Healthy house. healthy you
From the moment we wake up in the morning, we are exposed to a variety of toxins. Over the last 50 years, around 80,000 to 90,000 chemicals have been introduced into our food supply chain and environment and this list continues to grow. These man-made chemicals enter our environment and spread through our water, air and soil. They are eaten by fish and animals and eventually reach us when we eat plants and animals.
The types of toxins we are exposed to a varied and can come from smog and pollution, car fumes, smoking, mould, dirt and dust, passive smoking, confined spaces, office buildings with air conditioning, industrial toxins (workplace chemicals, agricultural sprays such as herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, commercial and house hold cleaning products, chemicals from household items (clean sheets, new containers, etc), skin products made with chemicals, hair dyes, deodorants as well as the foods we eat.
Food has direct entry into our body through what we eat and is a major contributor to the toxic load within our bodies In some recent studies, it was found that an average human is exposed to somewhere between 90-7000 chemicals and toxins on a daily basis that may enter through the pores in our skin or via food ingested. We cannot live in a bubble and be protected from all these things if we wish to live in a modern world. However there is simple and effective changes you can make and do within your home and lifestyle that can reduce exposure to toxins.
tips to reduce your toxic exposure
Purchase and eat organic food: Try to prioritise by buying organic meat first. Commercially farmed animals are often given hormones and antibiotics, which end up stored in their fat and flesh. Also try to avoid farmed fish which can be filled with toxins. After that try to buy produce with thick peels or skins, like avocado, citrus, or pumpkin. Read labels as the first 1/3 of ingredients usually make up 95% of the product!
Support your detoxifying organs: Your eliminating organs (liver, your lungs, your kidneys, your digestive and nervous system and your skin) that are under constant pressure from the constant toxic load. Every individual has a toxic threshold, or a limit to the number of chemicals we can process before our detox organs become overwhelmed. Symptoms and conditions related to toxic living, include:
Respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia,
Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, Supplements
Liver and kidney overload. When overloaded the following can happen: headaches, insomnia, foggy thinking trouble concentrating fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression and ability to lose weight as toxins are stored in fat.
Nervous system and brain health: Certain chemicals and heavy metals can affect our nervous systems and may contribute to anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, chronic fatigue, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
Digestive system toxicity includes constipation, gas, heartburn, indigestion, bloating, parasites and slow metabolism leading to an accumulation of toxins having serious repercussions.
You can support your detoxifying organs through reducing exposure to toxins in the first place. See the list below for ideas on how to reduce exposure.
Use natural and non chemical cleaning agents: We inhale and inadvertently ingest them when we are scrubbing away, they come into contact with the skin and cause respiratory conditions. So switch to green cleaning products, or even better, make your own! It’s so easy. You can use essential oils, vinegar, borax, and hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. Use paper, natural scrubber and cloths to further decrease chances of toxic exposure. You can use these ingredients to clean windows, toilets, floors, drains, as multi purpose cleaner and even in your washing machine. See below for a few recipes.
Purchase eco dishwashing soap and dishwashing blocks or liquid (not petroleum based and only contains natural ingredients that are not harmful to yourself or the environment read labels on back and only buy from reputed companies Like I say in reading food labels, do not buy it if you don't understand what an ingredient is?
Keep it simple household: A cluttered house will breed dust, germs and can be toxic in its energy (highly recommend the book what clutter is trying to tell you by Kerri Richardson). Keeping it simple and decluttered can reduce surface areas to collect toxins and reduces need for cleaning.
Use natural and non chemical skin and body care products: The number and amount of chemicals you CAN exposure your skin to is up in the high 300s You absorb everything you put on your skin, so you are either feeding it or poisoning your body and putting greater pressure on your body to constantly eliminate toxins. Detoxing your skin care routine is a great way to start reducing your total toxic load. Find reputable companies that are organic and contain little or no chemical and are completely natural in their make up. Alternatively use natural moisturisers like coconut oil. You can even wash your face with it! You can use milk, honey, avocado, egg, yogurt, coconut oil, and olive oil to keep your skin and hair looking gorgeous.
Good air flow in your household: Keep those windows open when you can and purify your air. Design your home with good air flow if you are lucky enough to build your own home and when not at work try to escape to the fresh air on a regular basis.
Keep it clean, keep it fresh: Clean your floors regularly. Carpets are dust and dirt dangers accumulating toxins that cause allergens in some people. Watch for mould, especially in high humidity areas and remove ASAP. Ensure you wash all bedding, sheets, towels, tea towels and products when you first purchase to get rid of manufacturing toxins and further more ensure you wash everything that is in regular contact with your skin on a regular basis so toxins and germs do not accumulate .
Use essential oils: Use essential oils to reduce toxins and as a cleaning product. In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in. People spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, so for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors. Essential oils used in burners and humidifiers have the ability to clean and freshen air in houses as they are antibacterial, anti fungal. Many air fresheners and artificial fragrances (especially the plug in ones) can also irritate lungs and contain hormone disrupting chemicals. Avoid them in cars, and your house at all costs. Want it to smell nice? Well clean it and freshen with oils.
Filter water: Every time you have a shower, wash your hands, drink water from a tap, you are potentially exposing yourself to a variety of chemicals which pose health risks (even if they are designed to kill bacteria, they are still being ingested by you). Purchase and install a rain water tank if you can to reduce water and then filter your water. There are many available and you can even get ones for your shower heads and taps.
Avoid plastics: Not only are they made with thousands of chemicals, research proves they can leach into your drinking water and food and this is acerbated when plastic is heated (water bottles in cars, microwaves etc.) they are environmental and health disasters although convenient. Plastics contain dioxins which are endocrine disrupting. You can purchase BPA plastics which are better however where ever possible reduce and avoid. Alternatives include, glass, stainless steel and ceramic containers and products. Use bees wax wraps or cotton covers to cover and wrap food. Switch to safer alternatives whenever you get the chance.
Leave shoes a the front door: This will significantly reduce levels of dust, dirt, germs pesticides and other unwanted things coming in to your house!
Avoid lawn treatments. Do you really want your children to be playing on a lawn that is sprayed with pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides? There are whole communities in serious trouble due to these chemicals being sprayed. Do your research and switch to more environmentally and people friendly alternatives to keeping that garden green and lush.
Grow live plants indoors. Plants naturally purify air, especially spider plants, rubber trees, peace lilies, and palm trees.
Build and remodel with care. If you are designing or renovating explore green options. Replace vinyl flooring with bamboo, tile, linoleum, or hardwoods. Carpeting emits toxic fumes for years, so try wool carpeting instead. Do your research and give your home an eco makeover to ensure it keeps you healthy for years to come.
Furniture: Many new pieces of furniture contain per fluorinated chemicals and volatile organic compounds. MDF products contain toxic glues. These substances can cause cancer and developmental problems. Purchase vintage furniture, ask about toxin-free options at your furniture store or stick with simple furniture to reduce exposure to these chemicals.