Posted on August 20 2018
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
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.