The average modern household has dozens of toxic chemicals lurking in its cupboards. Ironically, most of them are hiding in the very products we use to keep our homes (and ourselves) clean and cared for.
It’s impossible to protect yourself from harmful chemicals 100% of the time, but removing these four toxic household products from your home can make a big difference in your health. Read on to find out what they are and how to replace them with healthy alternatives.
No one wants to leave an insect problem untreated, but some of the most toxic chemicals in household products are found in common pesticides. Mosquito repellents, roach sprays, and lice shampoos can all be harmful to your health. Household pesticides have been linked to a number of serious health conditions including endocrine, nerve, and organ damage.
If you have to keep pesticides around, seal them in an airtight container and thoroughly clean the area after use. Ideally, ditch them for a safer alternative like diatomaceous earth or neem oil.
2. Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are full of volatile compounds that reduce air quality and irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs. In fact, a recent study found that long-term exposure to cleaning sprays was as bad for lung health as smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. To make matters worse, mixing common cleaning products like bleach and ammonia can produce lethal fumes.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from lung damage, consider replacing old cleaners with natural cleaning products. Many “natural” products don’t fall under FDA regulations, so make sure to choose ones with certified organic ingredients.
3. Perfumes and Fragrances
Perfumes are known to contain a number of harmful chemicals that trigger asthma, allergies, and hormonal issues. What are they? Well, no one’s quite sure — manufacturers are allowed to keep their formulas secret to prevent competitors from getting the recipe.
But we’re not just referring to your bottle of Chanel No. 5. Toxic fragrance chemicals can be found in any artificially scented product. Scented detergents, air fresheners, and candles are all potential threats.
If you’re trying to freshen up your space, try using an essential oil diffuser or burning naturally-scented soy and beeswax candles. To deodorize fabrics, mix together a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water and vodka in a spray bottle and spritz clothes, carpets, and furniture as needed. And for sweaty shoes or other stubborn smells, a baking soda sachet can work wonders.
4. Personal Care Products
Have you ever taken a good, hard look at the bottles in your bathroom cabinets? Their ingredient lists might surprise you.
If you’re concerned about your health, it’s worth taking inventory of your shampoo, makeup, deodorant, lotion, and sunscreen. These products often contain substances that are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
When shopping for personal care products, do your best to choose ones that are made from natural and organic ingredients. Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Red Lists to find out what ingredients to avoid. For even more control over what you’re putting on your skin, you can also make your own beauty products out of common kitchen ingredients.
Which Toxic Household Products Will You Ditch First?
Ready to get serious about detoxifying your living space? After you’ve switched out your toxic household products for natural alternatives, check out our top 10 spring cleaning tips. You’ll be on your way to a safer, healthier home environment in no time!