Tuesday, January 24, 2017

4 Product Switches to Make a Cleaner, Safer Home

To ensure your family’s health and well-being, it’s a good idea to take a good look at the products you use daily in your home. Unbeknownst to you, you may be adding toxins to your home’s air, posing hazards to your family’s health, and contributing to your family’s illnesses. Avoiding the products on our list will help make your home a cleaner, safer place for everyone.

1. Switch from Candles to Essential Oils
While we all love certain scents in our homes at various times of the year, choosing to diffuse essential oils instead of burning candles is one way to improve the air quality in your home. And, if your family suffers from asthma or allergies, essential oils can relieve symptoms of those conditions while candles can aggravate them.

There are several reasons that candles can be harmful. Most contain paraffin wax that creates carcinogens like benzene and toluene when burned. Scented candles also often have lead wicks or lead cores in the wick that release lead into the home through candle soot. The residue from the soot can affect the central nervous system and cause cancer. Candles also contain artificial scents and dyes that release more chemicals into your home when you burn them.

Alternatively, pure essential oils freshen your home and release natural ingredients that boost physical and mental health when you use them in an essential oil diffuser. You can also make combinations of essential oils to customize scents or address certain health conditions.

2. Switch from Traditional Laundry Detergent to Organic Laundry Detergent
Chances are, you grew up in a house that used a particular brand of laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. While those scents may be familiar to you, they certainly do not guarantee clean laundry. In fact, most commercial laundry detergents contain surfactants, or chemical ingredients, that can release benzene, which is linked to cancer and reproductive issues. Most detergents also improve the smell and appearance of clothing but do not do much of anything to improve their cleanliness. And, in some cases, detergent ingredients contribute to allergies.

The solution is to switch from traditional laundry detergent to organic laundry detergent. Organic laundry detergent is free of chlorine, phosphates, and artificial additives that pose a risk to your family’s health. They do not contain synthetic dyes and perfumes that aggravate allergies and contribute to skin irritation. Be sure the organic laundry detergent you choose is made with natural, certified ingredients.

3. Switch from Non-Stick Cookware to Non-Toxic Cookware
While non-stick cookware is convenient, it is not safe. Studies show that Teflon-coated and other non-stick cookware pieces pose health risks because they leach carcinogenic toxins into your food while you cook. Some studies find the risk is lower when cooking using low heat, but the majority of the food we cook requires high heat. When it reaches high temperatures, the non-stick polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating on pots and pans releases toxic fumes and has been known to cause flu-like symptoms in people and cause birth defects.

Alternatives to toxic non-stick cookware include cast iron cookware, enameled cast iron pans, stainless steel and titanium cookware, ceramic cookware with zero lead content and without colored glaze on the inside, and glass cookware. Cooking with olive oil in these pans will help your food stick less.

4. Switch from Regular Tap Water to Filtered Water
Studies have found that there are more than 2,100 drinking water contaminants that may be present in tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also claims that drinking water contributes to about 480,000 cases of learning disorders in the United States. Lead is another dangerous impurity found in tap water, and consuming too much can lead to a higher risk for high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, and even cancer.

Bottled water is not a good alternative because it may contain contaminants from runoff and other environmental hazards. That’s why switching to pure, contaminant-free drinking water using filtration systems is better for your family’s health and safety.

Filtered water is the best and healthiest alternative to tap water and bottled water because filters effectively remove more dangerous contaminants than other purification methods. Water filtration systems also leave healthy minerals in the water while removing contaminants and poisons that pose risks to your family’s health.

Switching to safer products is one way to ensure your family’s health and safety. If you have further concerns about the hazards posed to your family’s health, schedule a home inspection with a certified inspector who can examine the interior and exterior of your home for problems, defects, and safety issues.

Image via Pixabay by ckahlon

This guest blog post was contributed by Charlotte Meier of Home Safety Hub, a state-specific safety resource database that helps keep families and communities safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment