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Healthy Home

In order to obtain and maintain optimal health it is ideal to recognize our daily exposures to toxins that can hinder the body from functioning appropriately. Toxins are ubiquitous in our world and can contaminate our home and therefore our body’s. Chemicals exist in beauty products, most mattresses,  our water and food supply, as well as certain kitchenware. 

In our appointments with our patients we don’t have the time to discuss these important topics. This outline of common toxic exposures is an attempt to bring awareness so change can take place if needed. See the Detox Section for better understanding of what can be done and for a more elaborate explanation of the body burden.

Water

The EWG has a more accessible database to see what is in the tap water where you live by entering in your zip code. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/index.php

This reflects the water you bathe with, drink if you don’t have a proper filter and potentially cook with. 

See EWGs water filter guide for what to do about it.

https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php#findfilter

If you have a water system and are uncertain if it is doing the job properly consider having your water tested.

Kitchen

The do’s and dont’s of the kitchen to make it a safe place for your health.

Don’t: Cook with teflon non-stick or aluminum based pots and pans

Do: Use stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans

Don’t: Purchase dinnerware at flea markets, antiques stores, glaze that is corroded, discoloration on the dishware, terra cotta pottery from Latin America (especially rustic items), and highly decorated Asian dishware as they may contain lead

Do: Purchase dinnerware that is glass and lead free

Don’t: Use plastic tupperware, especially when warm foods are placed into it due to leaching of phthalates, BPAs into the food

Do: Use glass storage containers

Don’t: Use aluminum foil when cooking in the oven

Do: Use Parchment paper for cooking in the oven

Don’t: Use plastic sandwich or snack bags

Do: Use paper sandwich bags or steel/glass containers

Don’t: Use styrofoam dinnerware ever

Do: If needed use recycled paper/bamboo dinnerware

Don’t: Use metal cooking utensils as they can scratch the surface of the pots and pans

Do: Use wood cooking utensils. 

Don’t: Cook using tap water

Do: Cook using filtered water

Don’t: Use highly fragrant chemical cleaning solutions

Do: Use a vinegar and water solution with a microfiber towel, tea tree oil,  silver spray or cleaning products that have minimal chemicals including fragrances

Indoor Air Pollutants

It is common knowledge that our outdoor air quality is subpar in most geographical locations and can have an effect on our overall health, but there are a lot of misperceptions about the quality of air that we breathe indoors.  Indoor air pollutants come in all shapes and sizes and we felt that it would be valuable insight to understand which everyday products may be affecting your health.  The following information has been shown to be contributing factors in many health conditions and symptoms like: asthma, eczema, fatigue, insomnia,  depression and anxiety, hormonal imbalances, allergies, autoimmune diseases and even cancer.

Avoid:

  • Air freshener.  They cover up what the underlying odor is in the house. It is best to get rid of the problem instead of covering it up with a chemical.
  • Carpet. It is the biggest collector of dust and toxins.  Both indoor and outdoor toxins that are brought home with you on your shoes can be trapped in the carpet.  The carpet materials themselves can off-gas for 10-12 years.
  • Wearing shoes indoors. Toxins get tracked into your home from your shoes.
  • Smoking indoors.  The chemicals in cigarette smoke are concentrated and linger in your home and in your furniture.  
  • Pesticide spraying indoors. These pesticides are inhaled whether you are there when they are spraying or not.
  • Dry Cleaning.  The process of dry cleaning is very toxic and those chemicals lingering on the clothes are brought into the home where they off gas. Insead put it in the garage to off gas first. 
  • Synthetic fragrant products. Generic cleaning supplies, perfumes, lotions, scented detergents, and dryer sheets are examples of chemicals that you are not only inhaling but absorbing through the skin when placing topically.

How to improve your indoor air quality:

  • Take your shoes off when you enter your home.
  • Use natural pesticide companies when possible.
  • Quit smoking or at least stop smoking indoors until you are ready.
  • Stop wearing perfume. Check out ewg.org for a breakdown  to see how toxic your current beauty products may be and consider switching to more natural products.
  • Change up your cleaning supplies. Use vinegar and water or more natural cleaning supplies like Seventh Generation products.
  • Use natural dry cleaning shops or keep your dry cleaning in the garage for 48 hours before bringing it in the home.
  • Replace your carpet with tile or wood. Use Zero VOC paint, non-toxic adhesives.
  • Add plants to your home.  Plants can help clear the toxins out of the air but need to have plenty and the right ones.Examples of helpful plant: Chrysanthemum morifolium, Gerber daisy, Ficus benjamina
  • Get an air purifier. The top air purifiers are:  IQAir.com, BlueAir.com, and AustinAir.com. You need to program it to exchange air at least once every 20 minutes to be most effective. Use HEPA or charcoal filters as they are the best  filters.

Beauty Products

Beauty products including deodorants, lotions, make up, sunscreens, perfumes, and soaps for example can be a major source of chemical exposure. Applying them to the skin allows for a direct absorption into the bloodstream and therefore into the body. The EWG can be used as a wonderful resource to help discern if the products you are currently using are cancer promoting,or can potentially induce allergic reactions, impact fertility and the immune system. 

https://www.ewg.org/areas-focus/personal-care-products