold spores, dust, pollen, pet dander
- Bacteria and viruses
Don’t freak out! Here are 5 simple ways you can start minimizing household toxins today:
Open Your Windows
According to the EPA, one inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality is through natural ventilation. Turn off the A/C and open up the windows as often as possible. Turn on fans as well to help the air circulate better. Try and do this during a time when pollen counts are low if you know you are sensitive.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
Simply stop wearing shoes inside the house. We can pick up all types of germs and chemicals on our shoes as we walk about our days. I really began thinking about this when my daughter started crawling. Her cute little cherub hands were coming into contact with who knows what as she scooted around the house. (And we all know how much babies like to suck on their fingers.) Place a basket or rack near the entrances to your home and ask guests to remove their shoes. Or at the very least, use a doormat. Boom, toxic exposure reduced!
Filter Your Air
Indoor air has been shown to carry all types of toxins and can even be more polluted than outdoor air! Formaldehyde, flame retardant particles, dust, mold, etc can all impact human health. Two easy ways to filter your indoor air are to use house plants and a Himalayan salt lamp.
A study done by NASA found that in addition to absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen, plants remove organic pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), which have been linked to cancer. Some of the best house plants for filtering air are bamboo palm, rubber plant, aloe vera, and philodendrons.
Wellness Mama has an informative post about the truths and myths surrounding Himalayan salt lamps here. I encourage you to give it a read. This is the one we use in our house.
Clean Swap Your Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are often loaded with toxins and harmful ingredients. Swapping them out for nontoxic options is easy and affordable! In our home, we use a lot of vinegar solution and essential oils. It is unnecessary to use strong antibacterial cleaners regularly. Vinegar will do the trick! Baking soda also helps with any tough grime. Simply mix up a solution in a glass or amber bottle like these.
Reduce Plastic Use
Not only is plastic awful for our environment, it also commonly contains phthalates and BPA. Both of these are hormone disruptors which means that they mimic estrogen, decreasing sperm quality in men and increasing the risk of miscarriage and infertility in women. Hormone disruptors also impact children, effecting puberty and speech & motor development.
An easy swap for plastic is glass containers and silicone or paper bags. We love these glass containers for food storage. Stasher bags are amazing for lunches. Lunch Skins are a great recyclable option. Stainless steel water bottles are another easy swap.
I hope these tips were helpful for you! Let me know which you are going to try in your home.