Top 10 Tips to Avoid Toxins at Home

  1. Open windows as much as possible. Welcome in fresh air. The EPA finds that indoor air is more polluted than the air outside.
  2. Eliminate use of pesticides.  Use traps and non-toxic sprays. (Brands).
  3. Take shoes off at the door to prevent tracking in of outdoor pollutants.
  4.  Use greener cleaners
  • Do NOT use air fresheners or artificial fragrances (use baking soda to absorb odors).
  • Wet clean garments (instead of dry cleaning). (Read: H20 Cleaners).
  • Avoid anti-bacterial soaps and products labeled with claims to “kill germs”. They most often contain the harmful active ingredient triclosan. (Read: Antibacterial Soaps May Carry Unnecessary Risks). Alternatives:
    • White vinegar is a food grade antimicrobial. Use it as a surface spray.
    • Wash hands for 20-30 seconds with warm water and mild soap to effectively remove germs.
    • Clean Well™ soaps utilize thyme oil as the active antibacterial ingredient.
  • Rely on baking soda, vinegar, and mild soap for home-made cleaners. (Home Cleaning Recipes).
  • Avoid products labeled “Danger”, “Poison”, “Flammable.”
  • Minimize exposures to PBDEs and other flame retardants
    • Use a moist cloth when dusting at home. Dry dusting simply distributes particles into the air, making them easier to breathe.
    • Wash hands after touching dryer lint, which can be concentrated with toxins.
    • Cover or replace furniture cushions where the foam pads are exposed.
    • Remove the fat from fish when preparing or cooking. Toxins build up in fat.
  • Minimize harmful chemicals in food
    • Eat organic when possible.
    • Minimize pesticides in produce. Apples, celery, and bell peppers are highest in pesticides. Onions, corn, and pineapples are lowest. Check foodnews.org for more.
    • Eat safe fish. Avoid large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel. Go to the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Eat Safe Fish site & ewg.org/tunacalculator.
    • Choose hormone-free/ rGBH-free dairy products.
  • Avoid BPA in plastics.
    • Avoid canned food (especially liquid baby formula; opt for powdered instead).
    • Use glass or stainless steel reusable drinking bottles (avoid #7 plastics).
  • Avoid vinyl (PVC) in toys, blinds, flooring, and shower curtains. (avoid #3 plastics). (For more info, visit: healthystuff.org).
  • Use latex or water-based paint products instead of oil-based. Look for VOC-free. (Read: Paint Pure).
  • Reduce formaldehyde releases: avoid (or seal) particle board and pressed wood.

Printable pdf: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Toxins at Home

Melissa Cooper Sargent

Published on July 30, 2012