Invisible Health Hazards Trapped In Your Home

In our insanely busy lives, we all need a healthy nest where we can unwind and recharge. Creating an environment that nurtures and supports us is the key to feeling rooted and happy in our space.

1. Get rid of the clutter

Clutter, it takes up so much of our time and energy and if we want peace of mind we need to get rid of the clutter.

This starts with an electromagnetic frequency (EMF) free zone. These vibrations affect our sympathetic nervous systems and create stress in the body. Did you know that your smartphone actually warns us about this in the terms and conditions (which no-one ever read right?)

EMF free zones start in the bedroom!. Use a digital alarm clock instead of your phone and keep your phone. This is much harder than it sounds, but I promise you, you will feel the difference if you do this. Try it!

You can also:

  • Install a breaker switch that allows you to turn off the electric currents in a given room;
  • Unplug electronics that are not in use, like your cell phone charger (which costs you about $60 a year simply by being plugged in);
  • Hide plugs and other digital stuff from sight by using smart storage ideas.

 

2. Know where your food comes from

Reducing your exposure to herbicides and pesticides is so important. Follow this easy guide:

Buy Organic

Apples
Peaches
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes
Zucchini
Squash
Hot Peppers
Grapes
All Greens
Celery
Corn

Buy Conventional

Onions
Pineapple
Mushrooms
Cabbage
Avocados
Asparagus
Mangos
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Watermelon

Buy foods that are natural and unprocessed and avoid processed foods at all costs.

3. Focus on your furnace

Indoor air pollution is a major issue in many homes thanks to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of chemicals that are found in many products we use to build and maintain our homes. From the furniture, we sit on to the carpets and cleaning products.

Obviously, we can’t throw away ALL these items, but we can make a difference by using a Micro Allergen Reduction Filter and change it at least every three months. These filters do a really good job at preventing a buildup of dust, mold, pollen and VOCs. There’s an added benefit, a clean filter with also improve the function of your furnace, reducing heating bill and saving you money!

Sources of VOCs

  • Paint, varnishes, caulks, adhesives
  • Carpet, vinyl flooring
  • Composite wood products
  • Upholstery and foam
  • Air fresheners, cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Fuel oil, gasoline
  • Smoking
  • Dry cleaning, photocopiers
  • Cooking, hobbies

4. Plastic 101

Honestly, just avoid it where you can! I don’t have any plastic in my home. I use glass jars and mason jars for all my food storage. A lot of plastic contains Bisphenol A (BPA) which is highly toxic and been linked to endocrine and developmental problems. If you have plastic containers at home, find out if you can recycle them (every municipality is different) and get rid of them. If you can’t part with them, never heat them in the microwave ever! Stay away from plastic containers marked with a “3”, these contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Exposure to PVC often includes exposure to phthalates, which are used to soften PVC and may have adverse health effects; your shower curtain is a good example. Buy PEVA or Hemp.

5. Stay away from Stain Guard

You love your new couch and don’t want the kid or cat to dirty it up, but that stain resistant guard is made up of  Perfluorochemicals (PFCs), a group of chemicals used to keep food from sticking to cookware, to make sofas and carpets resistant to stains, to make clothes and mattresses more waterproof, and may also be used in some food packaging.  There is concern over how these chems affect our health and there is a ton of evidence that shows that they build up in the environment. Wildlife has been found in many rivers and lakes too and both PFOA and PFOS are byproducts of other commercial products, meaning they are released into the environment when other products are made, used, or discarded.

  • Avoid flame retardant children’s clothing and sleepwear
  • When purchasing new furnishings and bedding, choose wool or cotton fill over polyester and foam products, they are much more durable and easier to clean 
-Reduce dust levels by using damp cleaning methods
  • Reduce dust levels by using damp cleaning methods

Flowers in a rustic living room

6. Say YES to Microfiber Cloths

I’m obsessed with these and have been using them for longer than I can remember! I have one dedicated to each room in the house (so I don’t cross contaminate). There’s an actual science to these cloths, the weave grabs dirt and holds onto it instead of moving it around, so surfaces stay cleaner longer and you also don’t need to use as much cleaning product.

7. Reduce exposure to toxic cleaners and personal care products

This is a must in any green home. Check out my Smart Swaps, easy guides to making the switch! I’ve broken these up into three categories, Family, Home and Beauty Essentials.

8. Leave your shoes at the door

Leave shoes at the door and keep out 80 percent of the nastiness they track in, like road sealant, pesticides, lead, and dust.

9. Ditch the dryer sheets

These un-handy little suckers are coated with chemicals like quaternary ammonium compounds, which cause major health issues and affect the environment. They don’t break down in the landfill and in fact, lead to soil and water pollution. Try using wool dryer balls.

homemade drier balls

10. Plant good seeds

Keep indoor plants in every room in your home, they help reduce indoor air pollution by pulling VOCs from the air!

Potted flowers

Conclusion: We are exposed to so many toxins on a regular basis, so much so it can seem pretty impossible to avoid them. The good news is there are small, effective hacks you make each day to reduce your exposure and at the least be aware of the environment around you. Right?

Candice

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. She has a dual educational background in environmental studies and journalism. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.

4 Comments
  1. Thank you for this! So my good information to take in consideration.. surely I’ll get to being clean living with everything I do. You inspire me, I’m more appreciative of gaining better knowledge and understanding of having a healthy lifestyle.

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