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Your Healthy Home


What Toxics Are in Your Home?

Toxic compounds are found in many consumer products such as children’s products, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning supplies, pesticides, carpets, electronics, and plastic containers. The majority of chemicals in commercial use have not been adequately tested for their effects on human health. For many of the compounds that have been tested for health impacts, exposure is linked to negative health effects, including cancer and developmental disabilities. Despite these dangers, our current regulatory system allows compounds, such as brominated flame retardants and plasticizers, to be included in common consumer products. It is important to be aware of toxic products, advocate for safer alternatives, and purchase healthy alternatives.

The Ecology Center is pressuring major Michigan retailers and manufacturers to phase out the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic — a material whose additives have been linked to cancer, immune and reproductive system damage, and asthma.

In addition, the Ecology Center continues to be a proponent of nontoxic pest control in homes, schools, and workplaces.

Safe Products in the Home: Useful Links

  • is a shopping tool unlike any other. Our database includes test results for more than 5,000 products because there’s no other way to tell what’s inside. The chemicals used in these everyday products build up in our bodies and our environment.
  • The Washington Toxics Coalition has information on toxic compounds in specific consumer product groups.
  • The Healthy Building Network provides information about the most important building materials to avoid in order to reduce the release of persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals.
  • The Citizen’s Environmental Coalition has published a guide to safe building materials and appliances called Building Green Without Going in the Red: A Household Guide to Healthy, Affordable Building Materials. View it here.

The US EPA has a website which lists the contents of common consumer products.

Nontoxic Pest Control

Pests inside the home and in the garden are common problems. However, most of the indoor and outdoor pest control products used at home contain toxic ingredients. Children and pets are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticide exposures. It is important to seek out the least toxic pest control methods to protect the health of your family.

The following organizations also provide extensive information on least toxic pest control options for many common pests in the home and garden: