It is very important to keep your home as clean as possible. Vacuuming the carpets regularly will help to keep dust mites at bay, carefully washing items like your blender to remove germs, replacing bathroom items like face cloths, sponges and loofahs on a regular basis will also help avoid infections. However, cleanliness alone will not create a healthier home, because the greatest risks in your home actually come from the chemicals in common household products.
This includes foodstuff and it is essential that you read the list of ingredients before you buy anything. This also applies to personal items and things you may use around the house. Get familiar with the product ingredient lists, and try and find out what they mean, and which are potentially harmful.
As much as possible, buy and eat organic and free range produce, as well as organic meats to reduce your exposure to added hormones, pesticides, and fertilisers. Also avoid milk and other dairy products that contain the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
Here are some tips to help you on your way to creating a healthier home:
- Eating just any fish can be risky. Sometimes farm raised fish are contaminated with mercury and can damage your health. If possible, opt for sea-caught fish, or freshwater river fish and supplement your diet with a high-quality purified krill oil.
- Buy products that come in glass bottles or jars rather than plastic or cans since chemicals can be emitted out of plastics and into the contents.
- Wherever possible avoid using plastic wrap to store food. Eat mostly raw or freshly prepared food. Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
- Filter your tap water. Tap water contains many additives and some areas even fluoride which is reported to be very toxic.
- Look for products that are manufactured by companies that are environmentally friendly, prefer to use natural and organic materials, and do not consider any products which have been tested on animals. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, upholstery, and more.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency filter to remove house dust, which is often contaminated with traces of chemicals.
- When buying new products such as furniture, mattresses, carpets, rugs etc opt for items made from naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool and cotton. Potentially harmful chemicals are present in products that have been commercially treated to resist fire.
- Avoid stain- and water-resistant clothing, furniture and carpets which have been chemically treated.
- Minimise your use of plastic baby and child toys, opting instead for those made of natural wood or fabric instead.
- Only use natural cleaning products in your home or if possible, find out how to make your own. Switch over to organic brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics. You can replace many different products with coconut oil and baking soda which has strong alkalising properties. The EWG database can help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals .
- There are also safer alternatives for the feminine hygiene products like tampons and sanitary pads.
- Avoid artificial air fresheners, fabric softeners, which are loaded with synthetic fragrances.
- Look for products that are fragrance-free. A single artificial fragrance can contain hundreds – even thousands – of potentially toxic chemicals.
- Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or better still, a glass shower door.