Most people might be surprised to learn that our homes are filled with hundreds of toxins, pollutants, and airborne chemicals that affect our daily health.
While we may introduce some of these toxins into our home with the products we buy, other toxins and allergens such as mould, dust mites, and dander are often due to our behaviour or the environment we live in and over time can significantly compromise our physical and mental health.
While managing the toxins in our environment can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task, there are several things you can do in your home to limit and manage the toxins in your environment. From scheduled cleaning to adding plants, here are five steps to reduce toxins, allergens, and pollutants in your home.
The average cleaning product contains chemicals that can impair neurological function, irritate the respiratory system, and can even be cancerous. The lack of regulation regarding the labelling of products also contributes to a lack of knowledge regarding what you are adding to your home.
Green products are those made of chemicals that have been deemed safe for humans as well as the environment. So, buying green limits toxic chemicals by changing how many you are bringing into your home.
When shopping for cleaning products it is important to pay attention to labels and purchase products that disclose all ingredients. It is also important to avoid aerosols, pesticides, plastics which may contain BPA, as well as reduce your carbon footprint with the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Allergens affect us all and one of the biggest culprits in our homes is the buildup of dust and dander. One of the easiest ways to eliminate allergens and microbes in the home is dusting regularly. Be sure to dust often neglected parts of the house such as the top of appliances, fans, blinds, curtains, under the couch and less-frequently used spaces. Dusting regularly helps to prevent stagnant particles from polluting indoor air quality.
Speaking of air quality, adding plants to your home is one of the best ways to remove airborne toxins. In fact, NASA’s research of plants was initiated by the “air-scrubbing” ability of plants to remove toxins and chemical pollutants while also creating an oxygen-rich environment.
This small-space research has also been a contributing factor to help people who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, as well as mental health illnesses of anxiety and stress.
Keep Your Fabrics and Upholstery Clean
From our bedding to the upholstery and fabric on our furniture, carpets, and curtains the fabrics in our home are notorious for collecting dander from our animals, dust, and debris. When we don’t regularly wash, vacuum, and clean the fabrics in our home we allow for bacteria, mould, microbes, pollen and pests such as dust mites, bed bugs, and fleas to infest our living space.
Pay Attention to Appliances
We’ve already discussed dust-buildup on your appliances, but toxins that seep into our home often come in through our water supply such as lead and arsenic, as well as gas from leaky gas lines and carbon monoxide from our furnaces.
Some ways to manage these toxins are to have shower filters installed to manage impurities seeping into the home, install CO detectors, and having your home inspected for mould, lead, and arsenic.
Reducing the toxins in your home involves understanding which chemicals and products you should buy as well as what may be harmful to your family. A consistent cleaning schedule helps to reduce allergens, and plants are a great way to create an oxygen-rich environment in your home that also reduces airborne toxins and pollutants.