“We live in a toxic world!” Today, according to the Environmental Working Group. we are exposed to over 80,000 toxins. In 2005, the EWG examined the umbilical cord blood of newborns. They found that the average newborn had over 200 different industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in their blood including 180 known carcinogens. Before a baby takes its first breath toxins are present. Scary!
Many of you may ask, why does this matter? Our home can be 500x more polluted than outdoor air from pesticides, harmful fragrances, and toxic chemicals. I’m a true believer that If you understand the “Why” you gain power and freedom to make better choices.
Environmental toxins contain harmful chemicals that contribute to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation leads to chronic disease. Today we are in a health crisis. The CDC reports that 6 and 10 Americans have a chronic disease and 4 and 10 have two or more. Alarming statistics! Sadly, I’m sure you know someone in your own circle, family or a friend with Type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, cancers, asthma, allergies or an inflammatory condition.
The GOOD news is there are so many ways we can reduce our exposure to toxins and helpful resources to help you create a healthier home environment.
Let’s start with your yard.
REMOVE pesticides and herbicides especially Round Up. They have been directly linked to childhood cancers, learning disabilities, lowered IQ, lowered immunity, leaky gut and digestion issues, ADHD, Autism, mood swings, and neurologically-based illnesses such as Parkinson’s and ALS. In 2018, Monsanto , the chemical maker of Round Up was ordered to pay 287 million to a groundskeeper who has terminal cancer. Round Up contains glyphosate, which is directly linked to cancer and showing up more and more in our food products especially our cereals.
Next, inside the home.
REMOVE products with Synthetic Fragrances. This includes your air fresheners, candles, laundry detergents, cleaning supplies, perfume, lotions, and soaps. Synthetic Fragrances are so dangerous since it’s a catch-all phrase for a number of harmful chemicals and/or ingredients. Manufacturers are not required to share all the ingredients under Synthetic Fragrances so they can protect their trademark recipe. Synthetic Fragrances are one of the top five allergens and 11% suffer from this allergy. I am one of them and cannot even walk down the cleaning aisle or perfume section of a store without getting a headache! Not only are synthetic fragrances allergens, but possible carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins.
REMOVE non-stick pans, scotch guard and microwave popcorn. Many of the products contain PFAS a group of man-made chemicals that stick around for a very long time, possibly indefinitely. They are found in many consumer products like cookware, food packaging, and stain repellants and water. PFAS are linked to a variety of health concerns, including increased cholesterol, cancer, and weight.
REMOVE plastic containers, cups, cans and beauty products with BPA, Parabens, and Phthalates… BPA is a synthetic hormone that imitates estrogen in the body. Studies link BPA to breast cancer, reproductive challenges, obesity, and heart disease. FDA doesn’t allow baby and children products to have BPA, but not outlawed. The biggest concern with BPA is its ability to seep into food and beverages. Phthalates are used in a wide range of cosmetic and food products, also in plastic food containers. Phthalates wreak hormonal havoc and an endocrine disrupter. Paraben is a synthetic preservative found in beauty products, shampoos, and conditioners. This preservative affects our hormones, and link to breast cancer.
REMOVE heavy metals, especially aluminum in your deodorant, cookware, and food. Aluminum occurs naturally in food, however, we are mainly exposed through food additives, and in deodorant. Studies show that toxic metals contribute to brain diseases by producing oxidative stress. Aluminum is one of the worst offenders; a neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system.
Now that you understand what to remove and the risks associated with some of the top toxins in your home; what can you REPLACE it with?
MadeSafe.org , EWG Healthy Living and ThinkDirty App have made it easy! They provide lists of nontoxic products and allow you to scan your entire home to see the toxic rating of each product. Our bodies are the best healers and detoxifiers. In summary here are TEN STEPS to detoxifying your home:
- FILTER your air and water
- COOK more, eat out less
- EAT organic, SHOP NON -GMO
- USE nontoxic beauty, cleaning, and household products
- DRINK out of glass or stainless steel
- COOK with stainless steel or cast iron
- AVOID plastic containers, cups, and water bottles (especially heating up)
- DETOX: exercise, sweat, infrared sauna, keep your digestive tract moving
- ADD plants to your home
- TAKE off your shoes before entering your home
Finally, I always love to share a few of my FAVORITE BRANDS. The first is Branch Basics, an all in one nontoxic cleaner, hand soap, and laundry detergent that works! MADE SAFE certified and an easy one-stop solution for the entire home. Check out their #tossthetoxins campaign. I also love to use NYR Organic essential oils for DIY products, their MADE SAFE certified deodorant and skincare. They work! My favorite online discount health shop is Thrive Market. You can buy organic and NON-GMO food, beauty, household, and pet products for less.
Detoxifying your home is one step closer to living a healthy, happy, whole life. Each time you run out of a product choose a better option. Remember it takes time, progress over perfection. I know you will make it happen!
By Bridget Kilpatrick, MA, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Committed to helping others live a happy, healthy, whole life