Did you know that your home could be harming you without you even realizing it? You might have heard about the dangers associated with both lead and asbestos, but there are some other things you may not know about. There are actually dangers that can go undetected without proper investigation. My family has become quite knowledgeable about this recently, as several of us became sick. So, I encourage you to read on and do some further research about the ways your home could be harming you.
Some of the culprits are the chemicals and unwanted toxins that are within your home, both natural and man-made. These substances can invade your water supply, food, and even the air that you breathe. Let’s dive into some of the main ways your home could be harming you.
The dust that settles on top of your cabinetry or in the corners can cause more than just sneezing, it can be toxic to your whole body. Dust samples often have potentially toxic chemicals hiding within, and one of the top ones is TDCIPP. This is a flame retardant that is found in furniture, carpeting, and even clothing. These chemicals can be toxic to humans and especially those who are sensitive. You also have phenols, which are normally used in cleaning products. Toxicity can be spread through spraying them or simply by using them daily.
If you want to minimize exposure, buy organic and safer products including furniture, rugs, and other household products. Also, dust and vacuum all floors frequently and use
proper attachments to access hard-to-reach corners. Wiping down horizontal surfaces is another thing you can do to stop dust like this from lingering within your home.
Using Air Fresheners
If you are utterly obsessed with keeping your home smelling great, you could be unknowingly impacting your health negatively. Scented candles, sprays, and even some oils used in diffusers can contain phthalates. These are chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system by acting as synthetic hormones within your body. It really pays to check out your products at the EWG database which gives each product a toxic level score. This helps you to know immediately what is in the products you use and how toxic they are.
If you want to avoid this risk altogether, try freshening your home with natural essential oils. Using flowers or even opening windows are other things you can do to limit the toxins within your home. Furthermore, if you or a family member is experiencing respiratory symptoms, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. From there, he/she might want you to explore treatment options for sinusitis or allergies.
If you’re like many families, plastic use is something that doesn’t get challenged or even thought about as dangerous. However, many commonly used plastic items are actually full of harmful chemicals. Items like storage containers can include bisphenol A (BPA), which gets transferred into your food whenever you reheat it. You can also cause chemicals to be absorbed by food if you place it in a plastic container when hot.
Polycarbonate plastic items, such as reusable water bottles, drinking cups, and even beverage jugs contain BPA and this can interfere with your body’s hormones as well. According to
Breastcancer.org, use of these items has also been connected with a higher risk of some serious illnesses like cancer. Don’t let the sign BPA-free fool you either. Many manufacturers replace BPA with a similar chemical that could be just as harmful. The only way for you to work around this is to use glass or stainless steel and avoid plastic entirely.
Spraying Shower with Bleach
Bleach will, of course, leave your bathroom tiles looking clean, but if mold is an issue, bleach could make the issue worse. Bleach gets rid of mold when it comes to tile grout but it’s also caustic. With grout being a permeable substance, bleach eats away at it over time and creates tiny holes, in which mold can grow. Using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water is better to avoid mold spores. You also need to make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated so you can cut back on the humidity in the room. A squeegee can be used also to wipe down your shower walls if you want to eliminate excess water after bathing.
Mold is one of the most common and dangerous things invading American homes today. Homes containing mold issues can cause their inhabitants to experience a wide variety of symptoms from mild to serious, depending on the type of mold and length of exposure. It’s also worth noting that even if you don’t have living mold in your home, you can be exposed to it. “Dead mold is allergenic and may cause allergic reactions and other health effects in some individuals, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold. It must also be removed,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
I have a deep and personal experience with mold exposure and its devastating effects on health. Know that it’s not a pleasant, cheap, or short journey. Being still on that journey, I can only say that if you suspect mold as a culprit to chronic illness, get help as soon as you can from a qualified home inspection company and a doctor who knows about mold illness, chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), and mycotoxins.
Carpeting can be a huge problem if you are sensitive or have allergies. Additionally, it can off-gas harmful chemicals. According to the Environmental Working Group, “Carpet backing is commonly made with a synthetic rubber derived from styrene and butadiene, both of which are respiratory irritants at low levels of exposure. Long-term exposure to high levels of styrene is associated with nerve damage and long-term exposure to butadiene is associated with cancer and heart disease.” Though this is common practice among manufacturers, you can look for better-made products and check out their toxicity through the EWG website.
Your carpet can also become a haven for environmental contaminants like dust, mold, and allergens. Additionally, consider that your home could be harming you by what gets tracked in if you don’t take off your shoes at the door. The only way for you to work around this would be to regularly vacuum your carpet and clean it properly with non-toxic carpet shampoo.
In conclusion, know that these things I’ve brought to your attention are just some of the ways your home could be harming you. I highly encourage you to continue your research into this important topic as soon as you can. Be diligent in changing what you can to make your home safer for you and your family. Remember, it is up to you to look out for your health and seek information that can make a difference.
Be well, my friends…