Every day we’re exposed to thousands of chemicals. Synthetic chemicals can be potentially harmful but the fact that they are present in nearly everything we touch and even consume makes it very hard to avoid them altogether. However, all of us should try to reduce everyday exposure in order to prevent some of the health problems linked to these harmful chemicals.
Exposure to chemicals in daily life can lead to serious illnesses and health problems including fertility and reproductive problems, hormonal imbalance, asthma or respiratory problems, and cancer. It’s time to do something about it! In this article, we gathered the most effective ways to reduce exposure to chemicals. Keep reading if you want to learn what products to avoid and how to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals.
Fragrance can be made with hundreds of chemicals. Some of them are safe and non-toxic, while others, such as phthalates and synthetic musk have been linked with many health problems including developmental harm, reproductive health, and different types of cancer. Sadly, the law doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose what types of chemicals they use, thus it is best to avoid products that have fragrance on the ingredients list.
From beauty products to cleaners and household essentials, fragrance can be found in so many different products. If you want to reduce exposure to chemicals, look for fragrance-free products. Make sure the products are labeled as fragrance-free, not unscented. The unscented label is not a guarantee that the product you’re purchasing is fragrance-free. In fact, some products can be naturally scented. Just think about it: flowers and plants, in general, have unique scents so it’s not unlikely to find a natural product that smells nice. On the other hand, unscented products can contain fragrance to mask natural scent.
Avoid Air Fresheners
Air fresheners can have harmful side effects because many of them contain toxic chemicals. If you suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma, air fresheners don’t belong in your house. People who are less sensitive can tolerate them without noticing immediate side effects but it is best to avoid them altogether at home, especially since it’s hard to avoid them in the office or other locations we visit on a daily basis.You can reduce and even eliminate odor without air fresheners. Open the window to let fresh air in, set out a bouquet of flowers in a vase or put together a dried flowers display to add a floral scent to your home.
You can also diffuse organic essential oils for a lovely and harmless scent. Another great idea is to simmer spice or herbs on the stove. You can alternate essential oils and spices seasonally if you like to experiment with different scents. There are plenty of options to choose from and most of them are better than air fresheners.
Choose Organic Beauty Products
Aside from fragrance, beauty products can contain a variety of chemicals that pose risks for women’s health. Since beauty products, especially skincare products are applied directly to our skin, they are easily absorbed into our bodies. You should avoid parabens, oxybenzone, and sulfates because they can disrupt hormone function. There are safer alternatives on the market and you should definitely stick to those if you want to reduce exposure to chemicals.
Reduce The Use Of Disinfectant Products
Hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soap, and cleaning products are tools we all use to protect ourselves from germs and harmful bacteria. However, that doesn’t mean it is safe to use them on a daily basis. Some of these products contain ammonium compounds also known as quats. Quats can irritate skin and have been linked with asthma and fertility issues. On top of that, overusing products that contain quats leads to the development of antibacterial-resistant bacteria.
Use disinfectant products only when it’s absolutely necessary. For normal situations, stick to regular cleaners and use soap and water to wash your hands.
Turn Down The Heat When You’re Cooking
Non-stick cookware is great for healthy diets since they make it possible to cook with less oil. However, non-stick cookware, particularly Teflon, releases something called perfluorooctanoic acid when exposed to heat over 450 degrees F. This toxic chemical is carcinogenic and can increase the risk of cancer and lead to developmental harm. Therefore, it’s important to keep the stove at medium or low heat when cooking using non-stick cookware. You can use stainless steel pans or cast irons for higher temperatures.
Keep Harmful Chemicals Out Of Your House
Many of us don’t realize how many toxic chemicals can get on our shoes. Lawn pesticides, coal tar, and dust that carries toxic chemicals are brought into our homes without even realizing it.
If we remove our shoes at the door, we avoid bringing all these harmful chemicals into our homes. You should also use a doormat to catch dirt at the door. Keep the doormat outside to avoid shedding chemicals in the house when you wipe your shoes on the mat. Vacuum and clean the doormat on a regular basis to keep it as clean as possible.
You should also vacuum your house regularly, preferably with a HEPA-filter vacuum. These are known to minimize dust, dander, and allergens and are great for people who suffer from respiratory conditions or allergies. Dusting regularly with a wet or microfiber cloth is also recommended.