• Exposure to environmental toxins can occur through skin contact, inhalation, ingestion, or injection.
• Short-term exposure to environmental toxins may cause symptoms such as throat or nose irritation, skin irritation, loss of consciousness, eye damage, nausea and vomiting, coughing or sneezing, headaches and more.
• Long-term exposure can cause permanent physical effects and chronic diseases including obesity and hormone-dependent cancers.
• One way to reduce toxin exposure is to use green cleaning products; replace candles with essential oils; purify water for cooking and drinking; avoid Teflon cookware; leave shoes outside; reduce single-use plastics; use a dehumidifier; and invest in an air purifier.
• To reduce toxin exposure in food it is important to avoid refined seed/vegetable oils; foods in plastic containers; trans fats; red meat; added sugar; high mercury fish; use organic produce/herbs when possible/cook at home whenever possible.
• A detox diet - usually involving a short juice fast - can
• Prepare meals at home using whole ingredients to avoid high doses of sodium, sugars, and preservatives.
• Consider cookware made of cast iron, stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or stoneware in order to avoid toxins used in non-stick surfaces such as Teflon.
• Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables to remove chemicals used for insect protection and shelf life prolongation.
• Be cautious of seafood when selecting proteins, as mercury accumulation from certain fish can cause brain damage, lung dysfunction etc.
Believe it or not, there are toxic chemicals that are found throughout almost all homes in the world. But what are these toxic chemicals and where do they come from? The most common place that holds toxic chemicals is dust. Dr. Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental occupational health, and her team divided toxic chemicals found in homes into different classes, testing these chemicals to be present in popular products owned by homeowners.
What are toxins?
A toxin is defined as an antigenic poison that causes diseases when present at low concentrations in the body. The main two toxic chemicals found inside home samples are phthalates and flame retardants. Phthalates are present in plastic, allowing them to reside in carpets, linoleum, vinyl floors, blinds, food packaging, etc. Flame retardants are chemicals that help products meet flammability standards set out by insurance companies and building codes. These are most present in paints and sealants. Moreover, environmental phenols are preservatives in personal care products, and fluorinated chemicals are used as stain repellent treatments for carpets and clothes.
Harmful effects of toxins
Toxins in your home have adverse effects on your health. Children inhale them crawling around and are constantly touching things while putting their hands in their mouths. Phthalate exposure can increase the risk of respiratory, neurodevelopmental, and mental problems in both children and adults. These toxins can also disrupt the hormones inside of your body, causing reproductive problems.
How to remove toxins with remodeling
There are multiple ways to remodel your home in order to create a safer, toxin-free environment. Instead of using toxin-containing materials to renovate your home, try using more natural materials. For example, instead of using carpet on your floors, consider using teak hardwood floors. Another example would be to use stone walls instead of paint. And lastly, having a home that contains bamboo will assist in removing unwanted toxins from the air. If you’re concerned about the costs of remodeling your home with stone and teak instead of getting carpet and paint, there are some government programs to help Americans live greener such as energy efficiency mortgages and cash out loans.
Furthermore, regularly dusting your home is a major recommendation in preventing toxins from entering your home. Additionally, you should avoid using a feather duster and instead use powerful vacuums to collect all of the dust. Houseplants may also help absorb the chemical compounds in the air. And lastly, keeping your hands clean as well as the surfaces of furniture can do wonders for the condition of your home.
You’ve been working tirelessly to stick with a clean, healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, it takes more than that to stay healthy. Toxins could be living in your home right now, and you just don’t know about it. Below are some common ones that pose a risk to your health.
Where you can Expect to Find Phthalates
First of all, you should keep an eye out for phthalates. Are you wondering what those are? Phthalates are certain chemicals used in the production of a number of household products; however, they often go unnoticed. You’ve probably never thought twice about toxins being in your toilet paper or air freshener, for instance. If you have vinyl shower curtains, you can be sure that phthalates are present in them, as well.
While many of the products containing them are in the bathroom, it doesn’t stop there. As a matter of fact, you may very well be dealing with dish soap and plastic food and drink containers in your kitchen that contain these toxins. Since they tend to pop up in several places, it’s best to always be on the lookout for them. It’s not rare at all for phthalates to show up in items that appear completely harmless on the surface.
How you can Know About Mold
When you’re looking to eliminate the toxins from your home, you’re going to want to consider the potential presence of mold. Mold commonly grows in humid environments, but can also grow in arid climates if the house suffers flood damage. According to protectyourhome.com, flood detection should be part of your total home protection strategy.
Even though it’s clearly visible to the naked eye, you won’t always be able to see it. Sometimes, it spreads throughout the interior portion of the walls. If this happens, you can expect certain symptoms to reveal the hidden mold. You may experience an allergic reaction and worsening asthma symptoms.
Also, you should be on the lookout for any discoloration or spots on the walls that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. If you encounter a fever or an itchy sensation more often than you normally do, you should consider the very real possibility that it's taken up residence in your home. This knowledge could end up saving your life.
Your lifestyle may be healthy and clean, but your house is another story. Being aware of this is a good place to start, though. You should do what you can to find out if phthalates are within any household products you currently use. Also, you’ll want to pay attention to any signs of mold growth. Finding out today will preserve your health tomorrow.