Health effects of ingredients in common household products include:
- Respiratory problems
- Eye and skin irritations
- Hormonal and reproductive disruptions
Where do these toxins hide?
We all try to avoid cleaning the dishes but what we really need to avoid is toxic dishwashing. This may seem like it’s not a big deal but these products do come into contact with our bodies and also with the environment. So let’s make sure we are doing ourselves and our planet a favor. Conventional dishwashing soaps contain many chemicals like phtalates, benzisothiazolinone, sodium hypochlorite, and methylisothiazolinone, which are toxic to the immune system and the brain, as well as allergenic, promoting respiratory problems and skin reactions.
Most carpets are made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polypropylene, as well as a variety of other derivatives that have been shown to emit harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Not to mention carpets are often treated with chemicals to reduce staining and increase durability. Many of these compounds are known carcinogens, hormonal disruptors, and have even been linked to birth defects.
Common ingredients in all-purpose cleaners include 1.4-dioxane, fragrances, ethylene oxide, chlorine bleach, ammonia, and VOCs. Research shows that these toxins increase the risk of asthma, allergic reactions, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, and even cancers.
Solutions: Look for alternative products free of fragrances, bleach, triclosan and ammonia, and that include the Eco Logo certification.
Your typical laundry detergent contains many hazardous ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), 1.4-dioxane, NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate), and phosphates. Some chemicals may not even be listed on the label.
Vinyl Shower curtains
Surprisingly, your shower may be one of the most toxic places in your house. With heat and humidity, the chemicals contained in vinyl shower curtains can release and disperse toxins into the atmosphere. PVC Shower curtains contain toxic chemicals like phtalates, triclosan, and volatile organic compounds, that can increase the risk of liver toxicity, asthma, and reproductive and developmental problems.
As the name suggests, air fresheners directly release into the air and can significantly increase chemical exposure through inhalation as they can contain hundreds of chemicals per bottle! This is especially problematic for young children who are more vulnerable to these toxic effects and may develop allergic reactions and respiratory concerns throughout childhood and adulthood.
Ideas to green your home
Not only are plants uplifting and beautifying to a room, they provide many health benefits! Plants help filter out toxins in the air whilst boosting oxygen levels. This helps to reduce our toxic load and increase energy, wellbeing, focus and even reduce stress and sickness!
- Aloe Vera
- Spider plant
- English Ivy
- Peace lilies
- Snake plant
DIY your own products
The cheapest and cleanest way to go green with your indoor cleaning products? Make them yourself! This will support your health, the environment, and your wallet. Win-win-win.
Top DIY cleaning ingredients:
Lemon juice: cuts through grease, mildew, and mold and leaves surfaces shiny and clean.
White Vinegar: eliminates grease, mildew, grime and odors.
Baking soda: effectively, cleans, deodorizes, and eliminates grease and grime.
Most clothes contain residues of dyes and chemicals that can come into contact with your body through direct skin contact or inhalation. Avoid this by washing your brand new clothes first before putting them on.
We recommend vacuuming at least a couple of times per week with a HEPA vacuum filter in order to get rid of toxins, chemicals, dirt, allergens and dust mites. This will help reduce your toxic load as well as allergic reactions and respiratory symptoms.
Who knows what kind of toxins we carry on our shoes, and frankly we are probably better off not knowing… Make it a habit of taking off your shoes and leaving them at the door to prevent an increase of dirt and pollutants entering the home.
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.